Photobiomodulation therapy: mechanism of action and clinical importance of treating knee osteoarthritis




Osteoarthritis; Laser; Rehabilitation; Knee.


Osteoarthritis of the knee (OAJ) is one of the most common progressive degenerative joint diseases worldwide and also a major cause of disability and damage to quality of life. Photobiomodulation therapy (PBMT, from English Photobiomodulation Therapy) using low-level laser (LLLT, from English Low Level Laser Therapy) has shown to be a promising treatment with good results for several chronic diseases, including changes that affect the system articulate. Within this context, the objective of this study is to provide, through a narrative review, an understanding of the current evidence available on the mechanism of action and clinical importance of laser PBMT in the treatment of OAJ. The searches were performed in the bibliographic databases of PubMed / MEDLINE, Virtual Health Library (VHL), Web of Science and SciELO. Based on peer-reviewed studies, laboratory data in experimental animal models and clinical studies show that PBM is able to reduce chondrocyte death, stimulate the synthesis of extracellular matrix components (ECM), mitigate the release of inflammatory mediators and proteolytics present in chronic joint diseases, thus preventing the degradation of articular and periarticular tissue. Consequently, clinically, improvement in pain, functionality and quality of life of the individual affected with OAJ and treated with laser PBMT can be observed. Thus, we can conclude that laser PBMT can be an excellent adjunct in the treatment of OAJ, since it is a non-invasive method and also has relatively low costs.


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How to Cite

SILVA, Y. V. B.; REZZO, T. C. da S.; TIM, C. R. .; VASSÃO, P. G.; PÁEZ, T.; GARCIA, L. A. Photobiomodulation therapy: mechanism of action and clinical importance of treating knee osteoarthritis. Research, Society and Development, [S. l.], v. 10, n. 1, p. e59410112072, 2021. DOI: 10.33448/rsd-v10i1.12072. Disponível em: Acesso em: 7 mar. 2021.



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