Research findings Whole-body cryo- Jan 2020
29 February 2020 / 0 comments

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Every month, ProCcare extracts the newly published studies on water immersion and whole-body cryotherapy. These studies are the basis of our literature database and form the foundation of our ProCcare method. In each newsletter, we will discuss with our key opinion leaders, two studies that provide exciting insights and show the monthly new published studies.

This months' study:

Grainger, A., Comfort, P. & Heffernan, S. No Effect of Partial-Body Cryotherapy on Restoration of Countermovement Jump or Well-Being Performance in Elite Rugby Union Players During the CompetitivePhase of the Season. International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance 15, 98–104 (2020).

Method: partial body cryotherapy was administered during the performance maintenance phase of the competitive season (12 weeks) to elite rugby union players.

Primary findings: Administration of partial body cryotherapy was ineffective at enabling the restoration of selected performance parameters during the performance maintenance phase.

Our take-home message: This study provides some interesting insights into the field of elite sports; it is performed in the real-world setting with elite athletes over a longer period (16 weeks) in which cryotherapy was used as a standard routine. The athletes even served as their own control during a no cryotherapy period, which enabled the researchers to compare results. The main limitation, in our opinion, is the intervention used and the lack of actual skin temperatures resulting. Many cryotherapy technologies provide different real temperatures compared to set temperatures (Savic and colleagues, 2013). Also, the temperature distributions throughout the cabin are not homogeneous. The temperatures at the lower legs are much lower than the temperatures at the shoulders, as illustrated in the graph:

Cryotherapy should result in an instant drop in skin temperature of about 20°C/35°F to be effective; 2 minutes at -120°C/-184°F using partial body cryotherapy might not have been sufficient. Thereby opening and closing, the door has a significant impact on the cooling in the first 30 seconds. Therefore the physiological benefits might not have been reached. Several other studies did demonstrate positive recovery outcomes following either partial or whole-body cryotherapy. Because of the differences in used technology, the lack of assessment of actual effect, and different treatment settings, results are hard to compare and definite conclusions impossible to make. We do need to take away from this study that before implementing cryotherapy to improve performance recovery, we have to make sure that the intervention does the job it is supposed to do, considering the right dosage. After that, the use of cryotherapy should become part of the total recovery regime and not be regarded as a stand-alone act.

Published studies on whole-body cryo in January 2020:

1. Fong, F., Lin, K. W. & Amico, J. Does cryotherapy after exercise reduce delayed onset muscle soreness in active adults? Evidence-Based Practice PublishAhead of Print, (2020).

2. Grainger, A., Comfort, P. & Heffernan, S. No Effect of Partial-Body Cryotherapy on Restoration of Countermovement Jump or Well-Being Performance in Elite Rugby Union Players During the CompetitivePhase of the Season. International Journal of Sports Physiology and performance 15, 98–104 (2020).

3. Cholewka, A., Stanek, A., Sieroń-Stołtny,K. & Kajewska, J. Whole-Body Cryotherapy as a Tool to Improving of InfraredThermography Diagnostics. Alternative Pain Management: Solutions for Avoiding Prescription Drug Overusehttps://www.igi-global.com/chapter.aspx?ref=whole-body-cryotherapy-as-a-tool-to-improving-of-infrared-thermography-diagnostics&titleid=237754(2020) doi:10.4018/978-1-7998-1680-5.ch012.

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