Laser therapy of painful shoulder and shoulder-hand syndrome in treatment of patients after the stroke

Karabegović A, Kapidzić-Duraković S, Ljuca F.
Clinic for Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University Clinical Centre, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tuzla
Bosn J Basic Med Sci. 2009 Feb;9(1):59-65

The common complication after stroke is pain and dysfunction of shoulder of paralyzed arm, as well as the swelling of the hand. The aim of this study was to determine the effects of LASER therapy and to correlate with electrotherapy (TENS, stabile galvanization) in subjects after stroke.

We analyzed 70 subjects after stroke with pain in shoulder and oedema of paralyzed hand. The examinees were divided in two groups of 35, and they were treated in the Clinic for Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation in Tuzla during 2006 and 2007.

Experimental group (EG) had a treatment with LASER, while the control group (CG) was treated with electrotherapy. Both groups had kinesis therapy and ice massage. All patients were examined on the admission and discharge by using the VAS, DASH, Barthel index and FIM.

The pain intensity in shoulder was significantly reduced in EG (p<0,0001), swelling is lowered in EG (p=0,01). Barthel index in both groups was significant higher (p<0,01). DASH was significantly improved after LASER therapy in EG (p<0,01). EG had higher level of independency (p<0,01).

LASER therapy used on EG shows significantly better results in reducing pain, swelling, disability and improvement of independency.