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The Effect of Low-Level Light Therapy on Capsaicin-Induced Peripheral and Central Sensitizationin

Introduction: Several clinical trials have

demonstrated that low-level light therapy

(LLLT), a method of photobiomodulation, is an

effective analgetic treatment. However, the

mechanism of action has not yet been finally

clarified. In particular, unanswered questions

include whether it only affects peripheral or

whether it also affects the spinal or supraspinal

level. This study aimed to evaluate the effect of

low-level light therapy on primary and sec-

ondary hyperalgesia in a human pain model.

Methods: This study was planned as a ran-

domized, sham-controlled, and double-blinded

trial with repeated measures within subject

design. Capsaicin was applied on both forearms

of ten healthy volunteers to induce peripheral

and central sensitization. One forearm was

treated with low-level light therapy; the other

served as sham control.

Results: Low-level light therapy significantly

increased the mechanical pain threshold, heat

pain threshold, and decreased pain intensity.

Conclusions: Our data indicate that low-level

light therapy is effective at reducing the heat

and mechanical pain threshold in a human

pain model, pointing to a significant modulat-

ing effect on peripheral and central sensitiza-

tion. These effects—especially in the absence of

reported side effects—make low-level light

therapy a promising tool in pain management.

The application of low-level light therapy to

treat chronic pain should be considered for

further clinical trials.


repuls LLLT Schmerz
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