Background: Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) has been demonstrated to be effective in optimizing skeletal muscle performance in animal experiments and in clinical trials. However, little is known about the effects of LLLT on muscle recovery after endurance training.
Objective: This study evaluates the effects of low-level laser therapy (LLLT) applied after an endurance training protocol on biochemical markers and morphology of skeletal muscle in rats.
Method: Wistar rats were divided into control group (CG), trained group (TG), and trained and laser irradiated group (TLG). The endurance training was performed on a treadmill, 1 h/day, 5 days/wk, for 8 wk at 60% of the maximal speed reached during the maximal effort test (Tmax) and laser irradiation was applied after training.
Results: Both trained groups showed significant increase in speed compared to the CG. The TLG demonstrated a significantly reduced lactate level, increased tibialis anterior (TA) fiber cross-section area, and decreased TA fiber density. Myogenin expression was higher in soleus and TA muscles in both trained groups. In addition, LLLT produced myogenin downregulation in the TA muscle of trained animals.
Conclusion: These results suggest that LLLT could be an effective therapeutic approach for stimulating recovery during an endurance exercise protocol.