Costello, J. T., Algar, L. A., & Donnelly, A. E. (2012). Effects of whole-body cryotherapy (?110C) on proprioception and indices of muscle damage. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, 22, 190-198.

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This study investigated the effects of whole-body cryotherapy on proprioceptive function, muscle force recovery following eccentric muscle contractions, and tympanic temperature. Ss (N = 36) were randomly assigned to a group receiving two three-minute treatments of ?110 3 C or 15 3 C. Knee joint position sense, maximal voluntary isometric contraction of the knee extensors, force proprioception, and tympanic temperature were recorded before, immediately after the exposure, and 15 minutes after the exposure. A convenient sample (N = 18) also underwent an eccentric exercise protocol on the contralateral left leg 24 hours before exposure. Maximal voluntary isometric contraction (left knee), peak power output during a repeated sprint on a cycle ergometer, and muscle soreness were measured pre-, 24, 48, and 72 hours post-treatment.

Whole-body cryotherapy reduced tympanic temperature, by 0.3C, when compared to the control group. However, knee joint position sense, maximal voluntary isometric contraction, and force proprioception were not affected. Similarly, whole-body cryotherapy did not effect maximal voluntary isometric contraction, peak power output, or muscle soreness following eccentric exercise. Whole-body cryotherapy administered 24 hours after eccentric exercise was ineffective in alleviating muscle soreness or enhancing muscle force recovery.

Implication. Whole-body cryotherapy does not affect proprioceptive function, muscle force recovery, or the onset of muscle soreness following eccentric exercise.

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