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J Sports Sci. 2018 Oct;36(20):2349-2357. doi: 10.1080/02640414.2018.1457419. Epub 2018 Mar 26.

Protective effects of photobiomodulation against resistance exercise-induced muscle damage and inflammation in rats.

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a Laboratory of Biophotonic , Nove de Julho University , São Paulo , Brazil.
b Federal University of São Paulo , São Paulo , Brazil.
c Postgraduate Program in Biophotonics Applied to Health Sciences , Nove de Julho University , São Paulo , Brazil.
d Translational Physiology Laboratory and Physical Education and Aging Science Program , São Judas Tadeu University , São Paulo , Brazil.


We investigated whether low-level laser therapy (LLLT) prior to or post resistance exercise could attenuate muscle damage and inflammation. Female Wistar rats were assigned to non-LLLT or LLLT groups. An 830-nm DMC Laser Photon III was used to irradiate their hind legs with 2J, 4J, and 8J doses. Irradiations were performed prior to or post (4J) resistance exercise bouts. Resistance exercise consisted of four maximum load climbs. The load work during a resistance exercise bout was similar between Control (non-LLLT, 225 ± 10 g), 2J (215 ± 8 g), 4J (210 ± 9 g), and 8J (226 ± 9 g) groups. Prior LLLT did not induce climbing performance improvement, but exposure to 4J irradiation resulted in lower blood lactate levels post-exercise. The 4J dose decreased creatine kinase and lactic dehydrogenase levels post-exercise regardless of the time of application. Moreover, 4-J irradiation exposure significantly attenuated tumor necrosis factor alpha, interleukin-6, interleukin-1β, cytokine-induced neutrophil chemoattractant-1, and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1. There was minor macrophage muscle infiltration in 4J-exposed rats. These data indicate that LLLT prior to or post resistance exercise can reduce muscle damage and inflammation, resulting in muscle recovery improvement. We attempted to determine an ideal LLLT dose for suitable results, wherein 4J irradiation exposure showed a significant protective role.


Inflammation; laser; muscle recovery; phototherapy; strength training

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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