Do ice baths have therapeutic benefits?
Say you played singles in the morning, then followed that up with an afternoon doubles match. In the 85 degree heat. By the time the doubles are over, you’re feeling it. By the time you get home, you’re really feeling it. You can set aside the internal debate of “Why did I overdo it” later- it’s time to get back on the road to recovery. An ice bath may be helpful.
Pat Viroux, Sports Physical Therapist, offers up the following reasons why a high level athlete should use an ice bath:
Acute Recovery: Recovery aiming to enhance recovery between practices on one day.
Chronic Recovery: Recovery aiming to enhance recovery following days.
Sleep Enhancement: Recovery by enhancing the quality of sleep.
Precooling: Care protocol in order to optimize performance in the heat during activity.
Ice baths can also be used for heat acclimitization and injury rehabilitation.
Below, some football related video on using ice tubs…looks painful.
Finding an ice bath is challenging when you are not a pro. Ice in the tub is a possibility but the ColdTub, an ice tub company, sells them in a variety of sizes making them available for recreational athletes who [have the money and] want to rapidly recover and get back to doing what they love, faster, healthier and with less pain.
Coldtub is used by several professional and collegiate sports teams. (The model below has the image and logo of NBA star LeBron James.)