Cryotherapy is used in the early treatment of acute injuries (sprains, strains, fractures) yet only a few papers discuss the possible influence of whole-body cryostimulation on inflammation mechanisms or immunology. It is postulated that cold exposure can have an immunostimulating effect related to enhanced noradrenaline response and can be connected with paracrine effects.
It seems that the most advantageous sequence was the series of 20 cryostimulations due to the longest lasting effects of stimulation after the completion of the whole series of treatments.
Whole-body cryostimulation as an effective way of reducing exercise-induced inflammation and blood cholesterol in young men.
Eur Cytokine Netw. 2014 Mar 1;25(1):14-23. doi: 10.1684/ecn.2014.0349.
Inflammation may accompany obesity and a variety of diseases, or result from excessive exercise. The aim of this study was to investigate the anti-inflammatory effect of whole-body cryostimulation on the inflammatory response induced by eccentric exercise under laboratory conditions. The main finding of this study was that a series of 10 sessions of whole body cryostimulation significantly reduced the inflammatory response induced by eccentric exercise. The lipid profile was also improved, but there was no effect on energy expenditure during the exercise.
Whole-body cryotherapy's enhancement of acute recovery of running performance in well-trained athletes.
Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2015 Jul;10(5):605-12. doi: 10.1123/ijspp.2014-0392. Epub 2015 Jan 5.
To examine the effects of a whole-body cryotherapy (WBC) protocol (3 min at -110°C) on acute recovery and key variables of endurance performance during high-intensity intermittent exercise in a thermoneutral environment.WBC improves acute recovery during high-intensity intermittent exercise in thermoneutral conditions. The improvements might be induced by enhanced oxygenation of the working muscles, as well as a reduction in cardiovascular strain and increased work economy at submaximal intensities.
Sports Med. 2010 Jun 1;40(6):509-17. doi: 10.2165/11531940-000000000-00000.
In sports medicine, WBC has gained wider acceptance as a method to improve recovery from muscle injury. Unfortunately, there are few papers concerning the application of the treatment on athletes. The study of possible enhancement of recovery from injuries and possible modification of physiological parameters, taking into consideration the limits imposed by antidoping rules, is crucial for athletes and sports physicians for judging the real benefits and/or limits of WBC. According to the available literature, WBC is not harmful or detrimental in healthy subjects. The treatment does not enhance bone marrow production and could reduce the sport-induced haemolysis. WBC induces oxidative stress, but at a low level
Impact of different treatment of whole-body cryotherapy on circulatory parameters.
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Cryotherapy is commonly used as a procedure to relieve pain symptoms, particularly in inflammatory diseases, injuries and overuse symptoms. A peculiar form of cold therapy or stimulation was proposed 30 years ago for the treatment of rheumatic diseases. The therapy consists in the exposure to very cold air in special cryochambers. The air is maintained at temperatures between -110 and -160°C. The treatment was named whole-body cryotherapy (WBC). It consists in a brief exposure to extreme cold in a temperature-controlled chamber. It is applied to relieve pain and inflammatory symptoms caused by numerous disorders, particularly those associated with rheumatic conditions, and it is recommended for the treatment of arthritis, fibromyalgia and ankylosing spondylitis.
Effect of cryotherapy on the lumbar spine in elderly men with back pain.
Aging Male. 2014 Sep;17(3):183-8. doi: 10.3109/13685538.2013.863860. Epub 2013 Dec 5.
The research evaluated the mobility of lumbar spine at all movement planes and examined the values of active potentials of erector spinae in the lumbar part of the spine. The group of men who participated in WBC showed significantly lower values of active potentials of erector spinae muscles in the lumbar part of the spine and a significant increase in the range of the lumbar spine mobility, in comparison to the group which did not use WBC.
Whole-body cryotherapy in patients with inflammatory rheumatic disease.
Med Klin (Munich). 2009 Mar 15;104(3):192-6. doi: 10.1007/s00063-009-1031-9. Epub 2009 Apr 1.
Thus, whole-body cryotherapy is an effective option in the concept of treatment of inflammatory rheumatic diseases. The relief of pain allows an intensification of physiotherapy. A significant reduction of pain over a period of 2 months could be shown.
Whole-body cryotherapy in rehabilitation of patients with rheumatoid diseases.
Rehabilitation (Stuttg). 2000 Apr;39(2):93-100.
The pain level after application of the cold therapy decreases significantly. The pain reduction lasts about 90 minutes. The initial pain level decreases during the whole time of treatment. According to the results of our study, there is evidence that the whole-body cold therapy generates important short-term effects. Short-term pain reduction facilitates intensive application of physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy. The treatment procedure is practicable, and all in all well tolerated. From the patients' point of view, whole-body cold therapy is an essential part of the rehabilitation programme.
Serial whole-body cryotherapy in the criostream for inflammatory rheumatic diseases
Med Klin (Munich). 2008 Jun 15;103(6):383-8. doi: 10.1007/s00063-008-1056-5.
Pain and disease activity scores decreased significantly, and, subsequently, also the functional scores showed a significant amelioration.
The criostream offers an elegant and, from the patient's point of view, attractive therapeutic agent in the multimodal treatment concept for inflammatory rheumatic diseases.
Five-Day Whole-Body Cryostimulation, Blood Inflammatory Markers, and Performance in High- Ranking Professional Tennis Players
Journal of Athletic Training 2012;47(6):664–672 doi: 10.4085/1062-6050-47.6.13
Professional tennis players experienced an intensified inflammatory response after the completed tourna- ment season, which may lead to overreaching. Applying whole- body cryostimulation in conjunction with moderate-intensity training was more effective for the recovery process than the training itself. The 5-day exposure to cryostimulation twice a day ameliorated the cytokine profile, resulting in a decrease in tumor necrosis factor a and an increase in interleukin 6.
Whole body cryostimulation (WBCT) is becoming popular in medicine and sport as an adjuvant form of treatment. The reported reasons for WBCT include improved general well- being, and self-treatment or body hardening against respira- tory tract infections and musculoskeletal pains. WBCT is often used as an additional form of treatment for inXamma- tion and pain in, for example, arthritis, osteoarthritis, and Wbromyalgia. WBCT has been found useful in neurological diseases including multiple sclerosis and psychiatric disorders such as anxiety–depressive syndrome.
Cryotherapy: Physiological Considerations and Applications to Physical Therapy
April 05, 2012
Whole-body cryostimulation is a factor that can influence many physiological and biochemical indicators in the human body. Triggering physiological defensive mechanisms in response to a repeated external stressor (cold) may be widely used in medicine, physiotherapy, sport and athlete recovery.
The Effect of Three Different (-135C) Whole Body Cryotherapy Exposure Durations on Elite Rugby League Players
Received September 13, 2013; Accepted December 13, 2013; Published January 29, 2014
Three brief exposures to WBC separated by 1 week are not sufficient to induce physiological changes in IL-6 or core temperature. There are however significant changes in tissue oxyhaemoglobin, deoxyhaemoglobin, tissue oxygenation index, skin temperature and thermal sensation. We conclude that a 2 minute WBC exposure was the optimum exposure length at temperatures of 2135uC and could be applied as the basis for future studies.
Thermal, Circulatory, and Neuromuscular responses to whole body cryotherapy.
March 27, 2009
The purpose of this study was to examine thermal (body temperature, thermal sensation and comfort ratings), circulatory (blood pressure, heart rate variability) and neuromuscular performance responses to whole-body cryotherapy (WBC, -110 °C).
Cryotherapy effective for treating frozen shoulder
Published on August 7, 2012 at 5:15 PM By Andrew Czyzewski, MedWire Reporter
In patients with adhesive capsulitis (AC) of the shoulder, the addition of whole-body cryotherapy (WBC) to physical therapy and joint mobilization appears to be more effective than the latter two alone, research shows.
Indeed, patients in the WBC group achieved superior improvements, compared with their non-WBC peers, of 53% in flexion, 58% in abduction, 90% in internal rotation, 83% in external rotation, 32% in VAS, and 20% in ASES.
Based on this, Kim et al say that "for patients with AC presenting with pain and restriction, the addition of WBC to modalities and joint mobilization could be the preferred treatment strategy."
Effects of the whole-body cryotherapy on a total anti- oxidative status and activities of some antioxidative enzymes in blood of patients with multiple sclerosis- preliminary study
publication June 15, 2009 ; accepted December 1, 2009.
There is evidence that multiple sclerosis (MS) is not only character- ized by immune mediated inflammatory reactions but also by neurodegenerative proc- esses. Neutralization of oxidative stress and excitotoxicity, might represent a therapeu- tic approach to provide neuroprotection in MS. The purpose of this study was to compare changes in total antioxidative status and activities of chosen antioxidative enzymes, such as : SOD, CAT in erythrocytes of patients with MS before and after using WBCT with con- trol group. Our observations showed that WBCT resulted in the increase of TAS ten days after the exposure.