The Importance of LLLT Dosage Recommendations
While studies into the efficacy and proper use of LLLT are ongoing, sufficient evidence has been gathered that the World Association for Laser Therapy (WALT) has established recommended dosages for a number of LLLT treatments. These dosage recommendations may change over time, but for now they are the best guidelines available to determine the most effective dosage for treating patients. A recent meta-analysis on the effects of LLLT as pain relief for joint areas highlights the importance of these dosage recommendations.
A meta-analysis, published in August in Photomedicine and Laser Surgery, reviewed 22 trials, all with PEDro scale ratings of at least 5 and with an average PEDro scale rating of 7.96. All trials used visual analog scale to determine the effect of LLLT on joint pain. The meta-analysis found that the mean weighted difference in change of pain was 13.96mm on VAS. However, when they eliminated from consideration all studies which used dosages below the WALT recommended dosage, the mean weighted difference in change of pain jumped to 19.88. That is over a 1/3 increase in average pain reduction.
This is important both in treating patients and evaluating the latest research into LLLT. If we treat patients with dosage levels below the recommended dosage, they may not be getting the optimal treatment. When looking at research, it is important to note whether or not a study was conducted using a recommended dosage level. How much we can rely on the results of a study depends in part on whether or not a high enough dosage was used.