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Cold Water Immersion Does Not Reduce Knee Joint Position Sense in Healthy Participants: a Randomised Cross-over Trial

This study has been completed.
Information provided by:
University of Limerick Identifier:
First received: October 14, 2009
Last updated: October 15, 2009
Last verified: October 2009

The aim of this project is to assess the effect of cold water immersion on knee joint re-positional sense in healthy subjects. Cryotherapy, in the form of cold water immersion, had previously been shown to improve athletic performance however, debate exists within the existing literature regarding whether proprioception, in the form or joint position sense, is effected post treatment.

Null hypothesis (H0): Water immersion has no effect on joint position sense (JPS).

Alternate hypothesis (H1): Water immersion has an effect on joint position sense.

Condition Intervention
Knee Joint Position Sense
Other: Tepid water immersion

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Crossover Assignment
Masking: Open Label
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Cold Water Immersion Does Not Reduce Knee Joint Position Sense in Healthy Participants: a Randomised Cross-over Trial'

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by University of Limerick:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Knee Joint Position Sense [ Time Frame: 10 minutes pre and 5 minutes post immersion ]

Enrollment: 14
Study Start Date: May 2009
Study Completion Date: September 2009
Primary Completion Date: September 2009 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Experimental: Cold water immersion
14°C ± 1°C for the cold water immersion for 30 minutes to the level of the umbilicus
Other: Tepid water immersion
28°C ± 1°C for the cold water immersion for 30 minutes to the level of the umbilicus

Detailed Description:
This was a prospective, randomised, cross-over design where volunteers acted as their own controls. The volunteers were immersed at two temperatures (detailed below) and these sessions were separated by six to ten days. The order of the testing was randomly assigned using a random number generator. Ethical approval of the design of this trial was gained from the University of Limerick's Research Ethics Committee and signed informed consent was gained from each participant before any data collection took place.

Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 40 Years   (Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Healthy subjects between the ages of 18 and 40 who complete both a Par-Q test and sign an informed consent form.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Potential subjects who do not complete a Par-Q questionnaire or provide written consent. Subjects with any ankle or knee injuries in the past twelve months.
  • Students who have a recent history of ear or vestibular conditions.
  • Subjects who will not be available to attend all sessions.
  • Subjects who are under the age of 18 or over the age of 40.
  • Subjects who aren't comfortable with being blind-folded or videotaped during testing.
  • Those who are sensitive to cold exposure or show signs of a contraindication to cryotherapy.
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Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00996398

University of Limerick
Limerick, Ireland
Sponsors and Collaborators
University of Limerick
Principal Investigator: Alan E Donnelly, PhD University of Limerick
  More Information

Responsible Party: Dr. Alan Donnelly, University of LImerick Identifier: NCT00996398     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: ULREC 09/11
Study First Received: October 14, 2009
Last Updated: October 15, 2009

Keywords provided by University of Limerick:
Joint Position Sense
Pre Cooling
Knee Injury
Physical Therapy Modalities
Physical Therapy Techniques
Randomised Control Trial processed this record on May 25, 2017