The effect of ice massage on muscle-strength performance is equivocal.
To determine the effects of ice massage on maximum isokinetic torque produced during a 20-minute interval.
Participants performed a maximal isokinetic contraction of the right arm at 30°/s every 2 minutes for 20 minutes, once after a 10-minute ice massage over the right biceps brachii muscle belly and once without ice treatment. Sessions were randomized.
11 college men.
Torque was measured with a Cybex® II dynamometer. Biceps skinfold was measured with a Harpenden caliper.
A repeated-measures ANCOVA revealed no significant interaction between time and treatment condition when the effect of skinfold thickness was held constant. A main effect for time indicated that torque production was significantly higher at 4 and 8 minutes and declined thereafter.
A 10-minute ice massage neither enhanced nor retarded muscle-force output and thus may be used for its pain-reducing effect to allow resistance exercise during the rehabilitation process
The authors are with the Exercise Science Dept, Truman State University, Kirksville, MO 63501.