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Purpose: The authors investigated whether far-infrared radiation (FIR) lamp therapy would reduce muscle damage and enhance recovery from multiple soccer-match-related running activities. Methods: Twenty-four elite female soccer players (20–24 y) were assigned into a FIR or a sham treatment group (n = 12/group). They performed a daily 90-minute Loughborough Intermittent Shuttle Test (LIST) for 6 consecutive days. Maximal voluntary contraction torque of the knee extensors (KEs) and flexors, muscle soreness, plasma creatine kinase activity, countermovement jump, and several other performance measures (eg, 30-m dash, Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery Test Level 1) were taken before the first LIST, 1 hour after each LIST, and 24, 48, 72, 96, and 120 hours after the last LIST. All participants received a 30-minute FIR or sham treatment on KEs and knee flexors, respectively, at 2 hour after each LIST and 25, 49, 73, and 97 hours after the last LIST. Results: All measures changed significantly (P < .05) at 1 hour after the first LIST without difference (P > .05) between groups. Maximal voluntary contraction torque (eg, the largest decrease of KE for FIR: 13% [4%], sham: 25% [5%]), countermovement jump height (4% [3%] vs 14% [4%]), and other performance measures (eg, Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery Test: 11% [5%] vs 26% [5%]) decreased less, and peak muscle soreness (eg, KE: 26  vs 51  mm) and plasma creatine kinase activity (172  vs 1289  IU/L) were smaller for the FIR than for the sham group (P < .05), and they returned to the baseline earlier (P < .05) for the FIR group. Conclusions: These results suggest that the FIR therapy provided potent effects on reducing accumulated muscle damage and enhancing recovery.
Chen (firstname.lastname@example.org) is corresponding author, https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8769-1833