Cryobiology. 2015 Dec;71(3):398-404. doi: 10.1016/j.cryobiol.2015.10.143. Epub 2015 Oct 22.
Dulian K1, Laskowski R2, Grzywacz T3, Kujach S2, Flis DJ4, Smaruj M5, Ziemann E6.
The anti-inflammatory effect induced by exposure to low temperature might trigger the endocrine function of muscle and fat tissue. Thus, the aim of this study was to investigate the influence of the whole body cryostimulation (CRY) on irisin, a myokine which activates oxygen consumption in fat cells as well as thermogenesis. In addition, the relationship between hepcidin (Hpc) – hormone regulating iron metabolism, and inflammation was studied. A group of middle aged men (n = 12, 38 ± 9 years old, BMI > 30 kg m(-2)) participated in the study. Subjects were exposed to a series of 10 sessions in a cryogenic chamber (once a day at 9:30 am, for 3 min, at temperature -110 °C). Blood samples were collected before the first cryostimulation and after completing the last one. Prior to treatment body composition and fitness level were determined. The applied protocol of cryostimulation lead to rise the blood irisin in obese non-active men (338.8 ± 42.2 vs 407.6 ± 118.5 ng mL(-1)), whereas has no effect in obese active men (371.5 ± 30.0 vs 343.3 ± 47.6 ng mL(-1)). Values recorded 24 h after the last cryo-session correlated significantly with the fat tissue, yet inversely with the skeletal muscle mass. Therefore, we concluded the subcutaneous fat tissue to be the main source of irisin in response to cold exposures. The applied cold treatment reduced the high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) and Hpc concentration confirming its anti-inflammatory effect.
Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Cardiorespiratory fitness level; Cold; Fat tissue; Hepcidin; Irisin; Iron
Cryobiology. 2015 Dec;71(3):511-3. doi: 10.1016/j.cryobiol.2015.10.148. Epub 2015 Oct 26.
De Nardi M1, La Torre A2, Benis R2, Sarabon N3, Fonda B4.
Flexibility is an intrinsic property of body tissues, which among other factors determines the range of motion (ROM). A decrease in neural activation of the muscle has been linked with greater ROM. Cryotherapy is an effective technique to reduces neural activation. Hence, the aim of the present study was to evaluate if a single session of whole-body cryotherapy (WBC) affects ROM. 60 women and 60 men were divided into two groups (control and experimental). After the initial sit-and-reach test, experimental group performed a 150 s session of WBC, whereas the control group stayed in thermo-neutral environment. Immediately after, both groups performed another sit-and-reach test. A 3-way analysis of variance revealed statistically significant time×group and time × gender interaction. Experimental groups improved sit-and-reach amplitude to a greater extend than the control group. Our results support the hypothesis that ROM is increased immediately after a single session of WBC.
Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Cryotherapy; Flexibility; Performance; Stretching
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
J Strength Cond Res. 2017 Feb;31(2):415-421. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000001505.
Russell M1, Birch J, Love T, Cook CJ, Bracken RM, Taylor T, Swift E, Cockburn E, Finn C, Cunningham D, Wilson L, Kilduff LP.
Russell, M, Birch, J, Love, T, Cook, CJ, Bracken, RM, Taylor, T, Swift, E, Cockburn, E, Finn, C, Cunningham, D, Wilson, L, and Kilduff, LP. The effects of a single whole-body cryotherapy exposure on physiological, performance, and perceptual responses of professional academy soccer players after repeated sprint exercise. J Strength Cond Res 31(2): 415-421, 2017-In professional youth soccer players, the physiological, performance, and perceptual effects of a single whole-body cryotherapy (WBC) session performed shortly after repeated sprint exercise were investigated. In a randomized, counterbalanced, and crossover design, 14 habituated English Premier League academy soccer players performed 15 × 30 m sprints (each followed by a 10 m forced deceleration) on 2 occasions. Within 20 minutes of exercise cessation, players entered a WBC chamber (Cryo: 30 seconds at -60° C, 120 seconds at -135° C) or remained seated (Con) indoors in temperate conditions (∼25° C). Blood and saliva samples, peak power output (countermovement jump), and perceptual indices of recovery and soreness were assessed pre-exercise and immediately, 2-hour and 24-hour postexercise. When compared with Con, a greater testosterone response was observed at 2-hour (+32.5 ± 32.3 pg·ml, +21%) and 24-hour (+50.4 ± 48.9 pg·ml, +28%) postexercise (both P = 0.002) in Cryo (trial × treatment interaction: P = 0.001). No between-trial differences were observed for other salivary (cortisol and testosterone/cortisol ratio), blood (lactate and creatine kinase), performance (peak power output), or perceptual (recovery or soreness) markers (all trial × treatment interactions: P > 0.05); all of which were influenced by exercise (time effects: all P ≤ 0.05). A single session of WBC performed within 20 minutes of repeated sprint exercise elevated testosterone concentrations for 24 hours but did not affect any other performance, physiological, or perceptual measurements taken. Although unclear, WBC may be efficacious for professional soccer players during congested fixture periods.
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
J Phys Ther Sci. 2016 May;28(5):1552-5. doi: 10.1589/jpts.28.1552. Epub 2016 May 31.
Giemza C1, Bieć E1, Ostrowska B1, Piechaczek B1, Sitny G1, Kuczyński M2.
[Purpose] Whole body cryotherapy has been shown to have many benefits, yet nothing is known if and how this modality can improve neuromuscular performance and retain those improvements. [Subjects and Methods] Joint position sense based on the bilateral knee joint matching test and simple reaction time was investigated in 25 young healthy adults who underwent an extended period of wholebody cryostimulation. The measurements were taken at baseline and after 10, 20, and 30 whole body cryotherapy sessions, with three days elapsing after the last treatment, and comparing the results with 24 control subjects. [Results] Only when 20 sessions were completed did joint position sense and simple reaction time improve in the intervention group. After 30 sessions, the outcome was similar. Equal results were found at baseline and after 10 sessions in both groups, but the intervention group outstripped controls after 20 and 30 sessions in both joint position sense and simple reaction time. [Conclusion] These results indicate that the common standard of 10 sessions is insufficient, while approximately 20 sessions of whole body cryotherapy may efficiently enhance neuromuscular performance with an ability to sustain the effects for at least three days.
Neuromuscular performance; Proprioception; Whole body cryotherapy
Acta Neurol Scand. 2016 Dec;134(6):420-426. doi: 10.1111/ane.12557. Epub 2016 Jan 18.
Miller E1,2, Kostka J1, Włodarczyk T3, Dugué B4.
To study the effects of whole-body cryostimulation (WBC) on fatigue and functional status in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients with different levels of fatigue.
Two groups of 24 MS patients with fatigue were studied. At the beginning of the study, the first group presented a Fatigue Severity Scale (FSS) score between 38 and 42 (low-fatigue (LF) group), and the second group had an FSS score between 48 and 52 (high-fatigue (HF) group). Both groups were matched for age and sex. All patients were exposed to 10.3-min session of WBC (one exposure per day at -110°C or lower). Functional status was assessed before and after the series of WBC exposures using the Rivermead Motor Assessment (RMA), the Multiple Sclerosis Impact Scale (MSIS-29), and the Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS). The RMA was estimated in three sections: gross function (RMA1), leg and trunk (RMA2), and arm (RMA3). MSIS-29 consists of two subscales assessing the physical (MSIS-29-PHYS) and psychological (MSIS-29-PSYCH) status.
In both groups, the WBC sessions induced a significant improvement in the functional status and in the feeling of fatigue. However, the changes observed in HF patients were significantly greater than those observed in LF patients, especially in the MSIS-29-PHYS, MSIS-29-PSYCH, RMA1, and RMA3. The changes observed in the EDSS, RMA2, and FSS were similar in both groups.
WBC appears to be effective in improving functional status and the feeling of fatigue in patients with MS and especially in those who are the most fatigued.
© 2016 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
fatigue; functional status; multiple sclerosis; quality of life; rehabilitation; whole-body cryostimulation; whole-body cryotherapy
J Neurol Sci. 2016 Nov 15;370:7-12. doi: 10.1016/j.jns.2016.09.006. Epub 2016 Sep 9.
Happe S1, Evers S2, Thiedemann C1, Bunten S3, Siegert R4.
Treatment of restless legs syndrome (RLS) is primarily based on drugs. Since many patients report improvement of symptoms due to cooling their legs, we examined the efficacy of cryotherapy in RLS.
35 patients (28 women, 60.9±12.5years) with idiopathic RLS and symptoms starting not later than 6pm were randomized into three groups: cold air chamber at -60°C (n=12); cold air chamber at -10°C (n=12); local cryotherapy at -17°C (n=11). After a two week baseline, the different therapies were applied three minutes daily at 6pm over two weeks, followed by a four week observation period. The patients completed several questionnaires regarding RLS symptoms, sleep, and quality of life on a weekly basis (IRLS, ESS), VAS and sleep/morning protocol were completed daily, MOSS/RLS-QLI were completed once in each period. Additionally, the PLM index was measured by a mobile device at the end of baseline, intervention, and follow-up. The IRLS score was chosen as primary efficacy parameter.
At the end of follow-up, significant improvement of RLS symptoms and quality of life could be observed only in the -60°C group as compared to baseline (IRLS: p=0.009; RLS-QLI: p=0.006; ESS: p=0.020). Local cryotherapy led to improvement in quality of life (VAS4: p=0.028; RLS-QLI: p=0.014) and sleep quality (MOSS: p=0.020; MOSS2: p=0.022) but not in IRLS and ESS. In the -10°C group, the only significant effect was shortening of number of wake phases per night. Serious side-effects were not reported.
Whole body cryotherapy at -60°C and, to a less extent, local cryotherapy seem to be a treatment option for RLS in addition to conventional pharmacological treatment. However, the exact mode of cryotherapy needs to be established.
Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier B.V.
Cold chamber; Coldness; Cryotherapy; Restless legs syndrome
Cryobiology. 2017 Feb;74:121-125. doi: 10.1016/j.cryobiol.2016.11.005. Epub 2016 Nov 18.
Kepinska M1, Gdula-Argasinska J2, Dabrowski Z3, Szarek M4, Pilch W5, Kreska-Korus A6, Szygula Z7.
Whole body cryotherapy (WBC) is a treatment often used by athletes as part of biological renewal. Despite the large interest in this form therapy there is still a lack of information on the effects of WBC on the concentration of fatty acids in erythrocyte membranes. Our study aimed at comparing the fatty acids (FA) composition of erythrocyte membranes of athletes after one session and after a series of sessions of whole body cryostimulation. In our study small changes in the level of total cholesterol (decrease) were observed 24 h after a single session. After the twelfth session of whole body cryostimulation, the level of saturated fatty acids (SFA), mainly palmitic acid (C16:0) and n-3 fatty acid eicosapentaenoic (EPA, C20:5n-3) increased almost two-times fold in the red blood cell membranes. The level of n-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA n-6), mainly gamma-linolenic acid (C18:3n-6) as well as trans fatty acids (elaidic acid) decreased in the erythrocyte membranes from men after a series of session in a cryochamber, when compared to the control sample. The n-3/n-6 FA ratio in the erythrocyte membranes was higher after twelfth session in a cryochamber in comparison to the control sample. The data obtained during our study will be important for further research regarding the biochemistry of lipids in men after sessions of whole body cryostimulation.
Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Athletes; Erythrocyte membranes; Fatty acids; Whole body cryotherapy
Reumatologia. 2016;54(6):291-295. doi: 10.5114/reum.2016.64904. Epub 2016 Dec 30.
One of the treatments for osteoarthritis (OA) is whole-body cryotherapy (WBC). The aim of this study is to assess the effect of whole-body cryotherapy on the clinical status of patients with osteoarthritis (OA), according to their subjective feelings before and after the application of a 10-day cold treatment cycle. The aim is also to assess the reduction of intensity and frequency of pain, the reduction of the painkiller medication used, and to assess the possible impact on physical activity.
The study involved 50 people, including 30 women (60%) and 20 men (40%). Thirty-one patients had spondyloarthritis (62% of respondents), 10 had knee osteoarthritis (20%), and 9 hip osteoarthritis (18%). The overall average age was 50.1 ±10.9 years; the youngest patient was 29 years old and the oldest 73 years old. The average age of the women was 6 years higher. The study used a questionnaire completed by patients, and consisted of three basic parts. The modified Laitinen pain questionnaire contained questions concerning the intensity and frequency of pain, frequency of painkiller use and the degree of limited mobility. The visual analogue scale (VAS) was used in order to subjectively evaluate the therapy after applying the ten-day treatment cycle.
According to the subjective assessment of respondents, after the whole-body cryotherapy treatments, a significant improvement occurred in 39 patients (78%), an improvement in 9 patients (18%), and no improvement was only declared by 2 patients (4%).
Whole-body cryotherapy resulted in a reduction in the frequency and degree of pain perception in patients with osteoarthritis. WBC reduced the number of analgesic medications in these patients. It improved the range of physical activity and had a positive effect on the well-being of patients.
hip osteoarthritis; knee osteoarthritis; spondyloarthritis; whole-body cryotherapy
J Therm Biol. 2017 Apr;65:41-47. doi: 10.1016/j.jtherbio.2017.01.014. Epub 2017 Jan 27.
Cuttell S1, Hammond L2, Langdon D3, Costello J4.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of whole body cryotherapy (WBC) on a range of thermoregulatory measures. We also sought to examine the influence of sex and body composition. A convenience sample of 18 healthy participants (10 males and 8 females) (27±6yr) volunteered for this study. Temperature (core, tympanic, skin and mean body), heart rate, blood pressure, and thermal comfort and sensation were recorded pre- and post- (immediately and every 5min until 35min post) exposure to a single bout of WBC (30s at -60°C, 150s at 110°C). Anthropometric data (height, weight, body surface area, body mass index, fat mass and fat free mass) were also recorded. No significant differences in temperature (core, tympanic, skin and mean body), heart rate, blood pressure, or thermal comfort / sensation were observed between male and females at baseline. Immediately post WBC mean body (male:31.9±0.8°C; female:31.0±0.9°C; ∆ mean body temperature:0.9±0.1°C; P≤0.05, d=0.64) and mean skin (male:22.1±2.2°C; female:19.6±2.8°C; ∆ mean skin temperature:-2.5±0.6°C; d=0.99, P≤0.05) temperature was significantly different between sexes. Sex differences were also observed in regional skin temperature (male thigh, 20.8±1.1°C; female thigh, 16.7±1.1°C, ∆ mean thigh skin temperature:-4.1°C; d=3.72; male calf, 20.5±1.1°C; female calf, 18.2±1°C, ∆ mean calf skin temperature:-2.3±0.1°C; d=3.61; male arm, 21.7±1°C; female arm, 19±0.4°C, ∆ mean arm skin temperature: -2.7±0.3°C; d=3.54; P≤0.05). Mean arterial pressure was significantly different over time (P≤0.001) and between sexes (male 0mins:94±10mmHg; female 0mins:85±7mmHg; male 35mins:88±7mmHg; female 35mins:80±6mmHg; P≤0.05). Combined data set indicated a strong negative relationship between skin temperature and body fat percentage 35min’ post WBC (r=-0.749, P≤0.001) and for core temperature and body mass index in males only (r=0.726, P≤0.05) immediately after WBC. There were no significant differences between sexes in any other variables (heart rate, tympanic and perceptual variables). We observed sex differences in mean skin and mean body temperature following exposure to whole bodycryotherapy. In an attempt to optimise treatment, these differences should be taken into account if whole body cryotherapy is prescribed.
Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Cold exposure; Sex differences; Sexual dimorphism; Temperature; Thermoregulation
Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2013;2013:409567. doi: 10.1155/2013/409567. Epub 2013 Dec 31.
Mila-Kierzenkowska C1, Jurecka A2, Woźniak A1, Szpinda M3, Augustyńska B4, Woźniak B5.
The aim of the study was to determine the effect of single whole-body cryotherapy (WBC) session applied prior to submaximal exercise on the activity of antioxidant enzymes, the concentration of lipid peroxidation products, total oxidative status, and the level of cytokines in blood of volleyball players. The study group consisted of 18 male professional volleyball players, who were subjected to extremely cold air (-130°C) prior to exercise performed on cycloergometer. Blood samples were taken five times: before WBC, after WBC procedure, after exercise preceded by cryotherapy (WBC exercise), and before and after exercise without WBC (control exercise). The activity of catalase statistically significantly increased after control exercise. Moreover, the activity of catalase and superoxide dismutase was lower after WBC exercise than after control exercise (P < 0.001). After WBC exercise, the level of IL-6 and IL-1β was also lower (P < 0.001) than after control exercise. The obtained results may suggest that cryotherapy prior to exercise may have some antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. The relations between the level of studied oxidative stress and inflammatory markers may testify to the contribution of reactive oxygen species in cytokines release into the blood system in response to exercise and WBC.
PLoS One. 2011;6(12):e27749. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0027749. Epub 2011 Dec 7.
Hausswirth C1, Louis J, Bieuzen F, Pournot H, Fournier J, Filliard JR, Brisswalter J.
Enhanced recovery following physical activity and exercise-induced muscle damage (EIMD) has become a priority for athletes. Consequently, a number of post-exercise recovery strategies are used, often without scientific evidence of their benefits. Within this framework, the purpose of this study was to test the efficacy of whole body cryotherapy (WBC), far infrared (FIR) or passive (PAS) modalities in hastening muscular recovery within the 48 hours after a simulated trail running race. In 3 non-adjoining weeks, 9 well-trained runners performed 3 repetitions of a simulated trail run on a motorized treadmill, designed to induce muscle damage. Immediately (post), post 24 h, and post 48 h after exercise, all participants tested three different recovery modalities (WBC, FIR, PAS) in a random order over the three separate weeks. Markers of muscle damage (maximal isometric muscle strength, plasma creatine kinase [CK] activity and perceived sensations [i.e. pain, tiredness, well-being]) were recorded before, immediately after (post), post 1 h, post 24 h, and post 48 h after exercise. In all testing sessions, the simulated 48 min trail run induced a similar, significant amount of muscle damage. Maximal muscle strength and perceived sensations were recovered after the first WBC session (post 1 h), while recovery took 24 h with FIR, and was not attained through the PAS recovery modality. No differences in plasma CK activity were recorded between conditions. Three WBC sessions performed within the 48 hours after a damaging running exercise accelerate recovery from EIMD to a greater extent than FIR or PAS modalities
Cryobiology. 2013 Jun;66(3):295-302. doi: 10.1016/j.cryobiol.2013.03.006. Epub 2013 Mar 25.
Zalewski P1, Klawe JJ, Pawlak J, Tafil-Klawe M, Newton J.
Whole-body cryotherapy (WBC) is an increasing applied cryotherapeutic method, that involves application of a cryotherapeutic factor to stimulate the body by the means of intense hypothermia of virtually the body’s entire area. This method is still not well recognized in Western Europe. However in recent years it is becoming increasingly popular in sports medicine and also in clinical application. Cryotherapeutic agents used in WBC are considered to be a strong stress stimulus which is associated with a variety of changes in functional parameters, particularly of the cardiovascular and autonomic nervous systems. However, such strong influence upon the entire body could be associated with the risk of unexpected reactions which might be dangerous for homeostasis. The present study evaluated the complex hemodynamic physiological reactions in response to WBC exposure in healthy subjects. Thirty healthy male volunteers participated. Each subject was exposed to WBC (-120°C) for 3-min. None of the participants had been exposed to such conditions previously. The research was conducted with modern and reliable measurements techniques, which assessed complex hemodynamic reactions and skin temperature changes non-invasively. All measurements were performed four times (before WBC, after WBC, WBC+3h and WBC+6h) with a Task Force Monitor (TFM – CNSystems, Medizintechnik, Gratz, Austria). Body superficial temperature was measured by infrared thermographic techniques – infra-red camera Flir P640 (Flir Systems Inc., Sweden). Our results show a significant decrease in heart rate, cardiac output, and increase in stroke volume, total peripheral resistance and baroreceptors reflex sensitivity. These changes were observed just after WBC exposure. At stages WBC+3h and WBC+6h there was observed a significant drop in baroreceptors reflex sensitivity due to increased thermogenesis. In conclusion, the present findings suggest that WBC strongly stimulates the baroreceptor cardiac reflex in response to body fluid changes which sequentially modulate HR and BP control in supine and resting healthy subjects. The study was performed on randomized and homogenic group of young healthy subjects. Our findings are important for WBC safety determination in research and clinical studies.
Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Scand J Med Sci Sports. 1996 Aug;6(4):193-200.
Swenson C1, Swärd L, Karlsson J.
The use of cryotherapy, i.e. the application of cold for the treatment of injury or disease, is widespread in sports medicine today. It is an established method when treating acute soft tissue injuries, but there is a discrepancy between the scientific basis for cryotherapy and clinical studies. Various methods such as ice packs, ice towels, ice massage, gel packs, refrigerant gases and inflatable splints can be used. Cold is also used to reduce the recovery time as part of the rehabilitation programme both after acute injuries and in the treatment of chronic injuries. Cryotherapy has also been shown to reduce pain effectively in the post-operative period after reconstructive surgery of the joints. Both superficial and deep temperature changes depend on the method of application, initial temperature and application time. The physiological and biological effects are due to the reduction in temperature in the various tissues, together with the neuromuscular action and relaxation of the muscles produced by the application of cold. Cold increases the pain threshold, the viscosity and the plastic deformation of the tissues but decreases the motor performance. The application of cold has also been found to decrease the inflammatory reaction in an experimental situation. Cold appears to be effective and harmless and few complications or side-effects after the use of cold therapy are reported. Prolonged application at very low temperatures should, however, be avoided as this may cause serious side-effects, such as frost-bite and nerve injuries. Practical applications, indications and contraindications are discussed.
PLoS One. 2013;8(2):e55803. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0055803. Epub 2013 Feb 1.
Lombardi G1, Lanteri P, Porcelli S, Mauri C, Colombini A, Grasso D, Zani V, Bonomi FG, Melegati G, Banfi G.
Cold-based therapies are commonly applied to alleviate pain symptoms secondary to inflammatory diseases, but also to treat injuries or overuse, as done in sports rehabilitation. Whole body cryotherapy, a relatively new form of cold therapy, consists of short whole-body exposure to extremely cold air (-110°C to -140°C). Cryostimulation is gaining wider acceptance as an effective part of physical therapy to accelerate muscle recovery in rugby players. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of repeated cryostimulation sessions on the hematological profile and martial status markers in professional rugby players. Twenty-seven professional rugby players received 2 daily cryostimulation treatments for 7 consecutive days. Blood samples were collected before and after administration of the cryotherapic protocol and hematological profiles were obtained. No changes in the leukocyte count or composition were seen. There was a decrease in the values for erythrocytes, hematocrit, hemoglobin and mean corpuscular hemoglobin content, and an increase in mean corpuscular volume and red cell distribution width. Platelet count and mean volume remained unchanged. Serum transferrin and ferritin decreased, while soluble transferrin receptor increased. Serum iron and transferrin saturation were unchanged, as was reticulocyte count, whereas the immature reticulocyte fraction decreased substantially. In conclusion, in this sample of professional rugby players, cryostimulation modified the hematological profile, with a reduction in erythrocyte count and hemoglobinization paralleled by a change in martial status markers.
PLoS One. 2011;6(7):e22748. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0022748. Epub 2011 Jul 28.
Pournot H1, Bieuzen F, Louis J, Mounier R, Fillard JR, Barbiche E, Hausswirth C.
The objectives of the present investigation was to analyze the effect of two different recovery modalities on classical markers of exercise-induced muscle damage (EIMD) and inflammation obtained after a simulated trail running race. Endurance trained males (n = 11) completed two experimental trials separated by 1 month in a randomized crossover design; one trial involved passive recovery (PAS), the other a specific whole body cryotherapy (WBC) for 96 h post-exercise (repeated each day). For each trial, subjects performed a 48 min running treadmill exercise followed by PAS or WBC. The Interleukin (IL) -1 (IL-1), IL-6, IL-10, tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), protein C-reactive (CRP) and white blood cells count were measured at rest, immediately post-exercise, and at 24, 48, 72, 96 h in post-exercise recovery. A significant time effect was observed to characterize an inflammatory state (Pre vs. Post) following the exercise bout in all conditions (p<0.05). Indeed, IL-1β (Post 1 h) and CRP (Post 24 h) levels decreased and IL-1ra (Post 1 h) increased following WBC when compared to PAS. In WBC condition (p<0.05), TNF-α, IL-10 and IL-6 remain unchanged compared to PAS condition. Overall, the results indicated that the WBC was effective in reducing the inflammatory process. These results may be explained by vasoconstriction at muscular level, and both the decrease in cytokines activity pro-inflammatory, and increase in cytokines anti-inflammatory.
J Biol Regul Homeost Agents. 2014 Apr-Jun;28(2):291-300.
Grasso D1, Lanteri P1, Di Bernardo C1, Mauri C2, Porcelli S3, Colombini A1, Zani V4, Bonomi FG4, Melegati G2, Banfi G1, Lombardi G1.
Saliva represents a low stress, not-invasively collected matrix that allows steroid hormone monitoring in athletes by reflecting type, intensity and duration of exercise. Whole body cryotherapy (WBC) consists of short whole-body exposures to extremely cold air (-110° to -140°C) which, despite being initially used to treat inflammatory diseases, is currently acquiring increasing popularity in sports medicine. Cryostimulation practice is now widely accepted as an effective treatment to accelerate muscle recovery in rugby players. The aim of this work was to study the changes of steroid hormones in saliva of rugby players after both 2 and 14 consecutive WBC sessions, in order to investigate the effects of the treatment on their salivary steroid hormonal profile. Twenty-five professional rugby players, belonging to the Italian National Team, underwent a 7-day cryotherapy protocol consisting of 2 daily sessions. Saliva samples were taken in the morning prior to the start of the WBC, in the evening after the end of the second WBC, and in the morning of the day after the last WBC session. The samples were analyzed for cortisol, DHEA, testosterone and estradiol using competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. Cortisol and DHEA showed a reduction already after the 2 WBC sessions of the first day; after 14 consecutive WBC sessions cortisol, DHEA, and estradiol levels decreased, while testosterone increased as did the testosterone to cortisol ratio. These results were confirmed by the fact that the majority of subjects showed variations exceeding the critical difference (CD). In conclusion, we found that WBC acutely affects the salivary steroid hormone profile, and the results are evident already after only one twice-daily session. Most significantly, after one-week of consecutive twice-daily WBC sessions, all the hormones were modified. This is the first experimental report that links changes in the hormonal asset to WBC.
Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2013 Oct;23(5):e270-8. doi: 10.1111/sms.12074. Epub 2013 Apr 25.
Fonda B1, Sarabon N.
The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of whole-body cryotherapy (WBC) on biochemical, pain, and performance parameters during the 5-day recovery period after damaging exercise for hamstrings. Participants completed a bout of damaging exercise for the hamstring muscles on two separate occasions (control and experimental condition) separated by 10 weeks. During the control condition, subjects received no treatment after the damaging exercise. The experimental condition consisted of WBC everyday during the recovery period. WBC included single 3-min daily exposures to low temperatures (-140 to -19 °C) in the cryo-cabin. During the recovery period, subjects were tested for biochemical markers, perceived pain sensation, and physical performance (squat jump, counter movement jump, maximal isometric torque production, and maximally explosive isometric torque production). Majority of the observed variables showed statistically significant time effects (P < 0.05) in control group, which indicates the presence of muscle damage. Significant interaction between the control and WBC condition was evident for the rate of torque development (P < 0.05). Pain measures substantially differed between the WBC and the control condition after the exercise. Results of this study are not completely supportive of the use of WBC for recovery enhancement after strenuous training.
© 2013 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
DOMS; EIMD; performance; regeneration
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Injury. 2013 Aug;44(8):1117-21. doi: 10.1016/j.injury.2012.08.057. Epub 2012 Sep 21.
Galliera E1, Dogliotti G, Melegati G, Corsi Romanelli MM, Cabitza P, Banfi G.
Whole body cryotherapy (WBC) consists of a brief exposure to extreme cold air (-110°C) in a controlled chamber and it is applied in sports medicine to improve recovery from musculoskeletal trauma. The aim of this study is to better define the beneficial effect of WCB on the musculoskeletal system of athletes, in particular on bone remodelling. Remodelling osteoimmunological biomarkers OPG, RANKL and RANK were measured after WBC treatment in 10 male rugby players randomly selected from the Italian National team. OPG levels were increased significantly, supporting the view that WBC induces an osteogenic effect. Further studies evaluating the effect of WBC on bone metabolism are desirable.
Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Med Klin (Munich). 2009 Mar 15;104(3):192-6. doi: 10.1007/s00063-009-1031-9. Epub 2009 Apr 1.
[Article in German]
Braun KP1, Brookman-Amissah S, Geissler K, Ast D, May M, Ernst H.
As yet, whole-body cryotherapy is especially used for the therapy of chronic inflammatory arthritis. An analgetic effect has been described in several studies. However, only few data exist concerning the long-term effects of this therapy.
A total of 60 patients with rheumatoid arthritis (n = 48), and ankylosing spondylitis (n = 12) was analyzed. Patients underwent treatment with whole-body cryotherapy twice a day. The average age was 55.7 +/- 10.33. The study group consisted of 48 female and twelve male patients. The average number of therapeutic treatments with cryotherapy was 15.8 +/- 8.37, the average follow-up 63.4 +/- 63.48 days.
13 patients (21.7%) discontinued treatment because of adverse effects. For patients with rheumatoid arthritis, DAS28 (Disease Activity Score) and VAS (visual analog scale) were determined. A significant reduction of both parameters was found (DAS 3.9 +/- 1.22 vs. 3.4 +/- 1.08; p < 0.01; VAS 51.4 +/- 16.62 vs. 37.9 +/- 19.13; p < 0.01). BASDAI (Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Disease Activity Index) was analyzed for patients with ankylosing spondylitis, and also showed a significant reduction (4.4 +/- 1.91 vs. 3.1 +/- 1.34; p = 0.01).
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.
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Med Klin (Munich). 2008 Jun 15;103(6):383-8. doi: 10.1007/s00063-008-1056-5.
[Article in German]
Lange U1, Uhlemann C, Müller-Ladner U.
Local as well as whole-body cryotherapy is used to relieve pain and inflammation in rheumatic diseases. In comparison with a chamber-based whole-body cryotherapy, the novel criostream whole-body therapy (single-person cabin with cold air cooled by liquid nitrogen) as an innovative technique offers not only a rapid therapeutic effect but also a considerable reduction in costs. The aim of this study was to compare the effect of whole-body cryotherapy in the criostream on pain reduction, disease activity and pro-inflammatory cytokines (tumor necrosis factor-[TNF-]alpha and interleukin-[IL-]1), and improvement in functional scores.
Ten patients with different active inflammatory rheumatic diseases (four patients with rheumatoid arthritis, three patients with ankylosing spondylitis, and three patients with psoriatic arthritis/spondylitis) underwent nine sessions of whole-body cryotherapy in 5 days for a short time period (at first 90 s, with step-up in each application to 2.5 min total time).
Pain and disease activity scores decreased significantly, and, subsequently, also the functional scores showed a significant amelioration. Furthermore, there was a significant reduction in TNF-alpha (p < 0.01) and IL-1 (p < 0.05). Side effects were reported only after the first application in two cases (headache and sensation of cold).
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.
Sports Med. 2010 Jun 1;40(6):509-17. doi: 10.2165/11531940-000000000-00000.
Banfi G1, Lombardi G, Colombini A, Melegati G.
Cold therapy 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, called whole-body cryotherapy (WBC), consists of exposure to very cold air that is maintained at -110 degrees C to -140 degrees C in special temperature-controlled cryochambers, generally for 2 minutes. WBC is used to relieve pain and inflammatory symptoms caused by numerous disorders, particularly those associated with rheumatic conditions, and is recommended for the treatment of arthritis, fibromyalgia and ankylosing spondylitis. 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. Repeated treatments are apparently not able to induce cumulative effects; on the contrary, adaptive changes on antioxidant status are elicited–the adaptation is evident where WBC precedes or accompanies intense training. WBC is not characterized by modifications of immunological markers and leukocytes, and it seems to not be harmful to the immunological system. The WBC effect is probably linked to the modifications of immunological molecules having paracrine effects, and not to systemic immunological functions. In fact, there is an increase in anti-inflammatory cytokine interleukin (IL)-10, and a decrease in proinflammatory cytokine IL-2 and chemokine IL-8. Moreover, the decrease in intercellular adhesion molecule-1 supported the anti-inflammatory response. Lysosomal membranes are stabilized by WBC, reducing potential negative effects on proteins of lysosomal enzymes. The cold stimulation shows positive effects on the muscular enzymes creatine kinase and lactate dehydrogenase, and it should be considered a procedure that facilitates athletes’ recovery. Cardiac markers troponin I and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, parameters linked to damage and necrosis of cardiac muscular tissue, but also to tissue repair, were unchanged, demonstrating that there was no damage, even minimal, in the heart during the treatment. N-Terminal pro B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP), a parameter linked to heart failure and ventricular power decrease, showed an increase, due to cold stress. However, the NT-proBNP concentrations observed after WBC were lower than those measured after a heavy training session, suggesting that the treatment limits the increase of the parameter that is typical of physical exercise. WBC did not stimulate the pituitary-adrenal cortex axis: the hormonal modifications are linked mainly to the body’s adaptation to the stress, shown by an increase of noradrenaline (norepinephrine). We conclude that WBC is not harmful and does not induce general or specific negative effects in athletes. The treatment does not induce modifications of biochemical and haematological parameters, which could be suspected in athletes who may be cheating. The published data are generally not controversial, but further studies are necessary to confirm the present observations.
Psychol Health Med. 2014;19(1):40-6. doi: 10.1080/13548506.2013.780130. Epub 2013 Mar 27.
Szczepańska-Gieracha J1, Borsuk P, Pawik M, Rymaszewska J.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of a whole-body cryotherapy (WBCT) on various parameters of the mental state of patients depending on their age, gender, and diagnosed illness. The study included 55 subjects – 43 women and 12 men aged from 20 to 70 years. Based on the diagnosed illness, the patients were divided into two diagnostic groups. The first group consisted of patients with spinal pain syndromes (n = 34). The second group comprised patients with peripheral joint disease (n = 21). All patients underwent 10 WBCT sessions. The subjects completed a survey at two time points: before the first WBCT treatment (T1) and after completing the tenth treatment (T2). The World Health Organization Quality of Life-Bref (WHOQOL-Bref) questionnaire and the Psychological General Well-Being Index (PGWBI) questionnaire were used in the study. After a series of WBCT treatments, the WHOQOL-Bref and PGWBI scores significantly improved (p = .005161, p = .000862, respectively). WBCT proved to be more effective in enhancing the mood and well-being of the patients than in improving their quality of life. WBCT has a significant influence on improving the well-being and mood of patients (in terms of both psychological and somatic aspects) and consequently leads to an improvement in their quality of life. The worse the mental state of the patients is prior to the cryotherapy, the stronger its effect. The observed effectiveness of cryotherapy was the strongest in women, patients with spinal pains and in patients with severe depressive symptoms.
Clin Rheumatol. 2013 Sep;32(9):1337-45. doi: 10.1007/s10067-013-2280-9. Epub 2013 May 2.
Bettoni L1, Bonomi FG, Zani V, Manisco L, Indelicato A, Lanteri P, Banfi G, Lombardi G.
Fibromyalgia is a chronic widespread pain disorder in which, the neurogenic origin of the pain, featured by allodynia and hyperalgesia, results from an imbalance in the levels of neurotransmitters and consequently of the peripheral pro- and anti-inflammatory mediators. Whole body cryotherapy is a peculiar physical therapy known to relieve pain and inflammatory symptoms characteristics of rheumatic diseases, through the regulation of the cytokine expression. The aim of this study was to qualitatively evaluate the effects of cryotherapy on the clinical output of fibromyalgic patients. A total of 100 fibromyalgic patients (age range 17-70 years) were observed; 50 subjects were addressed to cryotherapy, while the second group (n = 50) did not underwent to the cryotherapic treatment. All subjects kept the prescribed pharmacological therapy during the study (analgesic and antioxidants). The referred health status pre- and post-observation was evaluated with the following scales: Visual Analogue Scale, Short Form-36, Global Health Status and Fatigue Severity Scale. Fibromyalgic patients treated with cryotherapy reported a more pronounced improvement of the quality of life, in comparison with the non-cryo treated fibromyalgic subjects, as indicated by the scores of the qualitative indexes and sub-indexes, that are widely recognized tools to assess the overall health status and the effect of the treatments. We speculate that this improvement is due to the known direct effect of cryotherapy on the balance between pro- and anti-inflammatory mediators having a recognized role in the modulation of pain.
J Therm Biol. 2016 Oct;61:67-81. doi: 10.1016/j.jtherbio.2016.08.009. Epub 2016 Aug 27.
Bouzigon R1, Grappe F2, Ravier G3, Dugue B4.
Cold therapy is commonly used as a method to relieve pain and inflammation. This review focuses primarily on two methods of cold therapy that have received recent attention: whole-body cryotherapy and partial-body cryotherapy. These methods are used to induce physiological and psychological benefits in humans in the context of medicine, health and sports. The subjects experiencing cryotherapy are dressed in minimal clothing and are exposed to very cold air (at -110°C or less) for 1-4min. Despite the increasing scientific interest in these methods, there is a lack of information about the technologies used. Moreover, there is no existing reference concerning exposure protocols and the relationship between temperature, duration, number of repetitions and the treatments’ desired effects. The aim of this review is to compare whole- and partial-body cryotherapy effects (especially on skin temperature) and to classify the protocols for exposure according to the desired effects. This review emphasises 1) the lack of information concerning the actual temperatures inside the cabin or chamber during exposure and 2) the heterogeneity among the exposure protocols that have been reported in the scientific literature. This review will be valuable and relevant to health professionals endeavouring to optimize the cold treatments offered to patients and producers of cryotherapy apparatus striving to create more efficient devices that meet market requirements.
Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Cryostimulation; Cryotherapy; Health; Sport recovery; Well-being
Pol Merkur Lekarski. 1998 Oct;5(28):222-4.
[Article in Polish]
Cryotherapy is use of temperature lower than -100 degrees C onto body surface, for 2-3 minutes, in aim to cause physiological reactions for cold and to use such adapting reactions. Organism’s positive response to cryotherapy supports treatment of basic disease and facilitates kinesitherapy. Low temperature may be obtained by use of air flow cooled with liquid nitrogen; this could be applied either locally, over chosen part of the body, or generally, over the whole body, in cryosauna or in cryochamber. The most efficiently is applying cryotherapy twice a day, with at least 3 hours interval. Kinesitherapy is necessarily used after each cryotherapy session. Whole treatment takes 2 to 6 weeks, depending on patient’s needs. Cryotherapy reduces pain and swellings, causes skeletal muscles relaxation and increase of their force, also, motion range in treated joints increases. Thus, cryotherapy seems to fulfill all necessary conditions for rehabilitation in osteoporosis. Cryotherapy represents numerous advantages: it takes short time for applying, being well tolerated by patient, also patient’s status improves quickly. In addition, contraindications against cryotherapy are rare. All this makes cryotherapy a method for a broad use in prophylactics and treatment of osteoporosis.
Z Rheumatol. 1992 Jan-Feb;51(1):25-30.
[Article in German]
Samborski W1, Stratz T, Sobieska M, Mennet P, Müller W, Schulte-Mönting J.
In a cross-over study, the short-term efficacy of whole-body cold therapy and hot mud packs in patients with generalized tendomyopathy (fibromyalgia) was compared. As a pain assessment, visual analog scale and so-called pain score were measured; dolorimetry of the 24 tender points and eight control points was performed as well. Using these methods, we found that there is a significant improvement of all parameters examined during a 2-h period of measurements after cold application, and a marked improvement was also detectable 24 h after this therapy. In contrast, only pain score values showed a slight decrease immediately after hot mud-pack therapy, and no significant differences were found in visual analog scale and pressure tenderness as measured dolorimetrically. Central inhibition of nociceptors as a result of an activation of A-delta system as well as a blockade of gamma-motoneurons are discussed to be a mechanism of action of whole-body cold therapy, resulting in a decrease in muscle tonus. Long-term studies are needed to determine, if there is any enduring effect of whole-body cold therapy on pain in the patients with generalized tendomyopathy.
Przegl Lek. 2010;67(5):360-4.
[Article in Polish]
Szczepanowska-Wołowiec B1, Dudek J, Wołowiec P, Kotela I.
The influence of whole body cryotherapy on human body.
The study was conducted on a group of 50 patients of the Rehabilitation Ward in Wojewodzki Szpital Zespolony in Kielce suffering from chronic pain as a sequel of degenerative-deformative changes and residing. Physiotherapy consisted of treatments in cryo-chamber and physical exercises.
The average heart rate in the study group before the treatment amounted to 66.5 beats/min +/- 5.7 after the courses of treatments it constituted to 63.1 beats/min. +/- 3.6 at the significance level p < 0.001. The average value of systolic blood pressure in the study group before treatments accounted for 118.7 mmHg +/- 10.8 after the course of treatments amounted to 119.9 mmHg +/- 11.6 at the significance level p < 0.001.
The single treatment of the whole body cryotherapy and 10 courses of those combined with physical exercises caused statistically significant reduction in the heart rate and pressure parameters. The downward trend was observed in all courses of treatments conducted in this study.