Cold Water Immersion Therapy

Cold Is Good.

As a result of high impact exercises, damage can be caused to muscles which can cause swelling and inflammation. Ice baths aim to reduce this. Sporting competition and training put an athlete’s body under large amounts of stress. It is important to recover fully from these stresses before exercise can commence again. However, without any help recovery can be slow. One method of speeding up recovery is through the use of ice baths. Ice baths work by dramatically reducing the body’s temperature causing the body to work to maintain its natural core temperature. This causes a decrease in heart rate and an increase in oxygen consumption and peripheral resistance by making vessels constrict. This in turn increases vascular pressure which reduces the amount of fluid that can accumulate limiting muscle inflammation.


Cold water immersion is ideally used following a heavy weights session, between training sessions or after muscle injury resulting in soreness or bruising.

Ice Bath After Cricket

Try to build up a total of 5 minutes in the ice bath.


  • 1 minute plunge- (try to relax as much a possible!),
  • 2 minutes out of water (air temperature) ,
  • Repeat 5 times.
  • When very brave, 5 minutes straight.


  • Decreases in perceived muscle soreness,
  • Performance maintenance,
  • Reduced muscle inflammation
  • Reduced muscle damage.



  • If an athlete has an illness, open wound, acute injury or serious bruising they should not participate in contrast therapy.
  • Standing in shoulder height water provides about 5 times the compressive value of full length compression tights. This can lead to a great passive recovery session.

Ref: Tasmanian Institute of Sport

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About the author

Bradley Wilson is the Managing Director of the AOK Health Group, established in 1994. The AOK Group is comprised of 3 companies which specialise in the design, manufacture and distribution of health and rehabilitation products, education and services worldwide. Bradley has not just fostered good products but also good business, winning the awards including 2008 Exporter of the Year, 2003 Fastest Growing Hunter Wholesaler and in 2004 Trainer of the Year in Logistics. In 2004, 2006 & 2008 Bradley was elected as a Director of the Hunter Business Chamber by the 1000 member companies of that organisation. He is Senior Vice President, Chair of the Executive, Audit, Business Development and Education Committees. In 2005 fellow board members elected him as a Councillor of NSW Business Chamber (previously Australian Business Ltd) - one of Australia’s largest business lobby groups. Bradley was a Councillor for 3 years. Respected enough to work with other prominent industry professionals throughout the world, he has developed a business model that allows his customers the advantage of the world’s best product and technological information unchallenged by their competitors.

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