Background and Objectives: Crush injuries and prolonged pressure on muscles lead to bruises and sprains and, in most of the cases, cause distraction of the muscle and release of particles into the blood stream, causing renal and systemic complications in severe cases. Laser photobiomodulation treatment (i.e., laser phototherapy) is a method suggested to decrease the pressure damage in the first 24–48 hours after muscle injury, allowing a faster and more complete physical rehabilitation. We studied the efficacy of non-invasive laser photobiomodulation treatment as an on-site treatment for crush-injured gastrocnemius muscles, developing a moderate muscle crush injury model and aiming at decreasing damage extent while regaining physical competence faster. Study Design/Materials and Methods: Muscle crush injury was performed on 30 female Wistar rats using direct pressure for 10 minutes on the gastrocnemius muscle in both left and right hindlimbs. Immediately after the injury, only the left hindlimb were irradiated for 16 minutes (with 780 nm laser with a power of 250 mW, the energy at the target was 240 J, and the fluence was 1019 J/cm2) for 1, 3, or 7 consecutive days, and sacrificed accordingly. During the follow-up period, 1, 3, or 7 days, both gastrocnemius muscles (of the treated and untreated hindlimbs) were evaluated for electrophysiology and functionality. Results: The laser photobiomodulation treatment showed a significant electrophysiological and functional recovery of the gastrocnemius muscle during the first 3 days after injury, in comparison with the untreated hindlimb. Conclusions: These preliminary results are promising, showing a significant effect of the laser photobiomodulation treatment during the first 3 days after the induction of the muscle crush injury, which is the most critical period in the clinical aspect. These findings suggest a therapeutic approach, which may help restore the muscle after crush injury.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Contract grant sponsor: Israeli Ministry of Defense; Contract grant number: 4440836767.
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- 780 nm laser
- muscle crush injury
- muscle recovery