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COLD water immersion is no more effective than exposure to cold air.

A study into muscle recovery found that both cold water immersion and the partial-body cryotherapy treatments resulted in similar recovery during a 72-hour follow-up period.

Leading expert on cryotherapy Dr Joe Castello, from the University of Portsmouth, is one of the study’s authors.

He said: ‘The use of cryotherapy is very popular in elite sport. For example, various Premier League teams currently use the treatment.

‘But we know very little about the effectiveness of the treatment – in particular we do not know if the cryotherapy is more, or less, effective than ice baths.

‘Our results clearly demonstrate that, in terms of athletic recovery, there are no differences between cold water immersion and the partial-body cryotherapy.’

The research is published the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports.