Whole body cryotherapy, cold water immersion, or a placebo following resistance exercise: a case of mind over matter?

Wilson, Laura J. and Dimitriou, Lygeri and Hills, Frank and Gondek, Marcela B. and Cockburn, Emma (2018) Whole body cryotherapy, cold water immersion, or a placebo following resistance exercise: a case of mind over matter? European Journal of Applied Physiology . ISSN 1439-6319 (Published online first)

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Abstract

PURPOSE: The use of cryotherapy as a recovery intervention is prevalent amongst athletes. Performance of high volume, heavy load resistance exercise is known to result in disturbances of muscle function, perceptual responses and blood borne parameters. Therefore, this study investigated the influence of cold water immersion (CWI), whole body cryotherapy (WBC) or a placebo (PL) intervention on markers of recovery following an acute resistance training session.
METHODS: 24 resistance trained males were matched into a CWI (10 min at 10 °C), WBC (3- and 4 min at - 85 °C) or PL group before completing a lower body resistance training session. Perceptions of soreness and training stress, markers of muscle function, inflammation and efflux of intracellular proteins were assessed before, and up to 72 h post exercise.
RESULTS: The training session resulted in increased soreness, disturbances of muscle function, and increased inflammation and efflux of intracellular proteins. Although WBC attenuated soreness at 24 h, and positively influenced peak force at 48 h compared to CWI and PL, many of the remaining outcomes were trivial, unclear or favoured the PL condition. With the exception of CRP at 24 h, neither cryotherapy intervention attenuated the inflammatory response compared to PL.
CONCLUSION: There was some evidence to suggest that WBC is more effective than CWI at attenuating select perceptual and functional responses following resistance training. However, neither cryotherapy intervention was more effective than the placebo treatment at accelerating recovery. The implications of these findings should be carefully considered by individuals employing cryotherapy as a recovery strategy following heavy load resistance training.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology > London Sport Institute
A. > School of Science and Technology > Natural Sciences
Item ID: 25512
Notes on copyright: This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in European Journal of Applied Physiology. The final authenticated version is available online at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00421-018-4008-7
Useful Links:
Depositing User: Frank Hills
Date Deposited: 05 Nov 2018 11:45
Last Modified: 07 Nov 2018 08:29
URI: http://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/25512

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