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Effects of Partial-body Cryotherapy (− 110°C) on Muscle Recovery between High-intensity Exercise Bouts

Authors:
  • Federal Institute of Education, Science and Technology of Sudeste of Minas Gerais, Rio Pomba, Brazil

Abstract

The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of a single partial-body cryotherapy bout between training sessions on strength recovery. 12 young men (23.9±5.9 years) were randomly exposed to 2 different conditions separated by 7 days: 1) Partial-body cryotherapy (subjects were exposed to 3 min of partial-body cryotherapy at - 110 °C between 2 high-intensity training sessions); 2) Control (subjects were not exposed to partial-body cryotherapy between 2 high-intensity training sessions). Subjects were exposed to partial-body cryotherapy after the first training session. The 2 knee extension high-intensity training sessions were separated by a 40-min rest interval. Knee extension training consisted of 6 sets of 10 repetitions at 60°.s(-1) for concentric actions and 6 sets of 10 at 180.s(-1) for eccentric actions. The decrease in eccentric peak torque and total work was significantly (p<0.05) less after partial-body cryotherapy (5.6 and 2%, respectively) when compared to control (16 and 11.6%, respectively). However, the decrease in concentric peak torque and total work was not different (p>0.05) between partial-body cryotherapy (9.4 and 6.5%, respectively) and control (7.5 and 5.2%, respectively). These results indicate that the use of partial-body cryotherapy between-training sessions can enhance eccentric muscle performance recovery.
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... A recent review by Rose et al. [58] assessing various laboratory and applied studies with athletes and physically active individuals reported that post-exercise muscle pain was reduced in 80% of studies following cryotherapy. Studies have also shown improvements with cryotherapy regarding muscle function (i.e., maximal voluntary contraction) and performance (i.e., counter movement jumps, running performance) following muscle-damaging exercise [60][61][62][63]. This means that participants were able to return to pre-exercise baseline measurements faster with cryotherapy compared to control groups. ...
... Specifically, attention should be given to female basketball players with a lower body mass index as they seem to be more sensitive to cold, which could potentially affect compliance with cryotherapy. Several studies have incorporated similar temperatures (− 110 °C) and exposure times (3 min) and have shown decreased muscle soreness [69] and enhanced eccentric muscle performance recovery [60]. ...
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Basketball players face multiple challenges to in-season recovery. The purpose of this article is to review the literature on recovery modalities and nutritional strategies for basketball players and practical applications that can be incorporated throughout the season at various levels of competition. Sleep, protein, carbohydrate, and fluids should be the foundational components emphasized throughout the season for home and away games to promote recovery. Travel, whether by air or bus, poses nutritional and sleep challenges, therefore teams should be strategic about packing snacks and fluid options while on the road. Practitioners should also plan for meals at hotels and during air travel for their players. Basketball players should aim for a minimum of 8 h of sleep per night and be encouraged to get extra sleep during congested schedules since back-to back games, high workloads, and travel may negatively influence night-time sleep. Regular sleep monitoring, education, and feedback may aid in optimizing sleep in basketball players. In addition, incorporating consistent training times may be beneficial to reduce bed and wake time variability. Hydrotherapy, compression garments, and massage may also provide an effective recovery modality to incorporate post-competition. Future research, however, is warranted to understand the influence these modalities have on enhancing recovery in basketball players. Overall, a strategic well-rounded approach, encompassing both nutrition and recovery modality strategies, should be carefully considered and implemented with teams to support basketball players’ recovery for training and competition throughout the season.
... Competition success necessitates rapid recovery from the aftereffects of physical exercise and the circumvention of overreaching [1,2]. To this aim, athletes use a variety of post-exercise recovery strategies including cryotherapy [3], low-intensity exercise [4], and tissue compression [5] in an attempt to reduce the immediate and lasting effects of physical exercise on muscle strength. Compression garments (CGs) are form-fitted elastic garments that mechanically compress the limb surface to stabilize or support the underlying tissue [6]. ...
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Background: The use of compression garments (CGs) during or after training and competition has gained popularity in the last few decades. However, the data concerning CGs’ beneficial effects on muscle strength-related outcomes after physical exercise remain inconclusive. Objective: The aim was to determine whether wearing CGs during or after physical exercise would facilitate the recovery of muscle strength-related outcomes. Methods: A systematic literature search was conducted across five databases (PubMed, SPORTDiscus, Web of Science, Scopus, and EBSCOhost). Data from 19 randomized controlled trials (RCTs) including 350 healthy participants were extracted and meta-analytically computed. Weighted between-study standardized mean differences (SMDs) with respect to their standard errors (SEs) were aggregated and corrected for sample size to compute overall SMDs. The type of physical exercise, the body area and timing of CG application, and the time interval between the end of the exercise and subsequent testing were assessed. Results: CGs produced no strength-sparing effects (SMD [95% confidence interval]) at the following time points (t) after physical exercise: immediately ≤ t < 24 h: − 0.02 (− 0.22 to 0.19), p = 0.87; 24 ≤ t < 48 h: − 0.00 (− 0.22 to 0.21), p = 0.98; 48 ≤ t < 72 h: − 0.03 (− 0.43 to 0.37), p = 0.87; 72 ≤ t < 96 h: 0.14 (− 0.21 to 0.49), p = 0.43; 96 h ≤ t: 0.26 (− 0.33 to 0.85), p = 0.38. The body area where the CG was applied had no strength-sparing effects. CGs revealed weak strength-sparing effects after plyometric exercise. Conclusion: Meta-analytical evidence suggests that wearing a CG during or after training does not seem to facilitate the recovery of muscle strength following physical exercise. Practitioners, athletes, coaches, and trainers should reconsider the use of CG as a tool to reduce the effects of physical exercise on muscle strength.
... Partial-body cryotherapy (PBC) has recently gained popularity as a means for promoting well-being and recovery for athletes [3,4]. ...
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This study aimed to evaluate the application of a single pre-exercise bout of partial-body cryotherapy (PBC) to augment jump performance, salivary biomarkers and self-reported performance readiness. Twelve male rugby union players (age 20.7 ± 3.2 yr; body mass 93.1 ± 13.9 kg; mean ± SD) were exposed to PBC for 3 min at –140°C or control condition prior to a pre-post series of loaded countermovement jumps (CMJ), salivary biomarker samples and performance readiness questionnaires. PBC elicited a moderately greater improvement in CMJ velocity of +4.7 ± 3.5% (mean ± 90% confidence limits) from baseline to 15 min in comparison with a -1.9 ± 4.8% mean difference in the control condition. The mean change in concentration of salivary α-amylase at 15 min was substantially increased by +131 ± 109% after PBC exposure, compared to a -4.2 ± 42% decrease in the control. Salivary testosterone concentrations were unclear at all timepoints in both the PBC and control interventions. Self-reported perceptions of overall performance readiness indicated small to moderate increases in mental fatigue, mood, muscle soreness and overall questionnaire score after PBC compared to control with a higher score more favourable for performance. The application of pre-exercise PBC can elicit favourable outcomes in controlled physical performance tests and holds promise to be applied to training or competition settings.
... Studies have already demonstrated positive effects on knee extensor isometric peak torque, but not with an isometric static contraction, and not in the upper limbs. 21,30 The second interesting finding concerns the explosive strength. Indeed, WBC seems less effective than rest recovery for muscular explosive strength. ...
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Motocross (Mx) is the off‐road mechanical sport most commonly practiced around the world. Riders practice training and competitions on motorcycles. It requires some specific physical and cognitive abilities. Mx racing is composed of successive heats. Whole‐body cryotherapy (WBC) appears to be an interesting way to recover faster between the successive heats which composes each race. The aim of this study is to determine if WBC can be used between Mx heats to accelerate rider’s muscular recovery. Eighteen riders performed a series of physical tests (isometric, concentric, and maximal strength, reaction time and recovery perception); try to mimic Mx competition using a 25 min simulated Mx heat followed by a recovery condition (CONT or WBC); and repeated physical tests. WBC had better recovery in isometric strength for up/low limbs. CONT had better recovery in explosive strength for low limb. No difference in maximal strength or reaction time between the before exercise, the after exercise and after recovery. The WBC group had a better recovery perception after recovery than the CONT group. WBC exposure seems to accelerate isometric muscle recovery after a simulated motocross exercise.
... Limiting vascular permeability (via vasoconstriction and by slowing nerve conduction of the nociceptive message) and therefore the inflammatory process is the main beneficial effect of cold during recovery, thereby reducing muscle pain and bleeding in case of injury White & Wells, 2013;Mawhinney et al., 2013). The use of cryotherapy as post-exercise recovery has been increasing in popularity (Hohenauer et al., 2015;Costello et al., 2015), being an alternative to conventional therapies with ice packing (Ferreira-Junior et al., 2014). ...
... Similarly, Fonda and Sarabon 29 reported that VJH increased after a WBC intervention compared with the CON condition at certain recovery times. This finding may be attributed to the capability of WBC to enhance eccentric muscle-performance recovery 30 ; however, it did not decrease neuromuscular performance during isokinetic exercise without impairing muscular performance. 31 The lower limb muscles may stiffen and tighten after CWI, 32 affecting the performance of these body parts. ...
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... The cooling of the tissue is believed to produce a decrease in blood flow, tissue temperature, and metabolism, leading to a limitation of edema formation and a reduction of cells death by secondary hypoxia, protecting the muscle cells [8]. Cryotherapy can be applied in a variety of ways such as cold-water immersion (CWI) [9], whole-body cryotherapy (WBC) [7], partial-body cryotherapy (PBC) [10] and local cryotherapy [11]. There is a growing body of evidence elucidating the positive effects of CWI [12], WBC [13] and PBC [14]. ...
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Thesis
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Whilst Whole Body Cryotherapy (WBC) has become an emerging tool for sport and exercise recovery, its overall efficacy remains contentious. This thesis addressed a variety of issues concerning the practice. Firstly, the impact of single WBC interventions for treating exercise-induced muscle damage (EIMD) is unclear. Secondly, the influence of inter-individual factors on WBC outcomes post-exercise remains an under-investigated area. Therefore the first main study explored the effects of age and body fat content on responses to WBC following downhill running, a commonly utilised eccentric exercise model for inducing muscle damage. WBC participants underwent cryotherapy (3 minutes, −120°C) one hour post- downhill run and control (CON) participants passively recovered (20°C). Despite the presence of EIMD, WBC significantly blunted (p=0.04) the decrease in muscle torque 24 hours after the downhill run. This response was significantly influenced by age, with young participants (<40 years) retaining their muscle strength more than older participants (≥45 years). WBC may therefore attenuate EIMD and benefit muscle strength recovery following eccentrically biased exercise, particularly for young males. A subsequent downhill run study investigated the influence of WBC timing post-exercise, a factor that could clarify optimal treatment usage. An additional objective was to compare the effects of WBC with cold water immersions (CWI) since the verdict regarding which cold modality is superior for recovery remains an on-going area of controversy. It was revealed that WBC 4 hours post-exercise was ineffective in treating EIMD markers, so applying WBC within one hour after exercise may be preferable to delaying by several hours. However, WBC was no more effective than CWI, meaning that the cost vs. reward implications of WBC treatments would need further reviewing. Finally, the implications of repetitive WBC during training programmes require further evaluation due to the possibility of repetitive cold interfering with long term adaptations. The final study investigated the impact of two weekly WBC treatments on adaptations to a 6 week strength and endurance training programme. It was found that WBC participants significantly improved their muscle strength comparatively to the CON group. However WBC did not improve their jump height (p=0.23) in contrast to the CON group (p=0.01). In conclusion, repetitive WBC does not appear to blunt strength training adaptations, although there may be an interference effect in the development of explosive power.
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Cold (cryotherapy) is commonly applied to an athlete immediately before and/or after sports participation. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of cold water submersion (CWS) on isokinetic strength of the plantar flexor muscle group. Eleven women and five men (mean age 22.1 years, height 170.8 cm, weight 64.5 kg) with no history of ankle joint pathology were tested for peak torque, average power, and total work of the dominant foot at 60 deg/sec with a Cybex II isokinetic dynamometer. Before isokinetic testing subjects were randomly assigned to either CWS or an inactive rest period (RP). Subjects returned 1 week later to receive the opposite treatment and undergo isokinetic testing. The CWS consisted of placing the leg in a 15° C tub of water for 20 minutes. The RP consisted of remaining seated for a 20-minute period. Paired t tests were computed to determine if any differences existed in peak torque, average power, and total work between the CWS and RP conditions. Results indicated concentric isokinetic strength values were lower after CWS for peak torque, average power and total work of the plantar flexor muscle group. These findings indicate that concentric isokinetic torque, power, and work of the plantar flexor muscle group are reduced immediately after CWS. Further research should be undertaken to determine the length of time isokinetic output is reduced before returning to normal responses after CWS is present.
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Background: Cryotherapy has a long tradition in somatic medicine. Yet we know very little about its impact on psyche and mood disturbances in particular. Therefore there is a real need for scientific investigations into this problem. Objective: The study reported here was an initial approach to whole-body cryotherapy (WBCT) as a potential treatment modality for depression and was expected to provide rough data helping to design a future project with extended methodology, larger sample groups and longer follow-up. Methods: Twenty-three patients aged 37–70 years gave informed consent to participate in the study. Ten WBCT procedures (160 s, −150°C) were applied within 2 weeks. Participants were recruited from depressed day hospital patients. Antidepressive medication was not ceased. Symptoms were rated at the beginning and end of this intervention using the 21-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS). Changes in scores were analyzed in the group of patients for every item separately as well as for the sum of all items for each patient. Results: Almost for each individual HDRS item, the overall score for all patients together was significantly lower after WBCT. This means that all symptoms, except for day–night mood fluctuations, were presumably positively influenced by cryotherapy. The HDRS sum-score for each patient after WBCT was lower than that of the baseline and reached statistical significance in a paired samples t-test. Every patient was therefore considerably relieved after WBCT. Conclusions: It appears that WBCT helps in alleviating depression symptoms. Should this be confirmed in the extended study we are currently implementing, WBCT may become an auxiliary treatment in depression.