THE COMPARISON BETWEEN COLD WATER IMMERSION AND MASSAGE
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Background- Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) will give an athlete feelings of pain and tenderness and physiological effects of muscle stiffness, deep muscle aching, decrease in muscular force production and range of movement. From this there is a need for recovery strategies to alleviate DOMS, there are many interventions suggested to treat DOMS however there is limited support in the interventions aiding recovery and enhancing performance. There are very few published articles which investigated the comparison between cold water immersion and sports massage on the alleviation of DOMS, thus there is a lack of scientific support. Aim- The aim of this study was to compare the effects of cold water immersion and sports massage on the alleviation of DOMS after eccentric exercise. Method- Eight trained female (Mean ± SD; age 20.65 ± 1.06 years, height 167.3 ± 6.58 cm, weight 67.81 ± 6.63 kg) university level football players from Cardiff Metropolitan University participated. Immediately after an eccentric exercise session cold water immersion or massage was applied to the participants. Lower limbs were submerged for eight minutes in 10-15˚C water and the massage variable was 16 minutes with 8 minutes of effleurage on both left and right quadriceps. The study had a crossover design therefore the participants experienced both variables. Results- Results were statistically analysed using a dependant t-test, results indicated that there was no significant difference between cold water immersion and sports massage on the alleviation of DOMS (p>0.05). Conclusion- The present findings suggest that an eight minute cold water immersion compared to a 16 minute massage have no significant difference. Further research is required to support cold water immersion and massage physiological effects on the alleviation of DOMS for recovery purposes.
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