Cold application for neuromuscular recovery following intense lower-body exercise

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Skærmbillede 2015-12-01 kl. 13.55.39Eur J Appl Physiol (2011)


This study examined the effects of cold therapy (COLD) on recovery of voluntary and evoked contractile tissue following high-intensity, muscle-damaging and fatiguing exercise.

10 resistance trained males performed 6×25 maximal concentric/eccentric muscle contractions of the dominant knee extensors (KE) followed by a 20-min recovery (COLD v control).

  1. Voluntary and evoked neuromuscular of the right KE, ratings of 1. perceived muscle soreness (MS) and pain, 2. venous blood samples were collected for markers of muscle damage and inflammation measured pre- and post-exercise, and immediately post-recovery, 2h, 24h & 48-h post-recovery.
  2. Within 10 min of completing the exercise protocol, the recovery intervention ((COLDwater temperature= 0.5°C in a Aircalf Ice (covering the entire surface of the exercised leg (quadriceps, knee and calf)))

Perceptual ratings of pain were significantly (p \ 0.05) lower following COLD compared to control. No significant differences were observed between conditions for creatine kinase or asparate aminotransferase after COLD.

In conclusion, COLD did not significantly hasten the recovery of twitch contractile damage, presence of blood markers of muscle damage or voluntary force in the present study. Although cold therapy is commonly implemented in an athletic environment in an effort to reduce the effects of soreness and damage, the present study demonstrated that despite improved perceptions of pain, COLD did not significantly improve deleterious effects of Exercse induced muscle damage.


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