2020 Volume 29 Issue 1 Pages 41-46
Background and aims: Muscle hardness causes lower activity in athletic practice or sport competition. Increase in muscle hardness often cause injury and muscle fatigue. The aim of this study is to investigate the effect on muscle hardness of acupuncture stimulation using low-reactive level laser therapy (LLLT) and silver spike point (SSP) therapy, along with stimulation by stretching.
Materials (Subjects) and Methods: Muscle fatigue was created experimentally, and the effect of LLLT was examined with the indices of muscle hardness and the pennation angle, using ultrasound diagnostic equipment with real-time tissue elastography (RTE) functionality.
Results: As a result, a combined use of stretching and SSP therapy was effective on muscle hardness, while LLLT alone had no immediate lowering of muscle hardness. In addition, only the laser stretching group demonstrated a significant decrease in the pennation angle.
Conclusions: This is because an improved local blood flow due to SSP therapy is considered to have relaxed muscle tonus, which boosted metabolism and removed algogenic substances. This became more effective through a combined use of stretching and low-power laser irradiation. Moreover, it was suggested that stimulation of the acupuncture points in the crus could have a further effect on muscle hardness and the pennation angle.