The effect of local cryotherapy after exercise induced indices of muscle damage on subjective and objective recovery characteristics

Hohenauer, Erich and Clarys, Peter and Clijsen, Ron (2016) The effect of local cryotherapy after exercise induced indices of muscle damage on subjective and objective recovery characteristics. In: European College of Sport Science, 06.07.2016-09.07.2016, Vienna, Austria.

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Abstract

The purpose of this controlled trial was to investigate the effects of a single local cryotherapy on recovery characteristics over a period of 72 hrs. 22 young and healthy female (n=17, mean age 21.9±1.1 years) and male (n=5, mean age 25.4±2.8 years) adults participated in this study. Following an exhaustive jump protocol (3 x 30 countermovement jumps), half of the participants received either a single local cryotherapy application (+8°C) or a single local thermoneutral application (+32°C) of 20 min duration using two thigh cuffs. Subjective measures of recovery (delayed-onset of muscle soreness and ratings of perceived exertion) and objective measures of recovery (vertical jump performance and peak power output) were assessed immediately following the post-exercise applications (0 hrs) and 24, 48, and 72 hrs after the jump protocol. Local cryotherapy failed to significantly affect any subjective recovery variable during the 72 hrs recovery period (p>0.05). After 72 hrs, the perceived exertion ratings were significantly lower in the thermoneutral group compared to the cryotherapy group (p=0.002). No significant differences were observed between the cryotherapy and the thermoneutral groups with respect to any of the objective recovery variables. In this experimental study, a 20 min cryotherapy cuff-application failed to demonstrate a positive effect on any objective measures of recovery. The effects of local thermoneutral application were superior when compared to local cryotherapy application on subjective recovery characteristics at 72 hrs post application. Keywords: Cryotherapy, cold-cuff, muscle damage, recovery

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