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J Phys Ther Sci. 2014 Aug;26(8):1297-300. doi: 10.1589/jpts.26.1297. Epub 2014 Aug 30.

A Meta-analysis of Clinical Effects of Low-level Laser Therapy on Temporomandibular Joint Pain.

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Department of Sports Medicine, China Medical University, Taiwan.
Physical Education Section of General Education, National Sun Yat-sen University, Taiwan.
Department of Occupational Therapy, I-Shou University, Taiwan.
Rehabilitation Therapy Center, Tungs' Taichung MetroHarbor Hospital, Taiwan.
Department of Rehabilitation Science, Jen-Teh Junior College of Medicine, Nursing and Management, Taiwan.
Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation, Da-Chien General Hospital, Taiwan.


[Purpose] Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain is a symptom of TMJ disease. Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) is often used in the clinical treatment of TMJ pain. The aim of this study was to review the effective parameters of LLLT for TMJ pain. [Methods] This study was a systematic review in which electronic databases were searched for the period of January 2005 to January 2010. We selected reports of randomized controlled trials and calculated the effect size (ES) of the pain relief to evaluate the effect of LLLT. [Results] Seven reports are found to meet the inclusion criteria and discussed. Based on the calculation results, the pooled ES was -0.6, indicating a moderate effect of pain relief. In addition, the dosages and treatments with wavelengths of 780 and 830 nm can cause moderate and large pain relief effects. [Conclusion] Use of LLLT on the masticatory muscle or joint capsule for TMJ pain had a moderate analgesic effect. The optimal parameters for LLLT to treat TMJ pain have not been confirmed. However, our results can be a vital clinical reference for clinical physicians in treatment of patients with TMJ pain.


Analgesic effect; Low-level laser therapy; Temporomandibular joint pain

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