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Katie J. Lyman, Michael McCrone, Thomas A. Hanson, Christopher D. Mellinger and Kara Gange

or pain from 0 to 10 using the Borg Scale of Perceived Pain 38 at 10 points in time: prior to ice application, immediately upon ice application, and following application at the following points in time: 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 15, and 20 minutes after application. A mixed linear model was estimated

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Haydee G. Galvan, Amanda J. Tritsch, Richard Tandy and Mack D. Rubley


Ice-bath temperatures range from 1 to 15ºC; the pain response during treatment might be temperature specific.


To determine levels of perceived pain during ice-bath immersion at distinct temperatures.


2 (sex) × 3 (temperature) × 9 (treatment time).


Athletic training research laboratory.


32 healthy subjects.


Ankle immersion in 1, 10, and 15°C ice baths for 20 minutes.

Main Outcome Measures:

Discomfort measured by the Borg scale of perceived pain at immersion for 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 15, and 20 minutes.


The magnitude of pain felt depended on treatment temperature (F 18,522 = 11.65, P < .0001). Pain ratings were 43% higher for 1ºC than 10ºC and 70% higher than 15ºC, and ratings at 10ºC were 46% higher than at 15ºC.


Pain depends on treatment temperature. Patients might report inconsistent pain ratings with varying temperature.