Apply cold when an injury is new (acute),Cryotherapy In Sports Injury And Recovery Articles that is for the first 24-48 hours. After 48 hours, heat can be applied over muscles as long as there is no warmth or swelling. The focus of this article is to explain cold therapy in sports performance and recovery.
Cold causes capillaries to constrict, reducing the swelling and inflammation which occur with a new injury. Apply the cold for 15-20 minutes. Ice applied directly to the skin can cause frostbite, so put a cloth or towel between the ice and the skin. For maximum cold transmission, wet the towel. Apply the ice once per hour initially. As the injury heals, apply cold as needed for pain relief, or try heat.
Even with chronic pain, such as with trigger points over the thorax, cold can be more effective than heat. Sports teams use cold therapy to recover from muscle soreness after intense games. Many teams routinely jump into an ice bath, covering themselves from the chest down in ice water. A common protocol is to spend 10 minutes in the ice bath.
Other groups use contrast baths, consisting of 1 minute in an ice bath and 1 minute in a warm shower. Research evidence is inconclusive about the best protocol, but there is agreement that ice and contrast baths make athletes feel better afterwards. Some studies show an improvement in physiological markers of recovery, but findings are inconsistent. During cryotherapy machines for sale a soccer match in warm temperatures, body temperatures can rise to 39.4 degrees celsius (103 degrees fahrenheit). Ice vests are specialized vests packed with ice, which cools the body core . Neck collars are ice filled collars. Even though the cooling is done at half time only (ten minutes), studies show some improvement in aerobic performance compared to controls who were not cooled.
An amazing and extreme form of cryotherapy is immersion in a chamber which is
cooled to -120 degrees celsius (184 degrees fahrenheit). To avoid frostbite, the face, hands, feet and ears are covered, but the subject wears a bathing suit. The person stays in for 3 minutes. How can a person survive such extreme temperatures? The skin cools rapidly, but core temperature remains the same while in the chamber. Obviously, cryotherapy chambers must be used with great care to avoid damage. It has been shown that whole body cooling influences the antioxidant balance in blood and has an anti-inflammatory as well as analgesic effect.
Very little research has been done on the effect of cryotherapy chambers on sports performance. One study showed that after 10 exposures of three minutes of cryotherapy, anaerobic cycling performance in men improved, that is, the ability to do short sprints improved. The most effective way to promote optimal exercise performance in the heat, and to enhance recovery after intense exercise, is still being debated, but cryotherapy remains an important modality.