Research: Photobiomodulation vs. Cryotherapy | Ernesto Leal-Junior, PhD, PT

I am Professor Ernesto Leal-Junior, the head of the Laboratory of Phototherapy in Sports and Exercise at Nove de Juhlo University, and I am also the research leader of Multi Radiance Medical We will talk about photobiomodulation therapy and/or cryotherapy for exercise restitution: what is better? It's widely known that several different modalities are used, aiming to accelerate restitution after exercise

However, there is limited scientific evidence behind the use of these modalities, specifically about cryotherapy Despite being one of the most used modalities, the scientific evidence for the use of this modality is extremely limited On the other hand, photobiomodulation is a novel therapy that has demonstrated high efficacy in order to accelerate exercise restitution So with this aim in mind, we performed this randomized clinical trial, where we tried to analyze the combined and the insulated effects of cryotherapy and photobiomodulation in order to accelerate exercise recovery Fifty male volunteers were recruited and they were treated immediately after extensive exercise with photobiomodulation or with cryotherapy used as isolated or used as combined therapies

We did assessments related to strength, related to delayed onset muscle soreness, and related with muscle damage as well For photobiomodulation therapy we used the portable super pulsed GameDay laser Our outcomes demonstrated that photobiomodulation was able to enhance strength of these volunteers, and also to decrease pain and decrease muscle damage after an extensive exercise session When cryotherapy was applied before photobiomodulation, their results were very similar to the placebo treatment group In the same way, cryotherapy used alone as a single treatment wasn't better than placebo treatment

Our outcomes indicate that photobiomodulation used as isolated therapy was the best therapy in order to accelerate restitution of volunteers after an extensive exercise session If cryotherapy is used immediately after photobiomodulation, the outcomes are decreased However, they are still better than placebo treatment On the other hand, cryotherapy used as a single treatment or cryotherapy followed by photobiomodulation wasn't better than placebo This means that if you apply cryotherapy before a photobiomodulation treatment, the cryotherapy treatment will basically neutralize the effects of photobiomodulation

If cryotherapy is applied after photobiomodulation cryotherapy will slightly decrease the effects of photobiomodulation So the key point here is if you want a better restitution, use photobiomodulation as a single treatment This is better than 20 minutes of cryotherapy

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