Medscape: Medscape Access
"Cold-water immersion may reduce DOMS after exercise, but the best method of immersion and potential harms associated with the approach remain unclear, according to a new analysis.
Chris Bleakley, PhD, from Health and Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of Ulster, School of Health Sciences, United Kingdom, and colleagues reported the findings in an article published online February 15 in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.
"Having started in elite level sport, [cold-water immersion] is becoming increasingly popular amongst amateur athletes," the authors write. Immediately after exercise, athletes immerse themselves in cold water, although duration and temperature may vary.
Athletes have used cold-water therapy in the past to reduce pain and swelling resulting from acute soft tissue injuries, such as sprains. "It is proposed that cooling tissue immediately after exercise could have the same anti-inflammatory effect, thereby reducing the potential for [DOMS]," the authors note.
The study sought to determine the effects of cold-water immersion in the management of muscle soreness after exercise by conducting a search of the literature and reviewing studies on the topic.
The authors searched various databases for randomized or quasi-randomized trials testing cold-water immersion. They identified 17 trials that included 366 participants. Water temperatures and immersion time ranged between 5°C and 15°C and from 3 to 24 minutes, respectively.
According to the researchers, the overall quality of the studies available was low. Of the trials, 14 compared cold-water immersion applied after exercise with passive treatment involving rest or no treatment.
These trials indicated that cold-water immersion reduced muscle soreness at 24, 48, 72, and even 96 hours after exercise compared with passive treatment. At 24 hours, the standardized mean difference [SMD] was −0.55 (95% confidence interval [CI], −0.84 to −0.27; 10 trials); at 48 hours, the SMD was −0.66 (95% CI, −0.97 to −0.35; 8 trials); at 72 hours, the SMD was −0.93 (95% CI, −1.36 to −0.51; 4 trials); and at 96 hours, the SMD was −0.58; 95% CI, −1.00 to −0.16; 5 trials).
Four trials suggested that participants considered that cold-water immersion improved recovery or reduced fatigue immediately afterward.
Complications and adverse effects were not evaluated in the trials. Therefore, Dr. Bleakley and colleagues could draw no conclusions about the safety of this approach.
According to the authors, only limited data in 5 studies were available for comparing cold-water immersion vs other active recovery techniques such as warm or contrasting (alternative warm/cold) water immersion, light jogging, and compression stockings. These comparisons showed no appreciable differences.
"This review provides some evidence that cold-water immersion reduces delayed onset muscle soreness after exercise when compared with passive interventions involving rest or no intervention," the authors conclude.
"It is not clear whether such variations in treatment parameters affect clinical outcomes," they add. "Interestingly, our subgroup analysis found no differences between single and multiple cold-water immersions based on muscle soreness outcome."
The authors have disclosed no relevant financial relationships.
Cochrane Database Syst Rev. Published online February 15, 2012. Summary "
Wanted to bring this back from the dead. Although it's still hot (at least where I am), CT is right around the corner as we get into Autumn/Winter.
I have some big plans with experiments this winter. Anyone else?
First off, try and get Vit D levels up before SAD sets in. You may postpone it entirely. I no longer require arm coverings even in heat waves, and all I've done are love handle chillings with gel packs. I'm hoping to lower my house temperature this winter to a more reasonable figure than 70*F, and possibly distinctly lower. And that may activate some needed fat burning. I can't do most cold water experiments due to motility problems, but icing, I can do! Paysan
I was reading a really interesting article written by a team of medical doctors about thyroid issues and came across this passage buried in the middle:
When serum levels of iodine drop, the hypothalmus secretes thyroid releasing hormone (TRH) from nerve endings in the medial eminence of the hypothalmus. Another form of stimulation that encourages the hypothalmus to produce TRH is prolonged exposure to cold.
The article wasn't about CT, but I thought it was pretty cool to see that doctors are starting to acknowledge the benefits of it.
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I regularly walk a rough trail with hill climbs and some gravel in my bare feet. I find that a 40 degree water soak up to my knees does good things for my inflamed feet. I use 2 liter plastic bottles from my refrigerator for the cold water. That cold water makes my ankles ache for a few seconds but the water gets up to a useless 55 degrees in about 20 minutes. If I don't do this my feet can remain little furnaces that make me uncomfortable all day and night. Cold water may be a little faster but I still prefer starting the day with a nice dry wind chill.
Last edited by Jamous; 08-19-2012 at 09:29 PM.
So I started a new 30 day challenge to swim in my pool (normally we have the heat cranked in it to 85 for me to swim) each morning, minimum of 15 minutes, after coffee but before breakfast. I was originally thinking about doing this just to get myself acclimated to the up coming winter but after reading this thread I'm even more excited about the challenge. Right now my pool is at 75F but the cool nights of late summer are getting here and that should drop substantially.
that sounds like a great idea. how cold can it get there?
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