Effect of low-level laser therapy (LLLT) and light-emitting diodes (LEDT) applied during combined training on performance and post-exercise recovery: protocol for a randomized placebo-controlled trial

Braz J Phys Ther. 2017 Jul-Aug;21(4):296-304. doi: 10.1016/j.bjpt.2017.05.010. Epub 2017 May 20.


Background: Previous studies have shown positive results of phototherapy for improving performance and accelerating recovery; however, the effects of phototherapy during training and after a primary adaptation remain unclear. The aim of this randomized controlled trial is to analyze the effects of phototherapy and combined training on clinical, functional, and psychological outcomes and on vascular endothelial growth factor.

Methods: This randomized placebo-controlled trial by stratified sample will involve 45 healthy male participants. In phase 1, the participants will undergo six weeks of combined training (sprints and squats). In phase 2, participants will be allocated through stratified randomization (based on adaptation capacity) into three groups: active phototherapy group (AG), placebo group (PG), and non-treatment control group (CG). A new six-week training program will then start and the participants will receive the recovery strategy between sprints and squats. The primary outcome will be maximal isometric contraction. The secondary outcomes include strength and power testing, maximal incremental test, squat jump, sprint test, muscle soreness, pain threshold, perceptions of exertion and recovery, psychological questionnaire, and vascular endothelial growth factor.

Conclusions: This will be the first trial to include phototherapy during training. We believe that this strategy will combine the ergogenic and prophylactic effects in the same session. Furthermore, an application protocol performed after primary adaptation may reflect the real effect of the technique.

Keywords: Athletic performance; Phototherapy; Recovery of function.

MeSH terms

  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Low-Level Light Therapy / methods*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Phototherapy*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A / physiology*


  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A