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Effects of Low-Level Laser Therapy on Skeletal Muscle Repair: A Systematic Review

Alves, Agnelo Neves MsC; Fernandes, Kristianne Porta Santos PhD; Deana, Alessandro Melo PhD; Bussadori, Sandra Kalil PhD; Mesquita-Ferrari, Raquel Agnelli PhD

American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation: December 2014 - Volume 93 - Issue 12 - p 1073–1085
doi: 10.1097/PHM.0000000000000158
Literature Review

ABSTRACT A review of the literature was performed to demonstrate the most current applicability of low-level laser therapy (LLLT) for the treatment of skeletal muscle injuries, addressing different lasers, irradiation parameters, and treatment results in animal models. Searches were performed in the PubMed/MEDLINE, SCOPUS, and SPIE Digital Library databases for studies published from January 2006 to August 2013 on the use of LLLT for the repair of skeletal muscle in any animal model. All selected articles were critically appraised by two independent raters. Seventeen of the 36 original articles on LLLT and muscle injuries met the inclusion criteria and were critically evaluated. The main effects of LLLT were a reduction in the inflammatory process, the modulation of growth factors and myogenic regulatory factors, and increased angiogenesis. The studies analyzed demonstrate the positive effects of LLLT on the muscle repair process, which are dependent on irradiation and treatment parameters. The findings suggest that LLLT is an excellent therapeutic resource for the treatment of skeletal muscle injuries in the short-term.

From the Postgraduate Program in Rehabilitation Sciences (ANA, KPSF, SKB, RAM-F) and Postgraduate Program in Biophotonics Applied to Health Sciences (KPSF, AMD, RAM-F), Universidade Nove de Julho, São Paulo, Brazil.

All correspondence and requests for reprints should be addressed to: Raquel Agnelli Mesquita-Ferrari, PhD, Departamento de Pós Graduação, Mestrado e Doutorado em Ciências da Reabilitação, Universidade Nove de Julho, Rua Vergueiro, 235/249, Liberdade, CEP 01504-001, São Paulo, Brazil.

Supported by UNINOVE and the Brazilian fostering agencies, Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES) and Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (FAPESP) (process no. 2011/17638-2).

Financial disclosure statements have been obtained, and no conflicts of interest have been reported by the authors or by any individuals in control of the content of this article.

© 2014 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins