Several types of cryostimulation have been recently proposed to rapidly lower skin temperature therefore gaining a possible neuro/muscular recovery after strenuous exercise or, more generally, in sports. Local cryostimulation may be a viable and relatively portable tool to obtain physiological benefits in previously-efforted muscular districts. However, cohesive and standardized cryo-exposure protocols are lacking as well as the righteous procedure to efficaciously combine duration, treatments and temperature in relation to desirable effects on muscular strength. In this randomized-controlled study, fifty young women were tested for maximum isometric handgrip strength, before and after exhausting contractions. Following the fatiguing protocol, the intervention group (cryo, n = 25, 24.7 ± 2.5 years, BMI 21.7 ± 1.8 kg/m 2 ) underwent a 6-min local cryostimulation (−160 °C) on the extensor-flexor muscles of the dominant arm, while control-matched peers sat rested in a thermo-neutral room (22 ± 0.5 °C). Handgrip tests were repeated at baseline (T0), after cryostimulation (T1), and 15 min after T1 (T2). Throughout the protocol, the AUC of the strength performance was significantly higher in the cryo- compared to control group (P = 0.006). In particular, following fatigue and cryostimulation, the cryo group preserved higher strength at T1 with respect to controls (26.8 ± 2.8 vs 23.9 ± 2.8 kg, Bonferroni's post-hoc, P < 0.01). Likewise, ventral and dorsal temperature, recorded with a thermal camera, were lower in cryo- than control group (P < 0.0001). In conclusion, a brief session of local cryostimulation may acutely preserve maximal isometric force in young women following a fatiguing protocol. These findings may have implications in orchestrating strategies of district muscular recovery.
- Handgrip strength
- Local cryotherapy
- Maximal isometric force
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)