RECOVERY

The most popular and widespread use of ice baths is for the treatment of sports injuries, strained muscles and general soreness. This is widely known as recovery. The science of Athlete Recovery is based on centuries old knowledge that ice packs applied to injuries are very effective in reducing in inflammation and pain.

Very stressful sporting activity produces a lot of waste products that build up in the blood supply to the muscles. When the rate of demand for energy is high, glucose in the blood stream is broken down and used by the muscles as the energy source. This produces lactate which is often produced faster than the tissues can remove it and lactate concentration begins to rise. At the same time other waste products begin to build faster than they can be removed. This combination results in an increase in the bodies normal concentration of metabolic acids lowering of the bodies pH. This is the primary cause of the pain that athletes experience for the first few hours after hard training or competition.

At the same time aggressive and long duration exercise damages some of the muscle tissue by causing tiny tears in the muscle bres. This causes the pain that is experienced the next day and sometimes even for a few days.

Immersion of the limbs or the entire body in chilled water is the most effective treatment presently available for treating both sources of pain mentioned above and it is very easy to implement with the latest ice bath equipment from iCool.

BUILDING ATHLETIC ENDURANCE

By using an ice bath to remove heat from the body’s surface tissues and muscles before training or hard competition, athlete’s and that they can maintain high levels of activity for longer.

A simple and logical mechanism.

By starting with a lower temperature more of the heat generated in the body by high activity can be accommodated by the body before a dangerously high overall temperature is reached. This allows the athlete to endure high levels of exertion for longer.

Being able to endure longer has major advantages:

a) It gives the athlete vital extra minutes at peak output.
b) It allows longer training session sthat can result in a progressive increase in natural endurance.
c) It allows the athlete a longer period in extreme conditions before dangerously high brain temperatures reduce judgement and reaction times.

The use of ice baths before competition is now widely practiced in motorcar and motorcycle racing and by football teams around the world. An increasing number of football teams are using ice baths in the match breaks to quickly reduce the players body temperature before they rejoin the match. The results have been very effective. Players, drivers and riders all report that they can remain mentally focussed for longer in hot conditions.

FASTER HEALING

When any of the body’s soft tissues, muscles or joints are damaged, usually the first reaction of the immune systems is the process leading to what is generally described as inflammation. Inflammation is the immune system’s primary defense mechanism against injury and irritation.

The redness you see and heat you feel are due to an increase in the flow of warmer blood to the area from the body’s core. The swelling is caused by accumulation of fluid and the pain is due to the increase in the blood acid level and the release of other waste products and chemicals that stimulate nerve endings.

Immersion of the affected limbs or the entire body in chilled water is very effective in reducing both swelling and the inflammation and is safer than using pain relieving drugs. Studies have also shown that the use of an ice bath is more effective than anti-inflammatory drugs in many cases and is far safer.

IMPROVED SLEEP AND WELL-BEING

One of the most important bene ts of ice baths is also the most widely reported by athletes. The overwhelming majority of athletes report that they sleep more soundly and they feel more calm and relaxed the next day.

This has been so widely reported and is such an important bene t, that expert studies are now underway to determine just how this works.