Background: Whole body cryotherapy (WBC) is the therapeutic application of extreme cold air for a short duration. Minimal evidence is available for determining optimal exposure time.

Purpose: To explore whether the length of WBC exposure induces differential changes in inflammatory markers, tissue oxygenation, skin and core temperature, thermal sensation and comfort.

Method: This study was a randomised cross over design with participants acting as their own control. Fourteen male professional first team super league rugby players were exposed to 1, 2, and 3 minutes of WBC at —135″C. Testing took place the day after a competitive league fixture, each exposure separated by seven days.

Results: No significant changes were found in the inflammatory cytokine interleukin six. Significant reductions (p<0.05) in deoxyhaemoglobin for gastrocnernius and vastus lateralis were found. In vastus lateralis significant reductions (p<0.05) in oxyhaemoglobin and tissue oxygenation index (p<0.05) were demonstrated. Significant reductions (p<0.05) in skin temperature were recorded. No significant changes were recorded in core temperature. Significant reductions (p<0.05) in thermal sensation and comfort were recorded.

Conclusion: Three brief exposures to WBC separated by 1 week are not Sufficient to induce physiological changes in IL-6 or core temperature. There are however significant changes in tissue oxyhaemoglobin, deoxyhaemoglobin, tissue oxygenation index, skin temperature and thermal sensation. We conclude that a 2 minute WBC exposure was the optimum exposure length at temperatures of —135 C and could be applied as the basis for future studies.

Citation: Selfe J, Alexander J, Costello JT, May K, G a rratt N, et al. (2014) The Effect of Three Different (-135 C) Whole Body Cryotherapy Exposure Durations on Elite Rugby League Players. PLoS ONE 9(1): e86420. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0086420

Editor: Xiaoming He, The Ohio State University, United States of America

Received September 13, 2013; Accepted December 13, 2013; Published January 29, 2014

Copyright: Cc, 2014 Selfe et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Funding: Jill Alexander was funded to work on the project by a University of Central Lancashire innovation voucher. The use of the mobile Cryochamber, liquid Nitrogen and specialist operator were provided free of charge by BOC Linde throughout the testing. The fenders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

Competing Interests: The use of the mobile Cryochamber, liquid nitrogen and specialist operator were provided free of charge by BOC Linde throughout the testing. This does not alter our adherence to all the PLoS ONE policies on sharing data and materials.

Read full article at http://eprints.qut.edu.au/66822/1/Selfe_et_al_%282014%29_The_Effect_of_Three_Different_%28-135C%29_Whole_Body.pdf


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