Osteoarthritis (OA) is one of the most prevalent rheumatic diseases in the elderly and is associated with pain, joint stiffness, deformity and progressive loss of function. Physiotherapy through
kinesiotherapy, proprioceptive exercises and physical agents can improve symptoms related to OA. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of laser therapy of low intensity on quality of
life and balance in patients with knee OA.
The participants were 16 patients clinically diagnosed with unilateral or bilateral OA of the knee and X-ray concordant with the criteria of the American College of Rheumatology for the diagnosis of
OA. The patients were randomly divided into 2 groups. Group 1: underwent a treatment program of exercises and Group 2: same treatment program of exercises associated with laser therapy of low
intensity. The groups were treated for 12 weeks, three times a week. All patients underwent pre and post-treatment using the SF-36 and the Berg Balance Scale questionnaire.
There were no significant differences in the evaluations of quality of life and balance in comparisons between post-treatment, however there was significant improvement in both groups over time.
The quality of life and balance showed improvement as much in the group submitted only to the exercise treatment program, as the group associated with low intensity laser therapy in the quadriceps