Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

MS in Physician Assistant Studies (PA)


Physician Assistant Studies

First Advisor

Rachel Elbing , PA-C


Background: Pain is a common symptom across many medical conditions that patients experience. Pain management is complex and may need a combination of several management techniques. Laser acupuncture(LA) has been previously used as an adjunct to conventional pain treatments.

Objective: This systematic review aims to evaluate the effectiveness of laser acupuncture in various fields of medical situations such as chronic pain, low back pain, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, postoperative pain and dental procedures.

Methods: A computer based literature search of databases through GoogleScholar and PubMed was used to identify randomized controlled trials(RCTs) published after 2018 that studied the effect of LA in pain management.

Result: It was observed that LA was effective at decreasing the pain levels and found most effective with musculoskeletal disorders. The reviewed papers had the most success when the laser parameters that were set at minimum of 3J of energy per acupoints with 5 acupuncture sites received over at least 3 sessions. The final result of pain relief and recurrence rate was lower than the standard care.

Conclusions: LA has several appealing attributes that make it a favorable treatment modality. The minimal sensation experienced by patients allows ease of integration in their treatment plan in all ages, the short treatment duration, low risk of infection and complications marks itself as a viable adjunct process of pain management. To enhance the understanding and fully take advantage of LA’s potential, future studies are required with standardized high-quality methodologies with consistent laser parameters to establish future clinical applications.


SC 11.PAS.2023.Park.J