Cold Water Soak Effective In Some People For Muscle Pain

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Many methods to relieve muscle soreness after strenuous exercise. Such as soaking in cold water which is favored by some athletes and has become a habit most other athletes. However, the various methods available to relieve muscle pain may have different effectiveness in different people.

“We just found the support effects of cold water immersion when compared to not doing anything, namely passive rest after exercise. Soak in cold water can reduce muscle pain about 20 percent,” said Chris Bleakley, PhD, a researcher at the University of Ulster , Northern Ireland as reported by WebMD, Wednesday (15/02/2012).

“There is no difference when compared to cold water immersion recovery intervention popular. So the best treatment is still not clear. Results of these studies have been published in The Cochrane Library. However, studies on the safety of the method is still lacking.

Ice does not seem to be more effective for most people than taking some ibuprofen. So maybe do not have to choose the method that seems extreme and impractical, “said Gary A. Sforzo, PhD, a professor of exercise science at Ithaca College.

Pain that may occur after exercise is known as delayed onset muscle soreness (Doms). Usually the peak of the pain is about 24-48 hours later. These conditions include muscle stiffness, swelling, decreased strength, and local muscle pain.

The experts argue that, because of the condition of mechanical damage that occurs in muscle fibers. Which can cause inflammation and pain. To fight the pain, athletes soak in cold water for 5 minutes or more. Water temperature is usually less than 59 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius).

The researchers have carried out a literature review on 17 scientific research. The study has involved 366 people. Used bath water temperature varies between studies, usually around 50-59 degrees Fahrenheit (10-15 degrees Celsius). Time of immersion in cold water varies between 5-24 minutes.

People soak in some of these studies to the waist. The researchers found no significant difference between the method of immersion in cold water compared to taking the drug. Many studies do not see any complications. Experts are not sure how the mechanism of cold water to relieve sore muscles.

“A number of studies using blood samples to determine the effect of immersion on various biomarkers of inflammation and muscle damage. However, no studies have found effects on the inflammatory response. The researchers found no reduction in pain, and that can follow inflammation and muscle damage. Placebo effect does not can be measured, “said Bleakley.

The experts suggest, the athletes to find the best strategy for yourself. This can include a combination of immersion in cold water, compression, stretching, and other methods.

Not everyone can effectively use the method of immersion in cold water. Because the method can affect the heart, blood vessels, and respiratory system. It can raise blood pressure and heart rate. However, unknown long-term effects of soaking in cold water.

“A lot of other treatments that may help reduce muscle pain, such as massage. Massage is much more fun than doing it with cold water immersion,” said prof. Sforzo.


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