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Effect of walking and resting after three cryotherapy modalities on the recovery of sensory and motor nerve conduction velocity in healthy subjects

  • Rev Bras Fisioter, São Carlos, v. 15, n. 3, p. 233-40, May/June 2011


This study purpose was to compare the effects of three cryotherapy modalities on post-cooling and to analyze the effect of walking on the recovery of sensory and motor nerve conduction velocity (NCV)

36 healthy young subjects were randomly allocated into three groups:

  • ice massage (n=12)
  • ice pack (n=12)
  • Cold water immersion (n=12).

The modalities were applied to the right leg. The subjects of each modality group were again randomized to perform a post-cooling activity:

  • a) 30min rest
  • b) walking 15 min followed by 15 min rest.

The NCV of sural (sensory) and posterior tibial (motor) nerves was evaluated.


There was a significant difference between immersion and ice massage on final sensory NCV. Ice pack and ice massage showed similar effects. Walking accelerated the recovery of sensory and motor NCV, regardless of the modality previously applied.


Cold water immersion was the most effective modality for maintaining reduced sensory nerve conduction 30 min after cooling (sensory nerve fibers are more sensitive to cooling than motor fibers).

Walking after cooling, with any of the three modalities, enhances the recovery of sensory and motor NCV.