RESTING IS AS GOOD AS CRYOTHERAPY FOR RECOVERING FROM REPEATED STRENGTH MOVEMENTS AND AFFECTING THE NEXT EXERCISE BOUT
Wu, R.-P., Tseng, K.-W., Huanh, C.-Y., & Wang, Y.-P. (2006). Effects of electrotherapy and icing on damaged muscle during repeated sets exercise. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 38(5), Supplement Abstract 2175.
Non-weight-trained females (N = 36) performed 30 eccentric actions with the non-dominant elbow flexors using a dumbbell set at 80% of maximal voluntary isometric contraction force. Ss were then placed into a cryotherapy (N = 12), electrical therapy (N = 12), or control (N = 12) group based on their maximal voluntary contraction force (strength). Immediately after the exercise Ss were treated for an hour. Ss then repeated the exercise. Measures were assessed before, immediately after, and on days 2, 4, 7, and 10 post-exercise.
The electrical therapy group decreased further in strength after the treatment whereas the cryotherapy and control groups did not. There were marginal differences between the groups on various measurement days. Generally, electrical therapy did not show any obvious advantages and to all intents and purposes resting is as good a cryotherapy for influencing muscle strength and range of motion.
Implication. Cyryotherapy provides no distinct advantage over resting for influencing subsequent repetitive strength performances.
[For baseball, this suggests wrapping the shoulder in ice would have no benefit over doing nothing at all.]
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