Light or Ice?
Light Therapy vs. Cryotherapy in Post-Exercise Muscle Recovery
A July 2019 article in the Journal of Sport Rehabilitation has examined the scientific evidence for the use and efficacy of cryotherapy versus photobiomodulation (PBM or Light Therapy) in post-exercise muscle recovery.
The authors concluded that all 5 studies reviewed support the use of PBM over cryotherapy (cold therapy) for reduction of muscle damage and perceived muscle soreness (DOMS), as well as for accelerated recovery of physical performance in trained and untrained athletes.
In addition, the International Olympic Committee 2017 consensus statement on pain management in elite athletes recommends photobiomodulation for improving acute muscle recovery. It also stated "Although cryotherapy is commonly used, there is little evidence from prospective studies assessing the benefits of the intervention."
Learn more here to read about the studies.
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