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Delayed effects of a 20-minute crushed ice application on knee joint position sense assessed by a functional task during a re-warming period

Alexander, J and Richards, J and Attah, O and Cheema, S and Snook, J and Wisdell, C and May, K and Selfe, James (2018) Delayed effects of a 20-minute crushed ice application on knee joint position sense assessed by a functional task during a re-warming period. Gait and Posture, 62. pp. 173-178. ISSN 0966-6362

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Abstract

Introduction The effect of cryotherapy on joint positioning presents conflicting debates as to whether individuals are at an increased risk of injury when returning to play following cryotherapy application at the lower limb. Objectives The aim of this study was to investigate whether a 20 minute application of crushed ice at the knee affects knee joint position sense immediately post and up to 20 mins post ice removal, during a small knee bend. Method 17 healthy male participants took part in the study performing a functional task. Using three-dimensional motion analysis (Qualisys Medical AB Gothenburg, Sweden), kinematics of the knee were measured during a weight bearing functional task pre and immediately post, 5, 10, 15 and 20 minutes post cryotherapy intervention. Skin surface temperature (Tsk) cooling was measured via infrared non-contact thermal imaging (Flir Systems, Danderyd, Sweden) over the anterior and medial aspect of the knee. Results Results demonstrated significant reductions in the ability to accurately replicate knee joint positioning. A significant increase (P ≧ 0.05) in rotational movement in the transverse plane occurred, 20 minutes post ice removal. Discussion A 20-minute application of crushed ice to the anterior aspect of the non-dominant knee has an adverse effect on knee joint repositioning and dynamic stability, 20 minutes after ice is removed. In consideration of returning a land-based athlete to dynamic functional activities, post cryotherapeutic intervention at the knee, clinicians should consider these findings due to the potential increase risk of injury.

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