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Photobiomodulation therapy before futsal matches improves the staying time of athletes in the court and accelerates post-exercise recovery


This study aimed to analyze PBMT effects on futsal player’s performance and recovery in a non-controlled field environment. It is a randomized, triple-blinded, placebo-controlled, crossover clinical trial. The research included six professional athletes and in each match phototherapy treatments were performed before matches (40 minutes), blood samples were collected before treatments, and samples immediately after the end of the matches and 48 h after. Furthermore, videos were analyzed to quantify the time athletes spent on the pitch and the distance they covered. PBMT was performed at 17 sites of each lower limb (40 mins before matches), employing a cluster with 12 diodes (4 laser diodes of 905 nm, 4 LEDs of 875 nm, and 4 LEDs of 640 nm, 30 J per site). The performance of the athlete could be quantified considering the time on the pitch and the distance covered; the biochemical markers evaluated were creatine kinase, lactate dehydrogenase, blood lactate, and oxidative damage to lipids and proteins. PBMT significantly increased the time of staying in the pitch and a significant improvement in all the biochemical markers evaluated. No statistically significant difference was found for the distance covered. Pre-exercise PBMT can enhance performance and accelerate recovery of high-level futsal players.

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Correspondence to Thiago De Marchi.

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Competing interests

Professor Ernesto Cesar Pinto Leal-Junior receives research support from Multi Radiance Medical (Solon, OH, USA), a laser device manufacturer. Multi Radiance Medical had no role in the planning of this study. They had no influence on study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. The remaining authors declare that they have no conflict of interests.

Ethical aspects

The study was approved by the Ethics Committee of the Faculdade Cenecista of Bento Gonçalves. In accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki, all subjects were advised about the procedure and they signed an informed consent prior to participation in the study (CAEE 46096015.4.0000.5571).

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De Marchi, T., Leal-Junior, E.C.P., Lando, K.C. et al. Photobiomodulation therapy before futsal matches improves the staying time of athletes in the court and accelerates post-exercise recovery. Lasers Med Sci 34, 139–148 (2019).

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  • Low-level laser therapy
  • Light-emitting diodes
  • Sport
  • Exercise
  • Phototherapy