ice bath after playing??

Discussion in 'Health & Fitness' started by grizzly4life, Apr 20, 2007.

  1. grizzly4life

    grizzly4life Professional

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    curious about this subject.....

    i think i read about both tennis and baseball players taking ice baths after a long, hard match... and i've seen them do it on that stupid MTV reality show about that high school football team in alabama....... seems to really work. and i don't know about you guys, but my back is often really sore after 2 hours of playing (and i think that's relatively true of pro's when it's over 2 hours - see agassi or bagh from last USO).

    anyone done this?? can i produce enough ice to make my bath water "cold enough"??................. i have been doing hot baths which seemingly is the exact opposite and seems to work o.k, not great though..... can someone explain the therapeutic difference between ice and heat on sore, tired muscles? (NOT injured muscles, i know that's ice followed later by heat.

    thanks in advance!!
     
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  2. dommod

    dommod Banned

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    I try this once or twice. Very hard to make water cold enough (many ice cubes!), and I don't know how well it work for soreness, but it felt kind of nice after a bit. Worth trying. Very freezing at beginning though. Ouch!!
     
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  3. grizzly4life

    grizzly4life Professional

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    dommod, thanks.... turned out there was lots on internet about it and it sounds good. apparently the hot bath was a terrible idea. makes soreness worse (although i don't understand totally..... are blood vessels and muscles somewhat independent of each other? i.e. do muscles have alot of blood vessels. i'd assume so. heat is marketed as good for sore muscles so i don't really understand.

    anyhow, any ideas as to how i can produce large quantities of ice (old yogurt containers, or will they crack??).... or how much will be required to make a difference?.... or can you easily buy thermometers cheaply for lower temperatures?
     
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  4. chess9

    chess9 Hall of Fame

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    I run a tub of all cold water, then throw in a bunch of my frozen water bottles, ice bags and ice cubes. It doesn't have to be too cold to confer a benefit. Just sit there for 15 minutes. You will notice the benefit very soon after getting out. I follow it with a brief, luke warm shower. Not too hot.

    I've been doing that for decades. I learned it from my high school baseball coach.

    -Robert
     
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  5. cghipp

    cghipp Professional

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    I have thought about it but haven't dared to do it! Chicken...
     
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  6. grizzly4life

    grizzly4life Professional

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    me too.... although i'm a "baby" in additionto being a "chicken":rolleyes:
     
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  7. Fatmike

    Fatmike Semi-Pro

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    there is a icy bath in the club where i play

    never tried it
     
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  8. rod_b

    rod_b Rookie

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    AFAIK, it doesn't have to be ice cold. People who lift weights at a club will often jump into a cold pool and swim afterwards. The idea is that the cold will reduce the amount of, or production of, lactic acid to prevent soreness associated with tearing and building muscle. I've never done this for tennis or other sports but for weight training, I can say it has helped.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2007
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  9. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    Must be a godsend for your arm after playing
     
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  10. Pleepers

    Pleepers Professional

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    Generally ice is for sore and swollen joints (knees and shoulders), while heat is for sore muscles.
     
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  11. grizzly4life

    grizzly4life Professional

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    which would you think is better for stiff back??

    anyhow, i did it........... my tapwater gets pretty cold when you run it for 2 minutes and then i added a basic ice tray to a standard-sized tube. .. was it ever freakin' cold? and wow, what a difference it make quickly? i'm trying to figure out though how to do 10 minutes, let alone 2 minutes??... at first, the area of your body that gets the most blood (hint, hint) felt really bad.
     
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  12. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    Pitchers ice their arms routinely. If you are putting as much strain on your arm in tennis as they do, you are going to have major problems (ie they can't play everyday and you have to). I would ice an injury but it shouldn't be necessary on a routine basis for tennis.
     
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  13. CanadianChic

    CanadianChic Hall of Fame

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    It depends how long after the match - it is grossly unhealthy to submerge yourself in very cold water when your body is still hot. The heart is unaccustomed to such sudden temperature changes - an example would be the polar bear dive. There is a reason there are always ambulances on hand at these events.
     
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  14. Thud and blunder

    Thud and blunder Semi-Pro

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    Five million Finns would disagree with you, CC...
     
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  15. Pleepers

    Pleepers Professional

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    I guess it depends -is it the spine or the muscles of the back?
     
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  16. dcottrill

    dcottrill Rookie

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    I get in an empty tub and then turn on the cold water. That way I gradually get covered with cold water. I can't imagine just getting in a tub full of ice water.
     
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  17. chess9

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    I do it just like a polar bear! Just jump into the cold tub. In about one minute it feels normal. I can't imagine such a brief and partial immersion in water that is relatively warm-45-60 degrees could possibly cause a heart attack unless you have a pre-existing coronary condition. It IS briefly uncomfortable.

    I've done a 1.2 mile swim without a wetsuit at the shore in New Jersey (ca 1983, November) and the water was about 57 degrees. No problemo....

    -Robert
     
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  18. Fee

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    The Bryan Brothers mentioned this in their blog last summer during Wimbledon if you want to try to track that down at the ATP website. When I was studying sportsmedicine a while back, it was amongst our methods of therapy, but very few athletes were takers (they had a hard enough time with submerging an ankle or an elbow). We had an ice machine, so we could fill the whirlpool tub then add cold water or room temp water on top of it. The tub was in the middle of a co-ed treatment room, so the guys had to wear shorts and that was probably helpful to them.

    The benefit is that is does reduce the inflammation and 'heat' associated with overworked, lactic-acid soaked muscles throughout the body. For men, the immediate downside of this is probably obvious... It can be a shock to your body if you are not used to this, and CC is right, you should cool off and stop sweating before you get in an ice bath. Since most people keep their chests, shoulders and head out of the water, the real danger is probably minimal.

    Heat is used to increase circulation and healing. It is better before activity, or during treatment, but not necessarily after you perform a particular activity when your body is still warm. Alternating heat and cold is also an effective treatment to speed healing, but that is more effective about 48 hours after the initial injury.
     
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  19. dcottrill

    dcottrill Rookie

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    Sounds like a recipe for a really bad case of shrinkage.
     
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  20. grizzly4life

    grizzly4life Professional

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    thanks for all the feedback.... it seems like it's very worthwhile (you should try it). my legs felt much better in just a minute or so. and previously i'd have that heavy leg feeling really badly the next day.... but i'm going to go back and do it more gradually. start with just cold tap water for now and add an additional ice cube each time i do it.... it was really, really cold. had to pretend i was chuck norris in "missing in action" being tortured by the evil prison warden.
     
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  21. 103xStateChamp

    103xStateChamp Rookie

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    lol, that is funny:p
     
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  22. waves2ya

    waves2ya Rookie

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    I'm in the NJ ocean around Memorial Day; fullsuit around 52 degrees...

    And advocate ice baths (really, more cold water than ice) after big matches.

    Great for recovery (there's a thread here somewhere, as always, concerning)...
     
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  23. dommod

    dommod Banned

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    I think there is an expression APROPOS this topic: No pain, no gain. Don't be chicken anyone!
     
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  24. KingOfTennis

    KingOfTennis Professional

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    wouldnt it be bad for u since u make ur heart/body (warmed up and pumping at fast rate) suddenly cool down massively. Like its bad for ur heart to jump in a really cold pool.
     
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  25. dommod

    dommod Banned

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    I wish I never read this thread since I had forgotten about ice bath until I read it, and so I took one today after play. OUCH!!!! It is torturous! Additionally, the Canadian lady has scared the bejesus out of me with her voiced concern about heart attack and ambulance on stand-by! Is this really true people? Is ice bath dangerous?

    Irregardless of safety, I think it might be helpful for sore muscle. Plus contrary to what I remember, just running very cold tap water is frigid plenty. Extra ice optional!
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2007
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  26. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    I wouldn't worry about your heart unless you had known (or unknown) preexisting heart problems. So, I guess you should worry about it...
     
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  27. CanadianChic

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    Sorry Dommod, I didn't mean to alarm you. I am an honest poster, and will not lie......changing external environments at an immediate is not good for the heart. Anyone who claims it is is not posting honestly. I have no issue with taking a "cold" bath or shower, or even an ice bath after your body has cooled down naturally. I'm sure you've heard of parents rushing their children into ice baths to cool them down - that is when the child (or adult) is suffering a dangerously critical fever. To go from a match, where your body is overheated and your heart is pumping at a faster than normal rate and submerging yourself in ice water is unnecessary and foolish. Use an ice pack on muscles - same effectiveness without a complete submerge.
    Please keep in mind that I am not a doctor and these are only my opinions, but yes, ambulances do stand by at polar bear runs for a reason - and it has not always been the elderly or those with preexisting heart conditions who have needed them. :p
     
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  28. dommod

    dommod Banned

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    The information you have provided has left me flummoxed. I value your participation, but am alarmed by your data. On one hand we have you say risk of heart attack is present with ice bath and polar bear meets. On other hand we have several others who say they regularly take ice bath, a fitness club that reportedly offer an ice bath, and a former sports medicine study person who say ice baths was part of the treatment at her clinic place. How can these places offer ice bath treatment if it is so dangerous? You yourself you have said ice bath okay for fever. Plus we have five million Finnish people who reportedly like ice bath!:confused:

    I am at a loss now. I much prefer ice bath after tennis over ice pack because it can treat all sore muscles simultaneously from back to toe. I also don't want to have heart failure. What is the solution everyone???
     
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  29. El Guapo

    El Guapo Semi-Pro

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    You're wrong. No one submerges their body in ice water after a tennis match for recovery. Everyone is talking about taking an ice bath which is just for your legs. There is NOTHING wrong with putting your legs into an ice bath when you're very hot. Ice baths are generally around 50F and NOWHERE near cold enough to cause problems when just your legs are submerged.
     
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  30. dommod

    dommod Banned

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    I beg pardon, but me and original poster and others in present discussion submerge not just legs but large percentage of body in icy bath. The orignal grizzly for his back, and me for everywhere from back to feet, but not the frontal head area. I lie in tub mostly underwater except for head and upper chestal area and freeze my you-knows off! So the Canadian Lady's voiced warnings give me cause for concern.:-(
     
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  31. CanadianChic

    CanadianChic Hall of Fame

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    LOL. Get a grip - "no you're wrong!!" **shakes head**

    I'm just tossing out a warning Dommod - not meaning to scare people off or alarm, only offering the negative side to the situation. There are thousands of tanning salons throughout the world even though it is well known that even this form of UV causes skin problems and cancer. They still operate though - it's a health and beauty market baby!!
     
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  32. dommod

    dommod Banned

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    My apologies if I implicated an endorsement of tanning salons. I do not endorse them. I do not utilize them. I am interested in ice baths only, not artificial sunlight means, so pardon if I confused the situation.:confused:

    I pondered more about ambulances on standby for polar bear meets. Are they there for precaution or for necessary purpose? I read about man who expired after Coney Island polar bear meet on New Year's Day of this very year, but he dive into sandbar and break his neck, not suffer frozen heart attack. Is risk of ice bath heart failure significant in your view, or more like one in a million and akin to lightning strike odds?

    I continue to seek the truth about this riddle. Have you any statistic or sourcing to confirm your fear of danger in regard to icy water?
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2007
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  33. CanadianChic

    CanadianChic Hall of Fame

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    Well, I believe it to be as likely as being hit by lightning if you hang on a beach in a lightning storm. The ambulances are there for precautionary methods due to the necessity of equipment being on scene and to decrease response time. Do people normally keel over at these events? No. Does it occasionally happen? Yes. Personally, I take precautions to avoid unnecessary strain on my organs - but keep in mind that I take unnecessary risks all the time in life. Do whatever you feel comfortable with. I am not saying this will happen to you, but nobody can assure you that it won't either. Just tossing my opinion into the mix bud. :)
     
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  34. Serve 'em hard

    Serve 'em hard Banned

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    Here's an excerpt from a professional rugby website, Dommod, one of among many of internet sites talking about the benefits of ice baths. I think you're gonna live dude, but research yourself if you want even more reassurance.

    He, Betty, I guess they're gonna be advocating walks on lightening filled beaches next, huh? lol!


    "Recovery has become a bit of a buzz word over the past few years.

    Teams and physios are always looking for the best methods to help sportstars recover from their gruelling training sessions as quickly as possible.

    Rugby teams use massage, stretching sessions, relaxation therapy, steam baths, yoga and swimming to help their players overcome stiffness.

    But the recovery method which has become the choice (and curse) of the players is the ice bath.

    You may ask why Jonny Wilkinson bothers jumping into an ice bath after a match when all he wants to do is rest with a few cool drinks and a massage.

    The reason lies behind what the cold, icy water does for a sportsman after a hard day at the office.

    To understand how the ice baths work though, we first need to understand what recovery is all about..."
     
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  35. CanadianChic

    CanadianChic Hall of Fame

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    Okay, I will reiterate my stance to you Dommod. I do not believe that taking an ice bath will harm the average, healthy individual. I do think that it is unnecessary to "completely" submerge the body in ice water though. Overall, I think you will be safe and I apologize if I alarmed you.
    Sometimes, I tend to look at the negatives and focus on those (occupational hazard I suppose) as I see the "worst case" scenarios, and not the average Joe just trying to heal his muscles. Do what you feel is right for you - I feel that there is alot of advice that is given on this forum that is sound and beneficial to others. Sometimes, there are opinions and the flip side of the coin. You are the only one who knows what is best for you. Take care.
     
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  36. SoBad

    SoBad Legend

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    No, you need to get into sauna instead, to relax yourself and avoid stiffness. That's what all tennis and baseball players do.
     
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  37. Serve 'em hard

    Serve 'em hard Banned

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    Isn't the trend towards heat before exercise, cold afterwards for the most part?
     
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  38. SoBad

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    I am not sure about the global trends, but sauna and swimming makes me hungry, and cannot play tennis when I am hungry. However, sauna after tennis eliminates the naturally resulting stiffness, and that's what all tennis players and especially baseball players do around here. Ice I think is only good as immediate temporary remedy for acute inflammation applied directly to injured area, and no other purpose.
     
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  39. CanadianChic

    CanadianChic Hall of Fame

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    Thanks Ano, I appreciate that. I am not always right and I can admit it, and I don't expect others to agree with me - I just wish there could be more respectful posters such as yourself, Chess and Dommod (to name a few).

    I can detect him from the way he attacks me. :p
     
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  40. Serve 'em hard

    Serve 'em hard Banned

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    I'm not sure what kind of code you guys are talking in, but the only reason I "attacked" the Canadian Girl was the way she gave such silly advice to those guys about ice baths like she actually knew something about it. Those dudes might get real benefit from such treatments, but if someone tells 'em they might drop dead if they do so, they might be scared off from partaking in it and suffer in pain needlessly.
     
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  41. CanadianChic

    CanadianChic Hall of Fame

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    BINGO!!!

    Actually, you came at me in another thread - not just the sort of "I disagree with your nonsense" post, but a full fledged "attack", so let's be honest. You have an agenda and I am not the only one who has noticed your irrational response to me. BTW....tossing the word "dude" into your posts does nothing to take away from your writing style.....just a thought for next time.
     
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  42. Serve 'em hard

    Serve 'em hard Banned

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    yeah, but I'm saying that more and more people are forsaking heat after sports for cold instead, ya know? Still might be sauna and heat stuff goin' on after sports, but I think cold afterwards, even for general soreness and stiffness, is becoming more popular and heat less so.
     
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  43. CanadianChic

    CanadianChic Hall of Fame

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    I feel that if you take an overheated body and completely submerge it in ice water, then there is a "chance" the heart or brain will not react well to it. There is a "chance". Chance, chance, chance. Do I feel that this will likely occur? Of course not, but I offered the fact that it could potentially occur, although it is probably safe. Now go away Heycal, I've had about all I can stomach of you for tonight.

    Thank you Ano, I would hug you if I could. It is only a matter of time until Heycal gets his walking papers from the Mods again. He has an inability to walk away from an argument, and that is his downfall.
     
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  44. Serve 'em hard

    Serve 'em hard Banned

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    So presumably you think that the time honored practice of running around and getting all hot and sweaty and then jumping into a freezing lake or pool is riskier than, say, walking on a beach during a lightning storm?:p
     
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  45. Alafter

    Alafter Hall of Fame

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    Wow you are serious, for once.
     
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  46. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    The reason ice bathing is dangerous for your heart is the sudden increase in your heart rate and blood pressure, which can cause a stroke. Your body already experienced the same conditions while exercising. http://ohiodnr.com/watercraft/safetips/hypo.htm
     
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  47. Serve 'em hard

    Serve 'em hard Banned

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    If your body "already experienced the same conditions" when exercising, and if those conditions can cause stroke and heart attack, are you saying it's dangerous to exercise in the first place?

    Anyway, this link is devoted mostly to hypothermia issues related to boating accidents, and even talks about water in the 77 degree range being "dangerous". But it really doesn't have much to do with ice baths.

    Don't you think if there was a real risk of heart failure from ice baths, these TV Shows featuring high schoolers ice bathing, sports medicine clinics, professional sports teams, Brad Gilbert if memory serves, polar bear swims, health clubs, and tons of others who endorse ice baths would have gotten wise and realized this by now? Where are all the lawsuits that would have inevitably been filed in the wake of dudes dropping dead from ice bathing? Where are all the warnings about the dangers of ice baths from the AMA and other such groups?

    I find it hard to believe that a couple of scared posters in this thread know more about this issue than all the folks who work in related fields, understand the issues, and advocate ice baths.
     
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  48. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    Yes, exercising can raise your your BP to levels that can cause a stroke. Experienced it, my systolic bp reading was above 220, had to stop exercising until it fell. The danger lies with individuals with pre-existing heart problems but how many really know when they are young if they have a heart problem that can be aggravated by cold submersion. Btw, know a runner who swears by dipping his legs into cold water after running, works for him.
     
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  49. Serve 'em hard

    Serve 'em hard Banned

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    Well, like I said before, there's a risk in breaking your neck by running into a net post while playing tennis, but it's really more of freak accident when it happens and not somthing one needs to really concern themselves with.

    Again, if ice bathing is dangerous, how come we aren't hearing about it? How come so many practice and advocate it? Where all the stories about poor Timmy dropping dead after taking an ice bath or diving into a freezing lake 'cause it turned out he had an unknown heart condition?

    We live in a society overly full of warnings and prohibitions and fear mongering when it comes to health issues, yet ice baths aren't among the many things we are warned against by the authorities, and entire organizations and groups advocate their use.
     
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  50. El Guapo

    El Guapo Semi-Pro

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    Exactly. We're not talking about hypothermia here. 5-10 minutes in an ice bath at 50F following strenuous exercise will NOT result in hypothermia.
     
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