Graduation Year


Graduation Month


Document Type

Thesis - Campus Access Only

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

School or Department

Health and Human Performance


Athletic Training

Faculty Mentor

Valerie Moody

Faculty Mentor Department

Health and Human Performance


Context: Low-level laser therapy was recently introduced as an instrument of treatment in rehabilitation medicine. Speculation remains as to what is happening at the molecular level when laser therapy is used. Laser therapy has been shown to assist tissue healing by increasing movement in tissue molecules and accelerating repair. It has also demonstrated effectiveness in pain reduction. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to observe if low-level laser therapy had an effect on ankle dorsiflexion and self-reported pain in subjects with Achilles tendon pain compared to healthy individuals. Participants: A convenience sample included 8 recreational runners (running 15-40 miles per week), which included both healthy individuals and individuals with Achilles tendon pain. Methods: Subjects were divided into one of four groups: healthy subjects treated with laser (3), tendon pain treated with laser (1), healthy subjects receiving a sham treatment (control group) (3), and tendon pain group receiving a sham treatment (1). Each subject completed ten trials, receiving two treatments per day for five consecutive days. Ankle dorsiflexion was measured before and after each trial using a standard tape measure. Participants were asked to rate their Achilles pain on a 0-10 pain scale, 0 being no pain and 10 being excruciating pain. The Achilles tendon of each subject’s dominant foot or foot with Achilles tendon pain was treated using a Vectra Genisys Laser, parameters set to 35 Joules, 9 diode 5x100 mW, continuous, 64 seconds. Results: Mean scores revealed no significant changes or trends across all groups pre to post treatment for both ankle dorsiflexion and pain perception. Conclusion: It is unclear if low-level laser therapy influences ankle dorsiflexion or pain perception in patients who have Achilles tendon pain. A larger sample size is warranted to further investigate the effects of low-level laser on healing and pain.

Honors College Research Project




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