Listed in Issue 103


HOWATSON and VAN SOMEREN, School of Life Sciences, Kingston University, Kingston-upon-Thames, UK,, have explored the effects of ice massage on exercise-induced muscle damage.


The aim of the study was to investigate the effect of ice massage on signs and symptoms of muscles damaged as a consequence of exercise.


9 resistance trained men performed an exercise sequence designed to induce muscle damage on two separate occasions. The exercises were performed on dominant or non-dominant arm in a random crossover fashion. The men were randomly assigned to an ice massage or control group in the crossover design. Ice massage was performed immediately after exercise, 24 hours after exercise and 48 hours after exercise. A number of microscopic and macroscopic measures of muscle damage were taken pre and immediately post exercise and 24 hours, 48 hours, and 72 hours after exercise.


No significant differences were found between men who received ice massage and those who didn't except that the enzyme, creatine kinase, was lower at 72 hours post exercise in the ice massage group.


Although ice massage reduces the appearance of creatine kinase in exercise-damaged muscle, it has no other effects.


Howatson G, van Someren KA. Ice massage. Effects on exercise-induced muscle damage. The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 43 (3): 500-505, Dec 2003.

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