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

Wagner Oliveira Costa Santos, Ciro José Brito, Elson Andrade Pinho Júnior, Charles Nardelli Valido, Edmar Lacerda Mendes, Marco Antonio Prado Nunes, Emerson Franchini

Abstract

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.

Keywords

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

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.4100/jhse.2012.73.03