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Cooling an acute muscle injury: can basic scientific theory translate into the clinical setting?

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Bleakley, C M, Glasgow, P and Webb, M J (2012) Cooling an acute muscle injury: can basic scientific theory translate into the clinical setting? British Journal of Sports Medicine, 46 (4). pp. 296-298. [Journal article]

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DOI: 10.1136/bjsm.2011.086116

Abstract

Ice is commonly used after acute muscle strains but there are no clinical studies of its effectiveness. By comparison, there are a number of basic scientific studies on animals which show that applying ice after muscle injury has a consistent effect on a number of important cellular and physiological events relating to recovery. Some of these effects may be temperature dependant; most animal studies induce significant reductions in muscle temperature at the injury site. The aim of this short report was to consider the cooling magnitudes likely in human models of muscle injury and to discuss its relevance to the clinical setting. Current best evidence shows that muscle temperature reductions in humans are moderate in comparison to most animal models, limiting direct translation to the clinical setting. Further important clinical questions arise when we consider the heterogenous nature of muscle injury in terms of injury type, depth and insulating adipose thickness. Contrary to current practice, it is unlikely that a 'panacea' cooling dose or duration exists in the clinical setting. Clinicians should consider that in extreme circumstances of muscle strain (eg, deep injury with high levels of adipose thickness around the injury site), the clinical effectiveness of cooling may be significantly reduced.

Item Type:Journal article
Faculties and Schools:Faculty of Life and Health Sciences
Faculty of Life and Health Sciences > Ulster Sports Academy
Research Institutes and Groups:Sport and Exercise Sciences Research Institute
Sport and Exercise Sciences Research Institute > Centre for Sports Science and Sports Medicine
ID Code:20858
Deposited By:Dr Chris Bleakley
Deposited On:05 Apr 2012 09:01
Last Modified:09 Nov 2012 11:53

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