Efeitos da terapia LED (Light-Emitting Diode) de baixa potência sobre o desempenho funcional de jovens atletas de futebol
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Context and Objectives: Nowadays, phototherapy has been used to enhance physical performance and to accelerate recovery after exercise. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of LED therapy (850 nm) and low power (50 mW) on the physical performance of soccer players after 6 weeks of soccer training. Study design/materials and methods: a randomized, double-blind clinical trial, controlled with placebo study was conducted. Sixteen soccer athletes aged between 14 and 16 years participated in the study. The athletes were randomly allocated into 2 groups: (i) training group associated with the LED therapy (LEDT) and (ii) training group associated with the placebo LED therapy (placebo). LED therapy or placebo were applied on the quadriceps, hamstrings and sural triceps immediately after training, twice a week during 6 consecutive weeks (12 sessions of therapies). The LED device (850nm, 50 mW, 30 s on each muscle group and energy of 75 J) was used for phototherapy. The functional performance was evaluated through the jump platform (vertical jump) and photocells (10 and 35 meter races) in the period pre and post training plus LED therapy or placebo therapy. Results: the LEDT Group significantly increased the height (cm) of vertical jump (from 36.02±3.95 to 39.20±4.52; p<0.001) and the muscle power (W) (from 382.62±31.82 to 417.62±31.19; p=0.003) in this same test. The LEDT showed significant increases for the average speed (m/s) at 10 m race (from 5.94 ± 0.35 to 6.13 ± 0.45; p<0.001) and 35 m (from 7,43 ± 0,32 to 7.51 ± 0.32; p=0.003). The Placebo group showed significant increases only for the height of vertical jump (from 36.25±4.55 to 37.38±4.26; p=0.017). Conclusion: LED therapy applied after physical training can improve functional performance of soccer players, evidenced by improvements of the jump height, muscle power and speed racing.