Fibromyalgia (FM) is a chronic musculoskeletal pain condition that affects millions of people worldwide. Characterized by sensory hypersensitivity, it often results in reduced quality of life, limited physical activity, and psychological symptoms. Photobiomodulation (PBM) is a therapeutic intervention that uses light to stimulate the body's natural healing processes and has shown positive effects in relieving pain. However, there have been no studies on whole-body PBM intervention in subjects with FM.
Photobiomodulation works by using light energy to stimulate cellular function, resulting in the release of endorphins and other pain-relieving molecules. The treatment is non-invasive and can be administered in a doctor's office or at home using a device. The light energy is delivered via a device that emits specific wavelengths of light, which penetrate the skin and interact with cells in the body. The treatment is painless and has no known side effects, making it a safe alternative to traditional pain management methods.
A clinical trial aimed to compare the effects of whole-body PBM with placebo PBM on pain, functionality, and psychological symptoms in patients suffering from FM. The study recruited 42 subjects from a private care practice, and the design was a randomized, triple-blinded, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Participants received 12 treatment sessions, and pain, quality of life, level of physical activity, and psychological factors were assessed at baseline, after session 6, after treatment, and at 2-week follow-up.
The trial found that there were significant improvements in pain reduction after 4 weeks and 2 weeks after the treatment compared to before the treatment. Also, the participants reported that their quality of life improved significantly after the sixth session of treatment, immediately after the treatment, and at the 2-week follow-up.
The trial also looked at how the participants felt about their ability to move (kinesiophobia) and their belief in their ability to do specific tasks (self-efficacy). The participants who received the treatment showed significant improvements in both kinesiophobia and self-efficacy compared to those who received a placebo. However, the improvement in self-efficacy only lasted for 2 weeks after the treatment.
The clinical trial results suggest that whole-body PBM can significantly reduce pain and improve the quality of life in patients suffering from FM after receiving 4 weeks of treatment. Additionally, psychological factors such as kinesiophobia and self-efficacy were also improved. This presents a possible new multifactorial treatment with potential benefits for those with FM, and more studies are needed to corroborate the findings.
Whole-body PBM is a promising new treatment for fibromyalgia that has the potential to provide significant pain relief and improve quality of life. While more research is needed to fully understand its mechanisms and effectiveness, the results of this study are promising. If you or someone you know is suffering from fibromyalgia, talk to a healthcare provider about the potential benefits of photobiomodulation therapy.