Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Shoulder FAQ


I heard there's a new laser heat treatment for loose shoulders. Will this work for arthritis?


Using heat in the form of laser or radiofrequency has gained in popularity over the last 10 years. Uses for laser therapy in the shoulder are still limited. Research only supports its use for shoulder instability. When the fibrous tissue surrounding a joint (the capsule) is torn or stretched, it's causes joint laxity. This is another way to say "loose joint." Joint laxity causes a joint to be unstable. In the case of the shoulder, this can lead to dislocation. Currently, thermal devices are used to treat shoulder instability caused by damage to the capsule. Arthritis is a condition that primarily affects the bone and joint surfaces. Laser hasn’t been approved for use with arthritis at this time. More studies using laser are being done and may include arthritis in the future. Thomas A. Joseph, MD, et al. Laser Capsulorrhaphy for Multidirectional Instability of the Shoulder. In The American Journal of Sports Medicine. January/February 2003. Vol. 31. No. 1. Pp. 26-35.

*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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