I've recently had Nd:YAG laser therapy on my knee. Despite being totally skeptical about it, the net effect I've experienced is really positive and beneficial: I've had long-lasting pain relief after just 20 minutes of stimulation to my knee ligament that had a pretty bad injury (II level, with 30% of broken fibers).

Here is an example of the claims that are made about Nd:YAG laser therapy for the knee:

This study indicates that the laser is capable of antagonizing the experimentally induced arthrosic phenomenon to stimulate the neochodronrogenic activity with the formation of hyaline cartilage and to induce synovial hyperplasia.

It was therefore observed [...] the high intensities have a neochondrogenic and synovial hyperplastic effect as well as the anti-inflammatory effect. Source

I've hear that those specific NIR frequencies are absorbed by the mithocondria and increase ATP production, as well as an analgesic effect induced by the production of beta-endorphin at a synaptic level.

I have been unable, however, to find unbiased (non-sponsored) evidence for the effectiveness and the biological effects of Nd:Yag laser therapy.

Is this therapy any more than effective than just warming the affected area?

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    You say: "the net effect I've experienced is really positive and beneficial". Are you attributing that effect specifically to the laser treatment? – user25451 Mar 20 '15 at 16:57
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    @jaxonvil: I read it as an anecdotal report of a positive experience, but the OP is aware of the placebo effect and wants better evidence, which I applaud. – Oddthinking Mar 20 '15 at 21:45

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