Ice Baths – Do they work?
It seems to be getting more an more common. Fighters, and may other athletes for that matter are adding ice baths to their training regimen. After a hard workout, these athletes jump into a tub of ice cold water in an effort to recuperate from the workout quicker. While the treatment can be painful and hard to deal with, many athletes claim that immersing their body in this frigid water it helps them some how to avoid delayed-onset muscle soreness. But does this treatment really work?
I found a study done on the subject on BJSM where they scientifically evaluated the ice immersion technique. The study concluded that No significant differences were observed between the athletes that used ice immersion and the the athletes who did not. There were no significant differences in pain parameters, tenderness, isometric strength or swelling.
While ice immersion may or may not provide relief for delayed-onset muscle soreness, it certainly provides some training in discipline and mental toughness. After all, it takes a certain mind set for someone to sit through the almost unbearable pain of the freezing water. Athletes, especially fighters, must be mentally strong and capable of working through great pain. Ice immersion techniques may play a great part in helping to build up their mental strength.