The Effect of Cold-Water Immersion on Running Mechanics
International Journal of Exercise Science
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Cryotherapy is a common treatment used by athletes for rehabilitating acute injuries of a joint or muscle in order to accelerate recovery time and promptly return to play. Therefore, the potential effects of cryotherapy on performance and injury risk should be considered. The purpose of the current study was to investigate the effects of cold-water immersion on running mechanics. Fifteen healthy male and female participants (24.6±5.74 years, 166.37±7.67 cm, 71.72±17.7 kg, 27.47±7.55% body fat) were recruited for the study. Participants completed 10 running trials at a self-selected comfortable pace on a 15-meter runway before and after a 20-minute cold-water immersion treatment. The variables of interest included running velocity, ankle power, ankle angle at heel strike, peak ankle plantarflexion angle, and the ankle angle at the time of peak ankle power. Pre- to post-treatment values were compared using paired samples t-tests, α=0.05. Self-selected running velocity, peak ankle power, and ankle plantarflexion angle at heel strike decreased significantly (-0.13 m/s, p=0.004; -53.69 Nm/s, p=0.011; -2.17 degrees, p=0.007, respectively) after cold-water immersion. Plantarflexion angle at the time of peak ankle power (p=0.461) and peak ankle plantarflexion angle (p=0.07) were not different between pre- and post-treatment conditions. The observed changes in running velocity, peak ankle power, and plantarflexion angle at heel strike demonstrate that the cold-water immersion treatment may negatively affect performance and potentially influence injury risk. These effects on running mechanics may influence the decision for clinicians and athletes to utilize cold-water immersion immediately before physical activity.
Biomechanics; Cryotherapy; Ankle; Lower extremity
Biomechanics | Exercise Science | Kinesiology | Life Sciences
Dibenedetto, L. M.,
Silvernail, J. F.
The Effect of Cold-Water Immersion on Running Mechanics.
International Journal of Exercise Science, 12(1),