Accelerated muscle recovery in baseball pitchers using phase change material cooling

Mullaney, Michael, McHugh, Malachy P., Kwiecien, Susan, Ioviero, Neil, Fink, Andrew and Howatson, Glyn (2021) Accelerated muscle recovery in baseball pitchers using phase change material cooling. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 53 (1). pp. 228-235. ISSN 0195-9131

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Purpose: The purpose of this study was to document recovery following a pitching performance and determine if prolonged post-game phase change material (PCM) cooling of the shoulder and forearm accelerates recovery. Methods: Strength, soreness and serum creatine kinase (CK) activity were assessed prior to, and on the two days following pitching performances in 16 college pitchers. Pitchers were randomized to receive either post-game PCM cooling packs on the shoulder and forearm, or no cooling (control). PCM packs were applied inside compression shirts and delivered cooling at a constant temperature of 15°C for 3 hours. Strength was assessed for shoulder internal rotation (IR), external rotation (ER), empty can test (EC) and grip. Results: Total pitch count was 60±16 for 23 PCM cooling games and 62±17 for 24 control games (P=.679). On the days following pitching IR strength (P=.006) and grip strength (P=.036) were higher in the PCM cooling group versus control. One day after pitching IR strength was 95±14 of baseline with PCM cooling versus 83±13 for control (P=.008, effect size d 0.91) and 107±9 versus 95±10 for grip strength (P=.022, effect size d 1.29). There was a trend for greater ER strength with PCM cooling (P=.091, effect size d 0.51). The EC strength was not impaired after pitching (P=.147) and was therefore unaffected by PCM cooling (P=.168). Elevations in soreness and CK were not different between treatments (Treatment by Time CK P=.139, shoulder soreness P=.885, forearm soreness P=.206). Conclusion: This is one of the first studies to document impairments in muscle function on the days following baseball pitching, and the first study showing a novel cryotherapy intervention that accelerates recovery of muscle function in baseball pitchers following a game.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Cryotherapy, soreness, hand-held dynamometer, creatine kinase
Subjects: C600 Sports Science
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation
Depositing User: Elena Carlaw
Date Deposited: 18 Jun 2020 08:15
Last Modified: 31 Jul 2021 10:15

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