Effects of Sports Massage and Intermittent Cold-Water Immersion on Recovery From Matches by Basketball Players

J Sports Sci. 2013;31(1):11-9. doi: 10.1080/02640414.2012.719241. Epub 2012 Aug 31.

Abstract

The aim of this study was to compare the effects of intermittent cold-water immersion and massage on perceptual and performance markers of recovery by basketball players after competitive matches. Eight men (age 23 ± 3 years; stature 190.5 ± 8.9 cm; body mass 90.3 ± 9.6 kg; body fat 12.8 ± 4.8%) and eight women (age 22 ± 2 years; stature 179.0 ± 8.5 cm; body mass 77.6 ± 9.2 kg; body fat 22.5 ± 6.6%) basketball players participated. Massage, cold-water immersion or control were applied immediately after competitive matches, followed by assessments of perceptual measures of recovery and physical performance, countermovement jump and repeated-sprint ability 24 h after intervention. There was lower perception of fatigue overall and in the legs immediately after the massage and cold-water immersion condition (P < 0.001; η²(P) = 0.91). Furthermore, women had a lower perception of fatigue in cold-water immersion than massage at any testing time (P < 0.001; η²(P) = 0.37). Jump performance was greater after cold-water immersion than the control condition (P = 0.037, η²(P) = 0.37). There was no effect of any of the recovery interventions on repeated-sprint measures (P at best 0.067, η²(P) at best 0.68). The results suggest that both massage and cold-water immersion improve perceptual measures of recovery. Furthermore, cold-water immersion improves jump performance although neither such immersion nor massage had an effect on repeated-sprint ability. This suggests that, overall, cold-water immersion is more useful than massage in the recovery from basketball matches, especially in women.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Athletic Performance*
  • Basketball*
  • Biomarkers
  • Cold Temperature*
  • Competitive Behavior
  • Fatigue* / prevention & control
  • Fatigue* / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydrotherapy / methods*
  • Immersion
  • Leg
  • Male
  • Massage*
  • Movement
  • Perception
  • Physical Exertion*
  • Running
  • Water
  • Young Adult

Substances

  • Biomarkers
  • Water