Cold and Cryotherapy
Cold and cryotherapy. A review of the literature on general principles and practical applications.
Cryotherapy increases the threshold of pain and induces physiological changes. It influences hemodynamics (reduction of skin- and muscle temperature through vasoconstriction), metabolism (reduction of ischemia due to hypoxia), and neural control (reduction of nerve conduction velocity and muscle tone).
Cryotherapy is indicated mainly in locomotor system related pain. Such pain can be induced by degenerative changes, postoperatively, and during mobilisation of contracted joints.
Cryotherapy may be used as short term therapy (less than 15 min) as well as long term therapy (more than 20 min).
For maximal efficacy the intensity of application as well as the application medium must be considered.
Due to biorhythm, cold application seems to be more effective in the afternoon.
Kerschan-Schindl K, Uher EM, Zauner-Dungl A, Fialka-Moser V.
Universitatsklinik fur Physikalische Medizin und Rehabilitation, Wien. Katharina.Kerschan@akh-wien.ac.at
Acta Med Austriaca. 1998;25(3):73-8.
PMID: 9816398 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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