Whole-body cryotherapy for preventing and treating muscle soreness after exercise

Alongside its benefits, one of the unwelcome outcomes of exercise can be sore muscles. Ways to prevent or treat muscle soreness can form an important part of training regimens for athletes, whether they are professional or amateur. One recent therapy that is growing in use is whole-body cryotherapy (WBC). This involves single or repeated exposures to extremely cold dry air (below -100°C) in a specialized chamber or cabin for two to four minutes. A recent Cochrane Review aimed to find out whether WBC reduced muscle soreness, improved recovery, and was safe for those people for whom it can be used. The author team concluded that currently available evidence is insufficient to support the use of WBC for preventing and treating muscle soreness after exercise in adults.

Read the plain langauge summary

Read the full review on the Cochrane Library

Listen to the Podcast of this review (in Spanish)

Selected media coverage

BBC News article cites lack of Cochrane evidence in an article about professional rugby players using cryotherapy as physical therapy

Interview on CNN with review author

Panel discussion on HuffPost USA  with review author

Tuesday, October 27, 2015