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Athletics Coach

Recommended Implementations Cryotherapy (Hohenauer et al., 2015) Optimal Water Temperature: 10oC Optimal Treatment Time: 13 minutes

Contrast Water Immersion (Cochrane, 2004) Ratio Hot Water : Cold Water: 3 : 1 Optimal Water Temperature Hot: 40oC Optimal Water Temperature Cold: 13.5oC Optimal Treatment Time: 24 minutes (18 minutes hot : 6 minutes cold)

Cryotherapy Different forms of cryotherapy, most notably ice baths, have a become a popular recovery method for elite and subelite track and field athletes. In addition to aiding recovery,

Contrast Temperature Water Immersion

cryotherapy has been explicitly recommended as a method

Despite its popularity among professional sporting clubs from

for preventing hamstring injuries for elite athletes (Kujala,

a range of different sporting codes, there is little peer-reviewed

Orava & Jarvinen, 1997).

evidence that contrast temperature water immersion is more








questioned the effectiveness of cryotherapy as a tool for

beneficial for muscle recovery or hamstring injury prevention than other modalities explored in this article.

hamstring injury prevention and rehabilitation (Jarvinen et

Ingram et al. (2009) found that contrast water immersion

al., 2005; Copland, Tipton & Fields, 2009). A meta-analysis

was less effective than cryotherapy in attenuating muscle

conducted by Hohenauer et al. (2015) concluded that while

soreness and in a review on published literature, Cochrane

cryotherapy may be an effective method for assisting

(2004) concluded that there was insufficient evidence to

recovery as measured by subjective self-reporting metrics

support the use of contrast water immersion to improve

(e.g. athlete reported muscle soreness), there was no

recovery outcomes. Unfortunately, the last 14 years has not

evidence that it is effective for assisting recovery according

added a lot of research that has examined its effectiveness

to objective physiological variables. This led the authors to

in detail.

suggest that some of the benefits dervied from cryotherapy may be placebo related, exacerbated by the prevelance of ice bath usage among elite athletes in public events.

The best evidence to support the use of contrast water immersion found that it may allow for faster restoration of strength and power in recreational athletes, which may

This was supported by Tiidus (2015) who concluded that

contribute to prevention of injury caused by fatigue (Vaile, Gill

cryotherapy, as practiced within usual guidelines, would not

& Blazevich, 2007). However, due to the resources required, it

be sufficient to cool human muscle significantly to assist

is difficult to recommend for most athletics coaches.

recovery or prevent injury.

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Profile for Athletics Coach

Athletics Coach - Issue 3, 2018