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Neurosci Lett. 2013 Mar 1;536:6-9. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2012.12.037. Epub 2013 Jan 15.

Acute effects of cryotherapy on postural control.

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Faculty of Physiotherapy, Academy of Physical Education in Wrocław, al. I.J. Paderewskiego 35, 51-612 Wrocław, Poland.


To investigate the acute effects of whole-body cryotherapy (WBC) on postural control, we measured postural sway (COP) in a quiet stance with eyes open in four consecutive 20-second tests: before and 1, 6 and 11min after the WBC. Twenty-four healthy young subjects aged 19.3±0.9 were exposed to WBC (-110°C) for 2min. The time series recorded with a sampling rate of 100Hz was used to evaluate postural performance (COP variability) and strategies (COP frequency and entropy). There were no differences between the pre- and post-WBC values of these measurements in the frontal plane; however, in the sagittal plane postural sway increased immediately after WBC (p<0.05) and remained elevated throughout the experiment. Deteriorated performance brought about lagged changes in postural strategies, including a decrease in frequency and entropy. These changes remained sustained until the end of the experiment. In conclusion, the WBC caused a drop in complexity, adaptability, and automaticity in postural control, which accounted for specific constraints imposed on the postural system due to cooling.

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