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The aim of this investigation was to elucidate the reductions in muscle, skin and core temperature following exposure to -110 degrees C whole body cryotherapy (WBC), and compare these to 8 degrees C cold water immersion (CWI). Twenty active male subjects were randomly assigned to a 4-min exposure of WBC or CWI. A minimum of 7 days later subjects were exposed to the other treatment. Muscle temperature in the right vastus lateralis (n=10); thigh skin (average, maximum and minimum) and rectal temperature (n=10) were recorded before and 60 min after treatment. The greatest reduction (P<0.05) in muscle (mean +/- SD; 1 cm: WBC, 1.6 +/- 1.2 degrees C; CWI, 2.0 +/- 1.0 degrees C; 2 cm: WBC, 1.2 +/- 0.7 degrees C; CWI, 1.7 +/- 0.9 degrees C; 3 cm: WBC, 1.6 +/- 0.6 degrees C; CWI, 1.7 +/- 0.5 degrees C) and rectal temperature (WBC, 0.3 +/- 0.2 degrees C; CWI, 0.4 +/- 0.2 degrees C) were observed 60 min after treatment. The largest reductions in average (WBC, 12.1 +/- 1.0 degrees C; CWI, 8.4 +/- 0.7 degrees C), minimum (WBC, 13.2 +/- 1.4 degrees C; CWI, 8.7 +/- 0.7 degrees C) and maximum (WBC, 8.8 +/- 2.0 degrees C; CWI, 7.2 +/- 1.9 degrees C) skin temperature occurred immediately after both CWI and WBC (P<0.05). Skin temperature was significantly lower (P<0.05) immediately after WBC compared to CWI. The present study demonstrates that a single WBC exposure decreases muscle and core temperature to a similar level of those experienced after CWI. Although both treatments significantly reduced skin temperature, WBC elicited a greater decrease compared to CWI. These data may provide information to clinicians and researchers attempting to optimise WBC and CWI protocols in a clinical or sporting setting.

Costello, JT, Culligan, K, Selfe, J and Donnelly, AE. (2012) “Muscle, skin and core temperature after -110 degrees c cold air and 8 degrees c water treatment”. PLoS One 7 (11) e48190.

Full Article : http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23139763