ICE-BATHS produce a mini-shock to the metabolic system by opening and closing the blood vessels in a controlled way.
The flow of blood is slowed by the cold water and released gently as the body warms and returns to its normal state.
Usually, you plunge up to your waist in ice and water for two or three minutes, out for a minute or so, and then back in.
This might be repeated three or four times in a session. The best way is to use a wheelie-bin.
It looks cheap but it is effective.
Ice-baths and other cryotherapy techniques are commonly used as part of the recovery process.
They fight off delayed onset muscle soreness, which is important in a tennis tournament like Wimbledon when you cannot guarantee a full 48-hour recovery period.
They can also be used as part of treatment for an injury such as Andy Murray’s hip, an area easily aggravated by the changes of speed and direction in tennis.
Cooling reduces the blood flow and helps reduce inflammation and, when the blood vessels open up again, the injured area is flushed-out by the increased flow.
Ice-baths alone can’t heal an injury but together with massage, manipulation, exercises and possibly medication, they will help.
l Mark Leather is a former Liverpool and Bolton physiotherapist, now senior lecturer in sports medicine and therapy at the the University of Central Lancashire.
© Daily Mail