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Susan Miniello, Geoffrey Dover, Michael Powers, Mark Tillman and Erik Wikstrom

Context:

Previous studies have suggested that cryotherapy affects neuromuscu-lar function and therefore might impair dynamic stability. If cryotherapy affects dynamic stability, clinicians might alter their decisions regarding returning athletes to play immediately after treatment.

Objective:

To assess the effects of lower leg cold immersion on muscle activity and dynamic stability of the lower extremity.

Design:

Within-subject time-series design with 1 pretest and 2 posttests.

Setting:

A climate-controlled biomechanics laboratory.

Participants:

17 healthy women.

Interventions:

20-minute cold-water immersion.

Main Outcome Measures:

Preparatory and reactive electromyographic activity of the tibialis anterior and peroneus longus and time to stabilization after a jump landing.

Results:

Preparatory activity of the tibialis anterior increased after treatment, whereas preparatory and reactive peroneus longus activity decreased. Both returned to baseline after a 5-minute recovery. Time to stabilization did not change.

Conclusions:

Lower leg cold-immersion therapy does not impair dynamic stability in healthy women during a jump-landing task. Return to participation after a cryotherapy treatment is not contraindicated for healthy athletes.