Effects of air-pulsed cryotherapy on neuromuscular recovery subsequent to exercise-induced muscle damage

Guilhem Gael, Hug, Francois, Couturier Antoine, Regnault Stephanie, Bournat Laure, Filliard Jean-Robert and Dorel Sylvian (2013) Effects of air-pulsed cryotherapy on neuromuscular recovery subsequent to exercise-induced muscle damage. American Journal of Sports Medicine, 41 8: 1942-1951. doi:10.1177/0363546513490648

Author Guilhem Gael
Hug, Francois
Couturier Antoine
Regnault Stephanie
Bournat Laure
Filliard Jean-Robert
Dorel Sylvian
Title Effects of air-pulsed cryotherapy on neuromuscular recovery subsequent to exercise-induced muscle damage
Journal name American Journal of Sports Medicine   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0363-5465
Publication date 2013
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1177/0363546513490648
Volume 41
Issue 8
Start page 1942
End page 1951
Total pages 10
Place of publication Thousand Oaks, CA United States
Publisher Sage Publications Inc.
Collection year 2014
Language eng
Subject 2732 Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
3612 Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
Abstract Background: Localized cooling has been proposed as an effective strategy to limit the deleterious effects of exercise-induced muscle damage on neuromuscular function. However, the literature reports conflicting results. Purpose: This randomized controlled trial aimed to determine the effects of a new treatment, localized air-pulsed cryotherapy (-30°C), on the recovery time-course of neuromuscular function following a strenuous eccentric exercise. Study Design: Controlled laboratory study. Methods: A total of 24 participants were included in either a control group (CONT) or a cryotherapy group (CRYO). Immediately after 3 sets of 20 maximal isokinetic eccentric contractions of elbow flexors, and then 1, 2, and 3 days after exercise, the CRYO group received a cryotherapy treatment (3 3 4 minutes at 230°C separated by 1 minute). The day before and 1, 2, 3, 7, and 14 days after exercise, several parameters were quantified: maximal isometric torque and its associated maximal electromyographic activity recorded by a 64-channel electrode, delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS), biceps brachii transverse relaxation time (T2) measured using magnetic resonance imaging, creatine kinase activity, interleukin-6, and C-reactive protein. Results: Maximal isometric torque decreased similarly for the CONT (-33% 6 4%) and CRYO groups (231% 6 6%). No intergroup differences were found for DOMS, electromyographic activity, creatine kinase activity, and T2 level averaged across the whole biceps brachii. C-reactive protein significantly increased for CONT (193% at 72 hours, P<.05) but not for CRYO. Spatial analysis showed that cryotherapy delayed the significant increase of T2 and the decrease of electromyographic activity level for CRYO compared with CONT (between day 1 and day 3) in the medio-distal part of the biceps brachii. Conclusion: Although some indicators of muscle damage after severe eccentric exercise were delayed (ie, local formation of edema and decrease of muscle activity) by repeated air-pulsed cryotherapy, we provide evidence that this cooling procedure failed to improve long-term recovery of muscle performance. Clinical Relevance: Four applications of air-pulsed cryotherapy in the 3 days after a strenuous eccentric exercise are ineffective overall in promoting long-term muscle recovery. Further studies taking into account the amount of exercise-induced muscle damage would allow investigators to make stronger conclusions regarding the inefficiency of this recovery modality.
Keyword Cold application
Damage markers
Eccentric contraction
High density EMG
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: UQ Centre for Clinical Research Publications
Official 2014 Collection
School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 13 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Sat, 28 Sep 2013, 05:45:22 EST by Francois Hug on behalf of UQ Centre for Clinical Research