Laser therapy speeds up post strength-training recovery
Interesting news for fitness centres whose clients are getting bored with saunas and sun-beds, in this article by sports scientists at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul. According to them, treatment with a commercially available laser from the British company Thor [thorlaser.com] speeds up muscle recovery after a punishing workout.
The researchers tried out the THOR DD2 Control Unit and the Infra-Red Laser Cluster Probe. The equipment is shown here. The researchers placed the laser on two spots on the vastus medialis, the vastus lateralis and the rectus femoris. The researchers held the laser, which has an output of 1 Watt, for 30 seconds on each spot. The spots are shown in the figure below.
The subjects were 36 males aged between 19 and 35. Half of them were given a real treatment [LLLT], and the other half was 'treated' with the laser off [Placebo].
Two minutes after the treatment the subjects had to complete 5 eccentric sets on the leg-extension machine. Immediately after the training, and 24 and 48 hours later, the men who had had the laser treatment had more power in their leg muscles [MVC] than the men in the placebo group. What’s more in the blood of the laser group subjects, the concentration of the enzymes lactate dehydrogenase [LDH] and creatine kinase [CK] were lower, indications of less muscle damage and faster recovery.
The researchers suspect that laser treatments may help improve athletes' performance. "To the best of our knowledge, this seems to be the first study to demonstrate the positive effects of this therapy on muscle force recovery after eccentric exercise, which is an interesting aspect with practical applicability to sports training and performance", the Brazilians conclude.
Eur J Appl Physiol. 2010 Nov; 110(4): 789-96.
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