The Effects of Cryotherapy Applied through Various Barriers

in Journal of Sport Rehabilitation
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The purpose of this study was to investigate the differences in skin temperature during ice application through a dry towel and a dry elastic bandage compared to application on bare skin. Nine subjects completed a 30-min treatment session that consisted of 0.68 kg of cubed ice applied under three conditions: through a dry towel, through a dry elastic bandage, and directly on the skin (control). Following the removal of the ice, all subjects were monitored for 20-min for skin temperature (S temp). There was a significant interaction in S temp between the control (12.50 ± 4.39 °C) and dry towel (23.48 ± 2.88 °C) conditions, the control (12.50 ± 4.39 °C) and dry elastic wrap (27.47 ± 2.36 °C) conditions, and the dry towel (23.48 ± 2.88 °C) and dry elastic wrap (27.47 ± 2.36 °C) conditions. The findings indicated that using a barrier (dry towel or dry elastic bandage) limits the temperature-reducing capacity of the ice and therefore its potential physiological effects.

The authors are with Georgia Southern University, Department of Health & Kinesiology, Statesboro, GA 30460. Direct correspondence to Barton P. Buxton.