The present study investigated the effects of a far-infrared radiation (FIR) lamp therapy on changes in muscle damage and proprioception markers after maximal eccentric exercise of the elbow flexors (EF: Study 1) and the knee flexors (KF: Study 2) in comparison to a sham treatment condition. In each study, 24 healthy sedentary women were assigned to a FIR or a sham treatment group (n = 12/group). They performed 72 maximal EF eccentric contractions (Study 1) or 100 maximal KF eccentric contractions (Study 2) with their non-dominant limbs. They received a 30-min FIR (wavelength: 8–14 µm) or sham treatment at 1, 25, 49, 73 and 97 h post-exercise to the exercised muscles. Maximum voluntary isometric contraction (MVC) torque, muscle soreness, plasma creatine kinase activity, and proprioception assessed by position sense, joint reaction angle, and force match were measured before, and 0.5, 24, 48, 72, 96 and 120 h post-exercise. The outcome measures showed significant changes (P < 0.05) at 0.5-hour post-exercise (before treatment) similarly (P > 0.05) between the conditions in both studies. However, changes in all measures at 24–120 h post-exercise were smaller (P < 0.05) for the FIR than sham condition in both studies. For example, MVC torque returned to the baseline by 72 h post-exercise for the FIR condition in both studies, but was still 19 ± 6% (Study 1) or 17 ± 12% (Study 2) lower than the baseline at 120 h post-exercise for the sham condition. These results suggested that the FIR lamp therapy was effective for accelerating recovery from muscle damage.
ASJC Scopus subject areas