Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
from September 2014
©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2008) 07, 387 - 394

Research article
The Effects of Cold Whirlpool on Power, Speed, Agility, and Range of Motion
Stephen M. Patterson1, , Brian E. Udermann1, Scott T. Doberstein1, David M. Reineke2
Author Information
1 Department of Exercise and Sport Science,
2 Department of Mathematics, University of Wisconsin - La Crosse, La Crosse, USA

Stephen M. Patterson
‚úČ Saint Cloud State University, 720 4 Ave S. Hah 214, St. Cloud, MN 56301, USA
Publish Date
Received: 23-05-2008
Accepted: 11-07-2008
Published (online): 01-09-2008
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The purpose was to determine if cold whirlpool treatment decreases functional performance equally regardless of gender. A secondary aim was to determine if there is a gradual increase in functional performance across time. Twenty-one college-aged subjects volunteered to participate in this study and were required to perform four measures of functional performance including: counter movement vertical jump, T-test, 36.58-meter dash (40-yard), and active range of motion of the ankle. Participants were treated with a 20 minute, 10 degree Celsius cold whirlpool following the pre-test of a given functional performance measure. Participants demonstrated significant decreases in counter movement vertical jump, T-test, and 40-yard dash performance immediately following treatment. Vertical jump performance remained impaired for at least 32 minutes. While both the T-test and 40-yard dash were affected for 7 and 22 minutes post- treatment, respectively. Participants also demonstrated significant decreases in peak power and average power immediately after and for 32 minutes post-treatment. Dorsiflexion was significantly decreased 7 and 12 minutes following treatment. There were no differences for plantar flexion, inversion, or eversion. These data suggest functional performance was affected immediately following and for up to 32 minutes after cold whirlpool treatment. It was also evident that there is a gradual performance increase for each measure of functional performance across time. Therefore, the consequences should be carefully considered before returning athletes to activity following cold whirlpool treatment.

Key words: Functional performance, cryotherapy, therapeutic modalities

           Key Points
  • Cryotherapy is a common and highly effective modality in treating acute and chronic athletic injuries.
  • The results indicated that cold whirlpool does have an immediate and subsequent effect on functional performance.
  • Understanding how cold whirlpool adversely affects functional performance allows clinicians to continue using this modality before vigorous athletic activity.
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