The Effects of Wetted Ice on Dynamic Stability over a Rewarming Period

Alexander, Jill orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-6492-1621, Mawene, Youl, Alexanders, Jenny, Jeffery, Josh and Rhodes, David orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-4224-1959 (2023) The Effects of Wetted Ice on Dynamic Stability over a Rewarming Period. Central European Journal of Sport Sciences and Medicine, 41 (1). pp. 13-23. ISSN 2300-9705

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BACKGROUND During half time or breaks in play cryotherapy is often applied for analgesia for minor musculoskeletal sport injury, however the effect of cryotherapy on dynamic stability is debated. A risk factor for further lower limb injury may be heightened due to a reduction in dynamic postural stability. OBJECTIVES The purpose of the current study was to investigate the effects of wetted-ice applied for 20-minutes at the ankle on dynamic stability using the star excursion balance test, immediately-post exposure and over a rewarming period of 30-minutes. MATERIALS AND METHODS Twenty-two healthy male athletes that regular took part in land-based sport were assessed on reach directions of Anterior (Ant), Posteromedial (PM), and Posterolateral (PL) using the modified star excursion balance test (mSEBT) on the non-dominant limb. Thermal imaging quantified skin surface temperature (Tsk) over lateral and medial regions. Participants were tested pre-intervention, exposed to 15-minutes wetted-ice cryotherapy application, immediately-post and up to 30-minutes post intervention at 10-minute intervals. RESULTS Significant decreases in Tsk over the medial and lateral regions of the ankle (p < 0.05) not returning to pre-cooling temperatures at 30-minutes post. Significant decrease in reach -distance scores (ANT, PL and PM) pre-immediately post and at 10, 20 and 30-minutes post cryotherapy exposure. CONCLUSION Following wetted ice application to the non-dominant ankle, dynamic postural stability was adversely affected for up to 30-minutes post exposure demonstrated through a decrease in reach scores for ANT, PL and PM directions. Functional performance which requires stabilising mechanisms may be negatively affected and contribute to a heightened risk of injury or further injury in consideration of the findings.

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