The effectiveness of high-intensity laser therapy in the treatment of post-stroke patients with hemiplegic shoulder pain: a prospective randomized controlled study

Korkmaz N., Gurcay E., Demir Y., Tezen Ö., Korkmaz İ., Atar M. Ö., ...More

Lasers in Medical Science, vol.37, no.1, pp.645-653, 2022 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 37 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s10103-021-03316-y
  • Journal Name: Lasers in Medical Science
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, Aerospace Database, BIOSIS, Biotechnology Research Abstracts, CINAHL, Communication Abstracts, EMBASE, MEDLINE
  • Page Numbers: pp.645-653
  • Keywords: Exercise, Hemiplegic shoulder pain, High-intensity laser therapy, Rotator cuff tear, Ultrasonography
  • Yozgat Bozok University Affiliated: No


To evaluate clinical and ultrasonographic efficacy of high-intensity laser therapy (HILT) in patients with hemiplegic shoulder pain (HSP) accompanied by partial thickness rotator cuff tear (PTRCT). The study was designed as a prospective, randomized, controlled trial. Patients with HSP accompanied by PTRCT (n = 44) were randomly assigned to HILT and control groups. Both groups were treated with a multidisciplinary stroke rehabilitation and a therapeutic exercise program to the affected shoulder supervised by physiotherapists. In addition, HILT group received 3 sessions of the intervention per week for 3 weeks. Primary outcome measure was visual analogue scale (VAS) for pain. Secondary outcome measures were range of motion (ROM) of the shoulder joint, Shoulder Pain and Disability Index (SPADI), Brunnstrom Recovery Stage (BRS), Modified Ashworth Scale (MAS), Nottingham Health Profile (NHP), Functional Independence Measure (FIM), and ultrasonographic PTRCT size. Participants were assessed at pre- and post-treatment. A total of 41 patients completed the study. A statistically significant improvement was observed in VAS, ROM, FIM, SPADI, NHP, and PTRCT parameters in HILT group at post-treatment compared to pre-treatment (all P < 0.05). However, control group indicated significant improvement only in VAS, ROM, and SPADI parameters (all P < 0.05). When differences in clinical parameters at pre- and post-treatment assessment were compared between two groups, change in VAS, FIM, BRS, SPADI, NHP, and PTRCT in HILT group was significantly better than control group (all P < 0.05). HILT combined with therapeutic exercise seems to be clinically and ultrasonographically more effective in the treatment of patients with HSP accompanied by PTRCT than therapeutic exercise alone in the short term. Further studies are needed with long-term follow-up. Identifier: NCT04669405.