Send to

Choose Destination
Int J Sports Med. 2014 Jan;35(1):35-40. doi: 10.1055/s-0033-1343410. Epub 2013 Jun 18.

Effects of whole body cryotherapy and cold water immersion on knee skin temperature.

Author information

Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia.
Department of Physical Education and Sports Sciences, University of Limerick, Ireland.
Research Services, Satakunta Univeristy of Applied Sciences, Pori, Finland.
Allied Health Professions Research Unit, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, United Kingdom.


This study sought to (a) compare and contrast the effect of 2 commonly used cryotherapy treatments, 4 min of -110 °C whole body cryotherapy and 8 °C cold water immersion, on knee skin temperature and (b) establish whether either protocol was capable of achieving a skin temperature (<13 °C) believed to be required for analgesic purposes. After ethics committee approval and written informed consent was obtained, 10 healthy males (26.5±4.9 yr, 183.5±6.0 cm, 90.7±19.9 kg, 26.8±5.0 kg/m2, 23.0±9.3% body fat; mean±SD) participated in this randomised controlled crossover study. Skin temperature around the patellar region was assessed in both knees via non-contact, infrared thermal imaging and recorded pre-, immediately post-treatment and every 10 min thereafter for 60 min. Compared to baseline, average, minimum and maximum skin temperatures were significantly reduced (p<0.001) immediately post-treatment and at 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 and 60 min after both cooling modalities. Average and minimum skin temperatures were lower (p<0.05) immediately after whole body cryotherapy (19.0±0.9 °C) compared to cold water immersion (20.5±0.6 °C). However, from 10 to 60 min post, the average, minimum and maximum skin temperatures were lower (p<0.05) following the cold water treatment. Finally, neither protocol achieved a skin temperature believed to be required to elicit an analgesic effect.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Georg Thieme Verlag Stuttgart, New York
Loading ...
Support Center