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Impact of Cryostimulation on Muscle Pain and Fatigue Recovery: A Comprehensive Review

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The use of cryostimulation in sports and recovery routines has garnered significant attention due to its potential benefits in alleviating muscle pain and fatigue. This comprehensive review examines existing intervention studies and evaluates the effectiveness of various cryostimulation methods, including cold water immersion (CWI), contrast water therapy (CWT), and whole-body cryostimulation (WBC). With an increasing need for effective recovery methods, understanding the market access implications of these findings is crucial for athletes, healthcare providers, and manufacturers of cryostimulation equipment.

Cryostimulation involves the application of low temperatures and water environments to treat muscle fatigue and enhance sports performance. A systematic review was conducted, analyzing 18 articles that included 499 healthy participants, of which 479 were males and 20 females. The participants underwent different cryostimulation methods: 102 using CWT, 339 using CWI, and 58 using WBC. The study aimed to assess the effects of these interventions on muscle pain intensity and fatigue recovery.

Methodology and Data Collection

Adhering to PRISMA guidelines, researchers searched databases including PubMed, Embase, The Cochrane Library, Web of Science, and EBSCO to identify relevant trials. The search spanned from November 2013 to November 2023. Quality assessment of the included studies was performed using the Cochrane risk of bias tool, and data were analyzed using RevMan 5.3 software. This rigorous approach ensured the reliability of the findings and the potential for these methods to gain broader market acceptance.

Key Findings and Market Implications

The results indicated that cryostimulation significantly reduces muscle pain intensity (SMD -0.45, 95% CI -0.82 to -0.09, P = 0.01). Notably, CWI was found to be particularly effective in lowering muscle pain intensity (SMD = -0.45, 95% CI 0.82 to -0.09, P = 0.01), while WBC significantly decreased C-reactive protein levels (SMD = -1.36, 95% CI 2.35 to -0.36, P = 0.008). However, CWT showed no significant differences in exercise performance and fatigue recovery compared to the control group (P > 0.05). The findings suggest that cryostimulation, especially CWI and WBC, could be a valuable addition to recovery protocols, potentially increasing their market penetration.

Practical Insights for Athletes and Healthcare Providers

– Incorporating CWI can effectively reduce muscle pain post-exercise.
– WBC is beneficial for lowering inflammation markers such as C-reactive protein.
– CWT may not significantly impact exercise performance or fatigue recovery.
– Cryostimulation could enhance recovery protocols, making them more attractive in the market.

The study concludes that cryostimulation can play a significant role in reducing muscle pain and perceived fatigue. CWI and WBC are especially recommended for addressing inflammation and muscle pain. However, the impact on overall exercise performance remains inconclusive. These findings highlight the potential for cryostimulation methods to be integrated into sports recovery practices, thereby expanding their market access and utilization.

Original Article: Heliyon. 2024 Jun 3;10(11):e32196. doi: 10.1016/j.heliyon.2024.e32196. eCollection 2024 Jun 15.

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