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Currently, treatment of muscle injuries represents a challenge in clinical practice. In acute phase, the most employed therapies are cryotherapy and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. In the last years, low-level laser therapy (LLLT) has becoming a promising therapeutic agent; however, its effects are not fully known. The aim of this study was to analyze the effects of sodium diclofenac (topical application), cryotherapy, and LLLT on pro-inflammatory cytokine levels after a controlled model of muscle injury. For such, we performed a single trauma in tibialis anterior muscle of rats. After 1 h, animals were treated with sodium diclofenac (11.6 mg/g of solution), cryotherapy (20 min), or LLLT (904 nm; superpulsed; 700 Hz; 60 mW mean output power; 1.67 W/cm(2); 1, 3, 6 or 9 J; 17, 50, 100 or 150 s). Assessment of interleukin-1beta and interleukin-6 (IL-1beta and IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) levels was performed at 6 h after trauma employing enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay method. LLLT with 1 J dose significantly decreased (p < 0.05) IL-1beta, IL-6, and TNF-alpha levels compared to non-treated injured group as well as diclofenac and cryotherapy groups. On the other hand, treatment with diclofenac and cryotherapy does not decrease pro-inflammatory cytokine levels compared to the non-treated injured group. Therefore, we can conclude that 904 nm LLLT with 1 J dose has better effects than topical application of diclofenac or cryotherapy in acute inflammatory phase after muscle trauma.

de Almeida, P, Tomazoni, SS, Frigo, L, de Carvalho Pde, T, Vanin, AA, Santos, LA, . . . Leal-Junior, EC. (2014) “What is the best treatment to decrease pro-inflammatory cytokine release in acute skeletal muscle injury induced by trauma in rats: low-level laser therapy, diclofenac, or cryotherapy?”. Lasers Med Sci 29 (2) 653-8.

Full Article : http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23812849