Effect of linear polarized near-infrared light irradiation on flexibility of shoulder and ankle joints

J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2002 Dec;42(4):438-45.


Background: There is a possibility that heat stimulus by linear polarized near-infrared light irradiation (PL: Super Lizer HA-30, Tokyo Medical Laboratory) improves the range of joint motion, because the flexibility of soft-part tissues, such as a muscle or a tendon, is improved by increasing the muscle temperature. The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of PL-irradiation on the ranges of shoulder and ankle motions.

Experimental design: 30 healthy young adults (15 males: mean+/-SD, age 19.1+/-0.8 yrs, height 173.3+/-4.6 cm, body mass 68.5+/-8.0 kg and 15 females: mean+/-SD, age 19.2+/-0.7 yrs, height 162.3+/-4.5 cm, body mass 58.1+/-6.6 kg) participated in the experiment under PL-irradiation and no-irradiation (placebo) conditions.

Measures: the angles of shoulder and ankle joint motions were measured twice, before and after the PL- and placebo-irradiations. The angle of a motion was defined as the angle connecting 3 points at linearity as follows: for the shoulder, the greater trochanter, acromion, and caput ulnare, and for the ankle, the knee joint, fassa of lateral malleolus and metacarpal bone. Each angle was measured when a subject extended or flexed maximally without support.

Results: The trial-to-trial reliability of each range of joint motion was very high. All parameters in PL-irradiation were significantly larger in postirradiation than pre-irradiation, and the value of postirradiation in PL-irradiation was significantly greater than that for placebo. The ranges of shoulder and ankle motions in placebo-irradiation were also significantly greater in postirradiation than pre-irradiation. Moreover, the change rate for each range of joint motion between pre- and postirradiations was significantly greater in PL-irradiation in both joints. In PL-irradiation, most subject's motions were greater in postirradiation than pre-irradiation, but not in the placebo-irradiation. The effect of PL-irradiation tended to be greater on subjects with a small range of a joint motion.

Conclusions: It is considered from the present results that the ranges of shoulder and ankle motions became greater with PL-irradiation, and is effective as a warming-up method.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Ankle Joint / physiology*
  • Body Temperature / physiology
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infrared Rays / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Range of Motion, Articular / physiology*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Shoulder Joint / physiology*