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PLoS By Category | Recent PLoS Articles
Physiology - Science Policy

Muscle, Skin and Core Temperature after -110°C Cold Air and 8°C Water Treatment
Published: Tuesday, November 06, 2012
Author: Joseph Thomas Costello et al.

by Joseph Thomas Costello, Kevin Culligan, James Selfe, Alan Edward Donnelly

The aim of this investigation was to elucidate the reductions in muscle, skin and core temperature following exposure to -110°C whole body cryotherapy (WBC), and compare these to 8°C cold water immersion (CWI). Twenty active male subjects were randomly assigned to a 4-min exposure of WBC or CWI. A minimum of 7 days later subjects were exposed to the other treatment. Muscle temperature in the right vastus lateralis (n?=?10); thigh skin (average, maximum and minimum) and rectal temperature (n?=?10) were recorded before and 60 min after treatment. The greatest reduction (P<0.05) in muscle (mean ± SD; 1 cm: WBC, 1.6±1.2°C; CWI, 2.0±1.0°C; 2 cm: WBC, 1.2±0.7°C; CWI, 1.7±0.9°C; 3 cm: WBC, 1.6±0.6°C; CWI, 1.7±0.5°C) and rectal temperature (WBC, 0.3±0.2°C; CWI, 0.4±0.2°C) were observed 60 min after treatment. The largest reductions in average (WBC, 12.1±1.0°C; CWI, 8.4±0.7°C), minimum (WBC, 13.2±1.4°C; CWI, 8.7±0.7°C) and maximum (WBC, 8.8±2.0°C; CWI, 7.2±1.9°C) skin temperature occurred immediately after both CWI and WBC (P<0.05). Skin temperature was significantly lower (P<0.05) immediately after WBC compared to CWI. The present study demonstrates that a single WBC exposure decreases muscle and core temperature to a similar level of those experienced after CWI. Although both treatments significantly reduced skin temperature, WBC elicited a greater decrease compared to CWI. These data may provide information to clinicians and researchers attempting to optimise WBC and CWI protocols in a clinical or sporting setting.
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