1. Rodrigues, Claudiane Pedro PT


Background and Purpose: Physical and therapeutic strategies to maintain and rehabilitate skeletal muscle mass, strength, and postural balance are clinically relevant to improve the health, well-being, and quality of life of older adults. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of photobiomodulation (PBM)/laser therapy combined with a resistance training (RT) program on quadriceps hypertrophy and strength, and postural balance in older women.


Methods: In a randomized, triple-blinded, placebo-controlled design, twenty-two older women (age 66.6 +/- 5.2 years) were engaged in a supervised 10-wk RT program (2 times per week) involving unilateral leg extension exercise, in which each leg of the same participant was randomly assigned to receive active ([lambda] = 808 nm, optical output = 100 mW, total energy = 42 J) or placebo laser PBM immediately before the RT sessions. Maximal dynamic strength by unilateral knee extension 1-repetition maximum (1RM), muscle hypertrophy by vastus lateralis muscle thickness, and postural balance by one-legged stance test on a force platform were assessed before and after the training program.


Results: Significance statistical analysis revealed a similar improvement (time P = .003) from pre- to posttraining for muscle hypertrophy and strength, and postural balance between active and placebo laser conditions. However, clinical interpretation for muscle hypertrophy showed a moderate effect (effect size [ES] = 0.58) for the active laser and a small effect (ES = 0.38) for the placebo laser. Clinical difference was not noticed between conditions for other analyzed variables.


Conclusions: These findings indicate that RT alone can be clinically important for counteracting the deleterious effects of aging on muscle size, strength, and balance, and that applying laser PBM therapy before the RT sessions may further improve gains in muscle hypertrophy.