Effects of cold water immersion on variables of balance in healthy subjects with open and closed eyes

Simone Sayomi Tano, Karen Barros Parron Fernandes, Auristela Duarte Lima Moser, Deise Aparecida de Almeida Pires-Oliveira, Andre Wilson Oliveira Gil, Rodrigo Franco de Oliveira


Introduction: Cryotherapy is the use of cold as therapeutic approach. Although often used, its impact on the postural balance is not well-known. Objectives: To analyze the effects of cold water immersion in the postural balance on single-leg balance in healthy subjects through the variables of center-of-pressure, velocity anteroposterior and medial-lateral oscillations, comparing conditions open and closed eyes in the moments before, immediately, 20 and 40 minutes after cold water immersion. Material and methods: Cross-sectional study with 30 male subjects, cold water immersion at 5 °C during 15 minutes assessed in a force platform, protocol of 3 trials of 30 seconds each with 10 seconds of rest, the average of the 3 trials was used for analysis. The software GraphPad Prisma 5.0 was used for statistical analysis, with the ANOVA test for repeated measures and comparisons with test of Friedman and post-test of Dunn. Results: It was observed improvement of the balance by the results of the following variables: in the condition Open Eyes (OE) it was observed significant difference only in the velocity anteroposterior (AP) in the moment before immersion when compared to the 40-minute moment. Significant differences were observed in the condition Closed Eyes (CE) in the following comparisons: in the Center-of-Pressure (COP) only at the immediate moment when compared to the 40-minute moment; in the velocity AP in the moment before when compared to the 40-minute moment, in the immediate moment when compared to the 20-minute and 40-minute moments; and in the medial-lateral velocity (Vel-ML) in two comparisons: in the moment before immersion when compared to the 20-minute and 40-minute moments after cryotherapy. Results show safety in performing activities after cryotherapy. Conclusion: Improvement of the postural balance after cold water immersion on the predetermined conditions of this study.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.1590/0103-5150.028.003.AO05


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