Near-infrared light therapy to attenuate strength loss after strenuous resistance exercise.

a woman exercises with resistance bands during a class workout

by Kelly A. Larkin-Kaiser, PhD, CAT(C), Evangelos Christou, PhD, Mark Tillman, PhD, Steven George, PhD, PT, and Paul A. Borsa, PhD, ATC, FACSM

Context: Near-infrared (NIR) light therapy is purported to act as an ergogenic aid by enhancing the contractile function of skeletal muscle. Improving muscle function is a new avenue for research in the area of laser therapy; however, very few researchers have examined the ergogenic effects of NIR light therapy and the influence it may have on the recovery process during rehabilitation.

Objective: To evaluate the ergogenic effect of NIR light therapy on skeletal muscle function.

Conclusions: Applied to skeletal muscle before resistance exercise, NIR light therapy effectively attenuated strength loss. Therefore, NIR light therapy may be a beneficial, noninvasive modality for improving muscle function during rehabilitation after musculoskeletal injury. However, future studies using higher treatment doses are warranted.

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