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Thu Mar 15, 2007 8:42 pm

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Ice Does Not Reduce Post Exercise Muscle Soreness

Post exercise ice treatments are rituals among some pitchers, bodybuilders, and other athletes who push individual muscle groups to the max. Delayed onset muscles soreness (DOMS) is caused by muscle damage during exercise that is compounded by inflammation during recovery. Post-exercise ice treatments, so the theory goes, reduce inflammation and speeds recovery. British researchers found that ice had no effect on post exercise muscle soreness or on markers of muscle inflammation. They created thigh muscle soreness using high intensity eccentric exercise (i.e., negatives) and immersed the leg in cold (33.8°) or tepid (75.2°) water for three one minutes sessions. The ice therapy had no effect on muscle pain, swelling, leg power (one-legged hop for distance), maximal isometric strength, or creatine kinase (a blood test used to estimate muscle damage). The authors concluded that icing after intense exercise did not promote recovery. However, three one-minute ice treatments might not have been enough time to reduce post exercise inflammation.
(British Journal of Sports Medicine, in press; published on-line January 29, 2007)

From Fahey training column, Muscular Development magazine



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