Background: Contrast therapy is a recovery modality that is widely used by many athletes despite the lack of scientific evidence for its use.
Aim: The purpose of this paper is to firstly survey and analyse the current utilisation of contrast therapy within the elite sports of New Zealand (NZ) and secondly, to compare the findings with current scientific research.
Method: A questionnaire was developed to survey elite NZ sports teams on their use of contrast therapy. The majority of respondents (79%) utilised contrast therapy as a recovery modality.
Results: The results indicated that contrast therapy is used immediately post exercise, utilising bins (cold cycle) and showers/spas (hot cycle). The temperatures of each cycle ranged from 4-15°C (cold) and 23-40°C(hot) with 1:1-3 minutes (cold : hot) ratio over 3 repetitions.
Conclusions: This study demonstrates that contrast therapy is widely used amongst the elite athletes of NZ. There appears to be little consensus in regard to contrast therapy and this is also reflected in the literature which does not currently report optimal contrast therapy parameters.
- New Zealand,
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/wayne_hing/8/