The Effects of Cryotherapy on Ground-Reaction Forces Produced during a Functional Task

in Journal of Sport Rehabilitation
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To determine whether a standard 20-min ice-bath (10°C) immersion of the leg alters vertical ground-reaction-force components during a 1 -legged vertical jump.


A 1 × 5 factorial repeated-measures model was used.


The Applied Biomechanics Laboratory at The University of Mississippi.


Fifteen healthy and physically active subjects (age = 22.3 ± 2.1 years, height = 177.3 ± 12.2 cm, mass = 76.3 ± 19.1 kg) participated.


Subjects performed 25 one-legged vertical jumps with their preferred extremity before (5 jumps) and after (20 jumps) a 20-min cold whirlpool to the leg. The 25 jumps were reduced into 5 sets of average trials.

Main Outcome Measures:

Normalized peak and average vertical ground-reaction forces, as well as vertical impulse obtained using an instrumented force platform.


Immediately after cryotherapy (sets 2 and 3), vertical impulse decreased (P = .01); peak vertical ground-reaction force increased (set 2) but then decreased toward baseline measures (P= .02). Average vertical ground-reaction force remained unchanged (P >.05).


The authors advocate waiting approximately 15 min before engaging in activities that require the production of weight-bearing explosive strength or power.

S. J. Kinzey and J. C. Smith are with the Applied Biomechanics and Motor Performance Laboratory, Department of Exercise Science and Leisure Management, at The University of Mississippi, University 38677. M. L. Cordova is with the Sports Injury Research Laboratory, Athletic Training Department, at Indiana State University, Terre Haute 47809. K. J. Gallen is with the Physician Assistant Program at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Philadelphia, PA 19131. J. B. Moore is with the Department of Kinesiology and Health Education at the University of Texas, Austin 78712.