Cryotherapy post-training reduces muscle damage markers in jiu-jitsu fighters


  • Wagner Oliveira Costa Santos Gama Filho University, Brazil
  • Ciro José Brito Federal University of Sergipe, Brazil
  • Elson Andrade Pinho Júnior Gama Filho University, Brazil
  • Charles Nardelli Valido Federal University of Sergipe, Brazil
  • Edmar Lacerda Mendes Federal University of Triangulo Mineiro, Brazil
  • Marco Antonio Prado Nunes Federal University of Sergipe, Brazil
  • Emerson Franchini University of Sao Paulo, Brazil



Cold water immersion, Martial arts, Creatine kinase, L-Lactate dehydrogenase, Muscle strength


Although widely used in sports, the efficiency of cryotherapy in reducing muscle damage has been questioned. The present study investigated the acute effects of post-exercise cryotherapy on the expression of creatine phosphokinase (CPK) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), perceived pain, and muscle strength of the upper limbs in Brazilian jiu-jitsu competitors. Nine highly trained fighters were subjected to two 90-minute training sessions. After the first session, five random subjects were immersed in a pool with ice (5±1°C) for nineteen minutes, and the remaining participants were allocated to the control group. The treatments were reversed in the second session (cross-over design). Analysis of covariance with repeated measures was used to compare outcomes between the groups, and pre-test measures were used as covariates. Pearson’s correlation was adopted to check the strength of the associations between variables. The results showed lower serum CPK concentrations (P<0.05) in the cryotherapy group (504.0±138.7 IU/L) compared to the pre-exercise (532.6 ± 67.9 IU/L) group, and a similar result was observed for LDH (517.4±190.3 vs. 601.8±75.7 IU/L). Cryotherapy resulted in lower (P<0.05) perceived pain (2.2 ± 1.6 vs. 4.2 ± 1.9) and body temperature (34.2±1.3°C vs. 36.3±0.7°C), and an attenuated loss of isometric strength (53.1±18.1 s vs. 42.9±14.5 s). Perceived pain was directly associated (P<0.05) with CPK (r=0.59) and LDH (r=0.475) levels. The results show that post-exercise cryotherapy resulted in lower serum CPK and LDH, hypoalgesia, and greater preservation of isometric strength endurance when compared to the control condition.


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How to Cite

Santos, W. O. C., Brito, C. J., Júnior, E. A. P., Valido, C. N., Mendes, E. L., Nunes, M. A. P., & Franchini, E. (2012). Cryotherapy post-training reduces muscle damage markers in jiu-jitsu fighters. Journal of Human Sport and Exercise, 7(3), 629–638.