Date of Award


Degree Type

Selective Evidence-Based Medicine Review

Degree Name

Master of Science in Health Sciences - Physician Assistant


Physician Assistant Studies


OBJECTIVE: The objective of this selective EBM review is to determine whether or not cold water immersion at temperatures below 10°C reduce perceived muscle soreness after exercise more than water temperatures above 10°C.

STUDY DESIGN: Systematic review of three randomized controlled trials published in 2016 and 2017

DATA SOURCES: Data sources for this review were articles published in peer-reviewed journals using PubMed Database and Cochrane Collaboration

OUTCOME(S) MEASURED: The outcome measured was the patient’s reduction in muscle soreness post exercise when submerged in cold water using the visual analog scale.

RESULTS: Machado et al. (Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports. 2017;27(11):1356-1363. doi:10.1111/sms.12734) found that muscle soreness was reduced immediately post recovery and 40 minutes post exercise when submerged in cold water, but no difference between groups at the 24- or 48-hour period was observed with a p-value of 0.299. Anderson et al. (Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 2017:1. doi:10.1519/jsc.0000000000002314) found that muscle soreness remained elevated in all trials 24 and 48 hours post exercise with a p value of 0.03 for the group submerged in 5°C water and 0.27 for the group submerged in 14°C water. Vieria et al. (International Journal of Sports Medicine. 2016;37(12):937-943. doi:10.1055/s-0042-111438) found that participants who were submerged in the 15°C bath had reduced muscle soreness after 24 hours compared to the group in the 5°C bath with a p value of 0.06.

CONCLUSIONS: The results of these three trials showed that submersion in a colder water bath than a warmer did not reduce perceived muscle soreness after a time period of 24-48 hours post exercise.