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Journal of Sports Medicine
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 520124, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/520124
Research Article

Effects of Cooling on Ankle Muscle Strength, Electromyography, and Gait Ground Reaction Forces

1Division of Ergonomics and Aerosol Technology, Department of Design Sciences, Faculty of Engineering, Lund University, P.O. Box 118, 221 00 Lund, Sweden
2Division of Physiotherapy, Department of Health Science, Faculty of Medicine, Lund University, P.O. Box 157, 221 00 Lund, Sweden

Received 27 January 2014; Revised 25 March 2014; Accepted 7 April 2014; Published 4 May 2014

Academic Editor: Adrian W. Midgley

Copyright © 2014 Amitava Halder et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The effects of cooling on neuromuscular function and performance during gait are not fully examined. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of local cooling for 20 min in cold water at 10°C in a climate chamber also at 10°C on maximal isometric force and electromyographic (EMG) activity of the lower leg muscles. Gait ground reaction forces (GRFs) were also assessed. Sixteen healthy university students participated in the within subject design experimental study. Isometric forces of the tibialis anterior (TA) and the gastrocnemius medialis (GM) were measured using a handheld dynamometer and the EMG was recorded using surface electrodes. Ground reaction forces during gait and the required coefficient of friction (RCOF) were recorded using a force plate. There was a significantly reduced isometric maximum force in the TA muscle ( ) after cooling. The mean EMG amplitude of GM muscle was increased after cooling ( ), indicating that fatigue was induced. We found no significant changes in the gait GRFs and RCOF on dry and level surface. These findings may indicate that local moderate cooling 20 min of 10°C cold water, may influence maximal muscle performance without affecting activities at sub-maximal effort.