Cryotherapy refers to a variety of cold applications that can be used in multiple ways in Physiotherapy. Each method as cold application and cryostimulation has its own advantages and disadvantages with some applications for the treatment of acute injuries (cooling) and some for chronic injuries (cryostimualtion).
Cryostimulation – means application of extrimly cooled air (less than –100C) on surface of the body in very short time – during 2-3 minutes stimulation in order to induce and utilize physiological responses against cold.
Cryostimulation can be used for treatment of:
- Injury in reconstruction phase, after RICE method
- Chronic disease and contusion
The injuried body part should be cryostimulated for 1-4 minutes at a time with very intensive doses – temperature of skin between 0 – 4 C . This procedures should be repeated every 5-10 days.
Cold application can be used only for a number of therapeutic purposes including the treatment of:
- Acute pain and acute injury
- Postsurgical pain and swelling
The accute injured body part should be submerged for 20 – 45 minutes at a time. This timing should be repeated every two hours for the first 48 to 72 hours according RICE principle (Rest Ice Commpresion Elevation).
Benefits of Cryostimulation
- Reduction of pain
- Increase in muscle strength
- Increase in performance
- Reduction in the regeneration phase inhibition of inflammation
- Improvement of joint function
- Decrease in muscle tension over longer application
- Reduction of post traumatic effect
- Overall faster return to training and competition
Application of Cryostimulation
- Beneficial effect of local cryostimulation frequently applied (even 2 – 3 times a day), along with light muscles and joints exercises in:
- Muscle injuries (detachment of muscles, acute syndrome of fascial compartment also after ope- rative treatment, extension of muscles, excessive elongation and rupture of muscle fibers, painful muscular contraction),
- Tendon injuries (detachment, distortion, exten- sion of tendons, tendinosis, tendinopathy)
- Overloading syndromes: inflammation of tendon and muscle, Achilles tendon, tennis player elbow and golf player elbow, rotation muff syndrome, frozen shoulder syndrome, housemaidis knee, syndrome of muscles of back thigh and lumbar muscles inflammation of plantar aponeurosis)
- Laser surgery
- Laser treatment cooling device
- Sequential compression massage