Comparative Immediate Lower Extremity Performance Outcomes Among Cryotherapeutic Interventions at the Ankle

Open Access
Williams, Emily Elizabeth
Area of Honors:
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
  • cryotherapy
  • ice
  • ankle
  • balance
  • proprioception
  • functional performance
COMPARATIVE IMMEDIATE LOWER EXTREMITY PERFORMANCE OUTCOMES AMONG CRYOTHERAPEUTIC INTERVENTIONS AT THE ANKLE Williams EE*, Vairo GL*, Miller SJ*, Kramer LC*, Sebastianelli WJ†: Athletic Training and Sports Medicine Research Laboratory, *Department of Kinesiology, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA; †Penn State Hershey Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine – State College, PA Objective: To primarily investigate the immediate effects of cryotherapeutic modes to the ankle joint on lower extremity functional performance measures and in a physically active population. We hypothesized that cryotherapy would decrease performance when compared to the control and that concomitant compression would further hinder outcomes. Design and Settings: A crossover study was conducted in a controlled laboratory. The independent variable was treatment mode; no ice, ice without compression and ice with compression. Dependent variables included center of pressure (COP) excursions, dynamic balance and vertical jump height for the dominant leg. Participants underwent three separate testing sessions separated by 72-hour rest periods. The order of treatment and performance measures was randomized to prevent order effects. Subjects: Thirty (9 men, 21 women) healthy, physically active participants (20.6 ± 1.0 years, 1.7 ± 0.1 m, 67.5 ± 11.7 kg) were enrolled. Measurements: Normalized dynamic balance reach distances were assessed using the reliable modified Star Excursion Balance Test (SEBT). Center of pressure path length and average velocity were assessed via a force platform during a reliable static balance task under eyes-open and eyes-closed conditions. Relative vertical jump height was assessed using a reliable single-leg vertical hop test. Group means and standard deviations were calculated by treatment mode. One-way analyses of variance with Tukey’s post hoc test calculated differences among treatment modes. P < 0.05 denoted statistical significance. Results: No statistically significant differences existed for all the performance measures among treatment modes {SEBT (%LL): anterior [no ice|75.1 ± 6.6; ice|77.0 ± 6.6, ice-compression|75.1 ± 6.6, P = 0.568]; posteromedial [no ice|103.2 ± 9.4, ice|104.1 ± 12.4, ice-compression|103.2 ± 9.4, P = 0.849]; posterolateral [no ice|94.8 ± 11.5, ice|98.3 ± 10.1, ice-compression|94.8 ± 11.5, P = 0.499]; COP path length (cm): eyes-open [no ice|36.3 ± 10.2, ice|34.3 ± 10.7, ice-compression|35.6 ± 10.6, P = 0.835], eyes-closed [no ice|76.6 ± 18.7, ice|75.9 ± 24.2, ice-compression|72.2 ± 22.9, P = 0.713]; COP average velocity (cm/s): eyes-open - [no ice|3.6 ± 1.0, ice|3.5 ± 1.1, ice-compression|3.6 ± 1.1, P = 0.844), eyes-closed - [no ice|7.5 ± 1.7, ice|7.6 ± 2.3, ice-compression|7.2 ± 2.3, P = 0.800];vertical jump height (cm): [no ice|24.8 ± 7.6; ice|22.9 ± 8.1, ice-compression|24.1 ± 7.0, P=0.610]}. Conclusions: Our findings suggest no immediate significant differences exist for lower extremity performance outcomes among the respective treatment modes to the ankle in a physically active population. Additional investigation is warranted to study the related delayed effects. Word Count: 400. This study was funded by the Penn State Schreyer Honors College Summer Research Grant Program