Acute response to hydrotherapy after A simulated game of rugby

Trevor R. Higgins, Melainie L. Cameron, Mike Climstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Despite lacking clear scientific evidence, hydrotherapies (water treatments) are accepted techniques to help team sport athletes recover from the physical effects of games. The purpose of this study was to assess the comparative effectiveness of cold water immersions (CWIs) and hot-and-cold contrast baths on athletes' recovery after a simulated game of rugby union. Twenty-four experienced, well-trained, male rugby union players were divided into 3 groups to receive recovery interventions: CWI for 1 group, contrast baths for a second group, and passive recovery for a third (control) group. Pregame and postgame measurements included a countermovement jump (normalized as a ratio to body weight), a sit-and-stretch flexibility test (centimeters), thigh circumference (to detect swelling; centimeters), and participants' perception of delayed-onset muscular soreness (DOMS, 100-mm visual analog scale). Statistical analysis included analysis of variance, and the calculation of omnibus effect sizes for each group (h2 p) and the magnitudes of change within and between groups (Cohen's d). The participants in the contrast bath group reported statistically significantly greater measures of DOMS than participants in the control group did at 1 hour postintervention (p = 0.05, control group: d = 1.80; contrast bath: d = 4.75), and than participants in the CWI group did at 48 hours postintervention (p = 0.02, CWI: d = 1.17; contrast bath: d = 1.97). These findings provide modest evidence that contrast baths are a less effective strategy for recovery from rugby union than are CWI or passive recovery. Specifically, 2 3 5-minute CWI is superior to both contrasts baths and passive recovery in alleviating DOMS after exercise-induced muscle damage. Our recommendation for rugby union players aiming to attenuate the effects of DOMS postgames is to take 2 3 5-minute CWIs baths immediately after the game.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2851-2860
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Strength and Conditioning Research
Volume27
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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Hydrotherapy
Football
Baths
Immersion
Water
Athletes
Control Groups
Water Purification
Thigh
Visual Analog Scale
Sports
Analysis of Variance
Body Weight
Exercise
Muscles

Cite this

Higgins, Trevor R. ; Cameron, Melainie L. ; Climstein, Mike. / Acute response to hydrotherapy after A simulated game of rugby. In: Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 2013 ; Vol. 27, No. 10. pp. 2851-2860.
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Acute response to hydrotherapy after A simulated game of rugby. / Higgins, Trevor R.; Cameron, Melainie L.; Climstein, Mike.

In: Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, Vol. 27, No. 10, 2013, p. 2851-2860.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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