Comparative Efficacy of Low-Level Laser Acupuncture and Cupping for Treatment of Patients with Myofascial Pain Dysfunction Syndrome: A Double-blinded, Randomized Clinical Trial

  • Seyed Masoud Sajedi 1. Oral Medicine Department, Faculty of Dentistry, Shahed University, Tehran, Iran
  • Farid Abbasi 1. Oral Medicine Department, Faculty of Dentistry, Shahed University, Tehran, Iran
  • Mohammad Asnaashari 2. Laser Application in Medical Sciences Research Center, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
  • Ali Akbar Jafarian 3. Department of Anesthesiology and Pain, Shahid Motahhari Hospital of Trauma and Burning Center, Iran University of Medical Sciences and Health Services, Tehran, Iran
Keywords: Laser Therapy, Acupuncture Therapy, Cupping Therapy, Facial Neuralgia


Background: Myofascial pain dysfunction syndrome (MPDS) is among the most common causes of facial pain. This study compared the efficacy of low-level laser (LLL) acupuncture and cupping for the treatment of MPDS. Materials and Methods: This double-blind, before-after, randomized clinical trial evaluated 60 MPDS patients that were divided into two groups for LLL acupuncture (808 nm, 0.5 W, 30 J, 4 J/cm2 energy density, 60 seconds; group 1), and cupping (group 2) of masticatory muscle trigger points. Both treatments were performed for maximally eight sessions once every other day. The level of pain at the trigger points was measured upon admission, before and 5 minutes after treatment in each session, at ten days, and two months after treatment completion by a visual analog scale (VAS). The painless maximum mouth opening (MMO) and patient satisfaction with treatment were also assessed at the time as mentioned earlier points. Results: Averagely, 4.5 treatment sessions were required to achieve a 50% reduction in VAS pain score, with no significant difference between the two groups (P=0.9). Both treatments significantly decreased the number of trigger points and pain score, but this reduction occurred significantly sooner in the cupping group (P<0.01). MMO significantly improved in both groups after treatment with no significant difference between them (P=0.2). Patients were significantly more satisfied with LLL acupuncture (P<0.05). Conclusion: Both cupping and LLL acupuncture are equally effective for MPDS; thus, the patient can choose the type of treatment after receiving sufficient information regarding the two modalities. [GMJ.2022;11:e2305]


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How to Cite
Sajedi, S. M., Abbasi, F., Asnaashari, M., & Jafarian, A. A. (2022). Comparative Efficacy of Low-Level Laser Acupuncture and Cupping for Treatment of Patients with Myofascial Pain Dysfunction Syndrome: A Double-blinded, Randomized Clinical Trial. Galen Medical Journal, 11, e2305.
Original Article