September 5, 2014
Timing of ice baths key –sports medicine head

Head of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Sports Medicine Association, Dr Perry De Freitas is not pouring cold water on the use of ice baths, but insists that it must be done in a timely manner.{{more}}

In an interview with SEARCHLIGHT, De Freitas explained, “Ice slows down the rate of blood flow to the tissues… If you cool down for too long, then you can end up hampering the tissues because not enough oxygenated blood is getting to the tissues and what will happen you will start to get muscle cramping and pain.”

He added, “There is also a limit to how long you have to use the ice bath for… If you stay too long then cause too long of a vascular contraction in your muscle and the muscles will cramp because they are not getting enough oxygenated blood.”

De Freitas’ comments came in light of the latest craze to have hit the Internet — that of the ice bucket challenge.

The ice bucket challenge, also referred to as the ALS ice bucket challenge is an activity involving dumping a bucket of ice water on someone’s head to promote awareness of the disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and encourage donations to research.

Like everything else, this has hit St Vincent and the Grenadines, with national footballer, Oalex “Bounty” Anderson doing so recently and posting it on social media Facebook.

De Freitas, however, outlined the main purposes for ice baths.

“You would find that some athletes what you would say they use ice baths after they finish competing.

“What it does, it helps one to reduce pain, helps to reduce production of the lactic acid which is the major cause of the pain in muscles that have been physically been used strenuously.

“An ice bath can last up to like half an hour….The amount of pain you get from the lactic acid is reduced and it reduces the buildup of the lactic acid…The lactic acid is already in the system, you will pass it out through urine and sweat,” De Freitas added.

There have been several reports worldwide where persons who have attempted the ice bucket challenge and have been injured as a result.(RT)