11 September 2017
Previous studies have already reported an independent effect of light-load eccentric exercise (10% eccentric exercise contraction [EEC]) and low-level laser therapy (LLLT) as a protective measure against more strenuous eccentric exercise. However, the difference between these two interventions is largely unknown. Therefore, the present study aimed to compare the preconditioning effect of 10% EEC vs. LLLT on subjective, physiological, and biochemical markers of muscle damage in elbow flexors in collegiate men.
All 36 enrolled subjects were randomly assigned to either 10% EEC or LLLT group. Subjects in 10% EEC group performed 30 repetitions of an eccentric exercise with 10% maximal voluntary contraction strength 2 days prior to maximal eccentric exercise bout, whereas subjects in LLLT group were given LLLT. All the indirect markers of muscle damage were measured pre-exercise and at 24, 48, and 72 hours after the exercise-induced muscle damage protocol.
The muscle soreness was reduced in both groups ( p = 0.024); however, soreness was attenuated more in LLLT group at 48 hours (33.5 vs. 42.7, p = 0.004). There was no significant difference between the effect of 10% EEC and LLLT groups on other markers of muscle damage like a maximum voluntary isometric contraction ( p = 0.47), range of motion ( p = 0.16), upper arm circumference ( p = 0.70), creatine kinase ( p = 0.42), and lactate dehydrogenase ( p = 0.08). Within-group analysis showed both interventions provided similar protection over time.