The latest research shows Multi Radiance laser technology can reduce fatigue, accelerate recovery, and more in athletes.
For many athletes, fall is more than just a season – it is a time to get back on the gridiron, soccer field, or tennis court. It’s time to get active, connect with friends and enjoy some friendly (or fierce) competition. However, as activity increases, so do the chances for injury. All types of sports and athletic activities come with an increased risk of dislocations, sprains, and simple strains; it is estimated that about half of all sports injuries are knee injuries.[i]
Clinicians have been utilizing various forms of light therapy to manage pain since 2002. The use of super pulsed laser therapy (SPLT) from Multi Radiance in improving exercise performance and markers related to exercise recovery has expanded its potential to address fatigue-related injuries. Fatigue has been identified as a limiting factor in performance in almost every individual athlete in every sport and it is noted that injury rates increase with the accumulation of fatigue. When applied before exercise, SPLT protects muscles against exercise-induced fatigue and inflammation.[ii]
SPLT has been shown to be particularly useful in the world of recreational and competitive sports. Work done by Leal et al. continues to demonstrate the value of utilizing SPLT for ergogenic effects to build strength[iii] and increase endurance.[iv] A single dose of SPLT energy, delivered up to 12 hours prior to activity, can protect muscles from physical and oxidative damage following vigorous training and conditioning.[v]
Even with conditioning, proper form, and technique, sports injuries occur. Return from athletic injury can be prolonged and challenging. Providers must be assured that injured tissue can withstand the demands of sports and that muscle and joint damages have been sufficiently resolved.
Accelerating recovery from injury
Immobilization and protection of the injured tissue area during the first one to three weeks allows for undisturbed fibroblast activity of the injured area that leads to proliferation and collagen fiber production.[vi] Early or aggressive mobilization enhanced type 3 collagen production and weaker tissue.[vii] However, a period of physical inactivity, specifically between two to four weeks, can cause losses in aerobic capacity[viii] and with no evidence to suggest it can be prevented.
Obviously, the best method for preventing atrophy is use; this can be limited due to casting or bracing, or impractical due to premature tissue healing. de Paiva et al.[ix] evaluated the effects of SPLT applied at the end of a 12-week endurance program to evaluate the changes during a four-week detraining period. Athletes that did not get SPLT three times a week experienced a significant loss in both endurance (as measured by VO2max) and time to exhaustion (overall running time) over the four-week period.
The break in activity simulates a similar loss of training due to injury. A significant loss of endurance (as measured by VO2Max) as well as time to exhaustion (total running time) was seen with the placebo groups. The group treated with SPLT experienced only a minimal drop in VO2max and mitigated the loss of oxygen utilized during running.
Applying SPLT during periods of disuse or immobilization may contribute to a faster return to play with fewer losses in overall performance. SPLT is an important tool for both amateur and high-performance athletes as well as people undergoing rehabilitation following injury or surgical correction.
Enhancing athletic performance
The current evidence shows that SPLT with different wavelengths (different bands of the light spectrum, from red to near infrared) can enhance cytochrome c oxidase activity (complex IV of the mitochondrial respiratory chain), and consequently mitochondrial function and ATP production, from five minutes to 24 hours after irradiation.[x] Moreover, it has been demonstrated in cellular levels that static magnetic fields (sMF) amplify the effect of SPLT, and that the synergistic effect of SPLT (with three wavelengths) and sMF leads to enhanced electron transfer and, as a consequence, increased mitochondrial respiratory chain activity and increased ATP production are observed.[xi]
Other biological effects that explain how the mechanisms of SPLT can enhance athletic performance are related to the direct release of nitric oxide from hemoglobin and nitrosylated myoglobin[xii] or production by NO synthase [xiii] causing vasodilatation, increased blood flow, and increased oxygen availability to the muscular tissue.[xiv]
To learn more about Super Pulsed Laser and Athletic Performance, view Laser Therapy U’s free webinar.
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[i] Swenson DM, Collins CL, Best TM, Flanigan DC, Fields SK, Comstock RD. Epidemiology of knee injuries among U.S. high school athletes, 2005/2006-2010/2011. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2013;45(3):462-469. doi:10.1249/MSS.0b013e318277acca
[ii] Vanin AA, Verhagen E, Barboza SD, Costa LOP, Leal-Junior ECP. Photobiomodulation therapy for the improvement of muscular performance and reduction of muscular fatigue associated with exercise in healthy people: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Lasers Med Sci. 2018;33(1):181-214. doi:10.1007/s10103-017-2368-6
[iii] Vanin AA, Miranda EF, Machado CS, et al. What is the best moment to apply phototherapy when associated to a strength training program? A randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial : Phototherapy in association to strength training [published correction appears in Lasers Med Sci. 2017 Jan;32(1):253]. Lasers Med Sci. 2016;31(8):1555-1564. doi:10.1007/s10103-016-2015-7
[iv] Miranda, E.F., Tomazoni, S.S., de Paiva, P.R.V. et al. When is the best moment to apply photobiomodulation therapy (PBMT) when associated to a treadmill endurance-training program? A randomized, triple-blinded, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Lasers Med Sci 33, 719–727 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10103-017-2396-2
[v] Leal-Junior, E.C.P., de Oliveira, M.F.D., Joensen, J. et al. What is the optimal time-response window for the use of photobiomodulation therapy combined with static magnetic field (PBMT-sMF) for the improvement of exercise performance and recovery, and for how long the effects last? A randomized, triple-blinded, placebo-controlled trial. BMC Sports Sci Med Rehabil 12, 64 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1186/s13102-020-00214-8
[vi] Kannus, P. (2000). Immobilization or early mobilization after an acute soft-tissue injury?. The physician and sportsmedicine, 28(3), 55-63.
[vii] Sandrey, M. A. (2003). Acute and chronic tendon injuries: factors affecting the healing response and treatment. Journal of Sport Rehabilitation, 12(1), 70-91.
[viii] Mujika, I., & Padilla, S. (2000). Detraining: loss of training-induced physiological and performance adaptations. Part I. Sports Medicine, 30(2), 79-87.
[ix] de Paiva PRV, Casalechi HL, Tomazoni SS, Machado CDSM, Ribeiro NF, Pereira AL, de Oliveira MFD, Alves MNDS, Dos Santos MC, Takara IET, Miranda EF, de Carvalho PTC, Leal-Junior ECP. Does the combination of photobiomodulation therapy (PBMT) and static magnetic fields (sMF) potentiate the effects of aerobic endurance training and decrease the loss of performance during detraining? A randomised, triple-blinded, placebo-controlled trial. BMC Sports Sci Med Rehabil. 2020 Apr 10;12:23. doi: 10.1186/s13102-020-00171-2. PMID: 32308987; PMCID: PMC7147046.
[x] Albuquerque-Pontes GM, Vieira RP, Tomazoni SS, et al. Effect of pre-irradiation with different doses, wavelengths, and application intervals of low-level laser therapy on cytochrome c oxidase activity in intact skeletal muscle of rats. Lasers Med Sci. 2015;30(1):59–66.
[xi] Friedmann H, Lipovsky A, Nitzan Y, et al. Combined magnetic and pulsed laser fields produce synergistic acceleration of cellular electron transfer. Laser Ther. 2009;18:137–41.
[xii] Keszler A, Lindemer B, Hogg N, Weihrauch D, Lohr NL. Wavelength-dependence of vasodilation and NO release from S-nitrosothiols and dinitrosyl iron complexes by far red/near infrared light. Arch Biochem Biophys. 2018;649:47–52
[xiii] Pope NJ, Powell SM, Wigle JC, Denton ML. Wavelength- and irradiance-dependent changes in intracellular nitric oxide level. J Biomed Opt. 2020;25(8):1–20.
[xiv] Xu Y, Lin Y, Gao S, et al. Study on mechanism of release oxygen by photo-excited hemoglobin in low-level laser therapy. Lasers Med Sci. 2018;33(1):135–9.