The purpose of this study was to examine the effectiveness of a single bout of cold-water immersion on recovery from exercise-induced muscle damage. Eighteen physically active female volunteers (age 19.9 (+/-0.97 years), height 1.66 (+/-0.05 m), mass 63.7 (+/-10 kg), completed 10 sets of 10 counter-movement jumps to induce muscle damage and were randomly allocated to a control or treatment group. The treatment group was given a single 10-min bout of lower limb cold-water immersion therapy at 10 degrees C immediately following damage-inducing exercise. Indicators of muscle damage (plasma creatine kinase activity, perceived soreness and maximal voluntary contraction of the quadriceps) were assessed immediately prior to counter-movement jumps, and at 1, 24, 48, 72 and 96 h, following the damaging exercise. Significant (p = 0.05) time effects were recorded on all indicators of muscle damage, but there were no significant group or group x time interaction effects found on any of the measured variables. The results indicate that a single bout of cold-water immersion after a damaging bout of exercise has no beneficial effects on the recovery from exercise-induced muscle damage.