Evidently Advent Day 2: best health evidence wrapped up for the festive season!

Cold water: good for muscles?


Are you wincing watching this? No need to go and find an ice hole, but immersion in cold water is sometimes used with the aim of preventing or treating muscle soreness after exercise. Does it work? A Cochrane review found:

  • weak evidence suggesting that cold-water immersion reduces muscle soreness immediately after exercise and at 24, 48, 72 and 96 hours compared with rest or no treatment
  • its safety is unknown
  • the best method of cold water immersion is unknown

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Bleakley C, McDonough S, Gardner E, Baxter GDavid, Hopkins JTy, Davison GW. Cold-water immersion (cryotherapy) for preventing and treating muscle soreness after exercise. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2012, Issue 2. Art. No.: CD008262. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD008262.pub2 – See more at: http://summaries.cochrane.org/CD008262/MUSKINJ_cold-water-immersion-for-preventing-and-treating-muscle-soreness-after-exercise#sthash.N3SdS2tE.dpuf

Sarah Chapman

About Sarah Chapman

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Sarah's work as a Knowledge Broker at Cochrane UK focuses on disseminating Cochrane evidence through social media, including Evidently Cochrane blogs, blogshots and the ‘Evidence for Everyday’ series for nurses, midwives, allied health professionals and patients. A former registered general nurse, Sarah has a particular interest making evidence accessible and useful to practitioners and to others making decisions about health. Before joining Cochrane, Sarah also worked on systematic reviews for the University of Oxford and the Royal College of Nursing Institute, and obtained degrees in History from the University of Oxford and in the history of women’s health and illness in early modern England (MPhil., University of Reading).

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