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AIM: In this study the application of cold water (CW) or warm water (WW) for the recovery delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) was investigated in comparison with a control group without the application of water (CO) after eccentric exercise. METHODS: The main study took place in a randomized, controlled study design on 60 healthy, moderately athletic young men (aged 22 years), classified into 3 groups with 20 men per group. The load was equivalent to the 70% of 1 RM, one-repetition maximum at the Deadlift (Bent Leg). Exercise consisted of 10 sets of 10 eccentric contractions of the Hamstrings muscle group after which they were exposed to either CW (20 degrees C), or WW (38 degrees C) or no intervention at all (CO). Blood samples were taken 30min before, after and 1, 2 and 6 hours after performing the exercise. RESULTS: The exercise showed to a clear increase in the muscle stress parameters without significant difference in results between the groups. The application of WW after exercise resulted in a prominent decrease in muscle cell reaction. In addition, a significant decrease was noticed in the skeletal troponin I (sTnI), creatin kinase (CK) and myoglobin (Mb) after ww. CONCLUSION: These results are indicative that the exposure of CW (20 degrees C/30 min) after exercise would lead to an elevated muscle cells stress reaction. On the other hand exposure to WW (38 degrees C/30 min) leads to a decrease in the exercise-induced deflection of muscle cell reaction.

Hassan, ES. (2011) “Thermal therapy and delayed onset muscle soreness”. J Sports Med Phys Fitness 51 (2) 249-54.

Full Article : http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21681159