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Cryotherapy Studies

Effect of whole body cryotherapy on the levels of some hormones in professional soccer players

Authors: Ilona Korzonek-Szlacheta, Tomasz Wielkoszyński, Agata Stanek, Elzbieta Swietochowska, JacekKarpe, Aleksander Sieroń

INTRODUCTION: The study was undertaken to determine blood serum concentrations of selected steroid hormones (estradiol–E(2), testosterone–T, dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate–DHEA-S) and luteinizing hormone (LH) in professional footballers subjected to whole body cryotherapy. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Twenty-two clinically healthy males, mean age 26.7 years, were studied. The subjects underwent ten sessions of whole body cryotherapy in Wroclaw-type chamber, with kinesitherapy following each session. Blood samples were collected before and two days after the treatment and the results were analyzed statistically. RESULTS: After the treatment there was a significant decrease in the concentrations of T (6.01 vs. 4.80 ng/mL, p < 0.01) and E(2) (102.3 vs. 47.5 pg/mL, p < 0.00001), but no DHEA-S and LH. The T/E(2) ratio showed a significant increase form 72.2 to 136.5 (p < 0.01). CONCLUSIONS: Whole body cryotherapy leads to a significant decrease in serum T and E(2), with no effect on LH and DHEAS levels. As a results of cryotherapy, the T/E(2) ratio was significant increased. The changes observed are probably due to cryotherapy-induced alternation in the blood supply to the skin and subcutaneous tissue, as well as to modulation of the activity of aromatase which is responsible for conversion of testosterone and androstenedione to estrogens.
Endokrynologia Polska. 58(1):27-32. ISSN: 0423-104X

The influence of whole body cryotherapy on mental health

Authors:J Rymaszewska, D Biay, Z Zagrobelny, A Kiejna

The paper presents a little known issue about the influence of wholebody cryotherapy on mental health. Observations of patients’ behaviour after passing the cryogenic chamber leads to an interesting hypothesis. Short exposition to extreme cold has doubtless a profitable influence on man’s frame of mind. Immediately after passing the cryogenic chamber, apart from the well known analgetic effect, we detect changes in patients’ mental state such as improvement of mood, deep relaxation, freshening up, consolation, euphoria. This unusual state lasts for a long time after ending the cycle of cryotherapy. Different mechanisms of this effect are considered. New possibilities of this method have been presented. Durability of such an advantageous phenomenon are investigated in our research centre in Wrocław.
Psychiatria polska. 34(4):649-53. ISSN: 0033-2674


Authors: Banfi Giuseppe, Melegati Gianluca, Barassi Alessandra, Gianvico Melzi d’Eril

Background. Sport’s anemia is a common risk for athletes. The principal source of an accelerated turnover of the erythrocytes in sportsmen is the intravascular hemolysis. This phenomenon is induced by mechanical breakage for impact of feet and muscular contractions, but also by osmotic changes causing membrane fragility, typically evident after exercise, when free radicals are increased. Whole-body cryotherapy (WBC) covers a wide range of therapeutic applications and consists of briefly exposing the body to extremely cold air. In sports medicine, WBC is used to improve recovery from muscle injury; however, empirical studies on
its application to this area are lacking. Design and Methods. We recruited ten rugby players of the Italian National Team. In these athletes we measured hematological parameters, before including mean sphered cell volume (MSCV) by means of Coulter LH750, besides of haptoglobin, and after WBC. The subjects underwent five sessions on alternate days once daily for one week. During the study period, the training workload was the same as that of the previous weeks. Results. We observed in the athletes increase of haptoglobin and an increase of MSCV after the treament period. Conclusions. WBC reduces sports haemolysis, as judged from MSCV and haptoglobin data, supported from other haematological values, as well as the absence of mean corpuscolar volume and reticulocytes increase. The treatment is useful to prevent the physiological impairments derived from sport haemolysis.
Journal of Human Sport and Exercise. 01/01/2009;

Whole-body cryotherapy in patients with inflammatory rheumatic disease. A prospective study

Authors: Kay-P Braun, Sabine Brookman-Amissah, Katrin Geissler, Doris Ast, Matthias May, Helmut Erns

BACKGROUND: : 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. PATIENTS AND METHODS: : 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. RESULTS: : 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). CONCLUSION: : 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.
Medizinische Klinik (Munich, Germany : 1983). 01/04/2009; 104(3):192-6. ISSN: 0723-5003 DOI: 10.1007/s00063-009-1031-9

Whole-body cryotherapy in rehabilitation of patients with rheumatoid diseases–pilot study

Authors: D Metzger, C Zwingmann, W Protz, W H Jäckel

Cryotherapy as a whole-body cold therapy (with cold air cooled by addition of nitrogen blown on the patients in an open cabin) for treatment of inflammatory rheumatic diseases already started in Bad Säckingen in 1986. In 1996, a new cold chamber (this time a closed chamber without any addition of nitrogen) based on compressor technology was introduced. The aim of our study was to test whether significant pain relief could be achieved by means of this cold therapy. Furthermore, we were interested in the practicability and acceptance of this new technique. Wellbeing during the treatment application and pain level were assessed using verbal and numerical rating scales. The sample consisted of 120 consecutive patients (75% women, age: 30-67 yrs, M = 52.6 yrs). These patients were suffering from primary fibromyalgia (40.7%), rheumatoid arthritis (17.3%), chronic low back pain (16.4%), ankylosing spondylitis (10.9%), osteoarthritis (9.1%), secondary fibromyalgia (3.6%) and other autoimmune diseases (1.8%) (mean duration of symptoms: 4 yrs). The patients were treated 2.5 minutes on average in the main chamber (mean temperature: -105 degrees C). The patients’ statements concerning their pain level were analyzed by means of analyses of variance with repeated measures and paired-sample t-tests. RESULTS: 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, no significant improvement, though, can be shown from the middle to the end of the four-weeks treatment. According to the results of
our study, there is evidence that the whole-body cold therapy generates important short-term effects and somewhat weaker effects over the treatment period as a whole. 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.
Die Rehabilitation. 01/05/2000; 39(2):93-100. ISSN: 0034-3536

Whole-body cryotherapy as adjunct treatment of depressive and anxiety disorders

Authors: Joanna Rymaszewska, David Ramsey, Sylwia Chładzińska-Kiejna

INTRODUCTION: Rheumatism has been treated using whole-body cryotherapy (WBCT) since the 1970s. The aim of this study was to assess the efficacy of WBCT as an experimental, adjunctive method of treating depressive and anxiety disorders. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A control (n=34) and a study group (n=26), both consisting of outpatients 18-65 years old with depressive and anxiety disorders (ICD-10), received standard psychopharmacotherapy. The study group was additionally treated with a series of 15 daily visits to a cryogenic chamber (2-3 min, from -160 degrees C to -110 degrees C). The Hamilton’s depression rating scale (HDRS) and Hamilton’s anxiety rating scale (HARS) were used as the outcome measures. RESULTS: After three weeks, a decrease of at least 50% from the baseline HDRS-17 scores in 34.6% of the study group and 2.9% of the control group and a decrease of at least 50% from the baseline HARS score in 46.2% of the study group and in none of the control group were noted. CONCLUSIONS: These findings, despite such limitations as a small sample size, suggest a possible role for WBCT as a short-term adjuvant treatment for mood and anxiety disorders.
Archivum immunologiae et therapiae experimentalis. 56(1):63-8. ISSN: 0004-069X DOI: 10.1007/s00005-008-0006-5

Effects of the whole-body cryotherapy on NTproBNP, hsCRP and troponin I in athletes

Authors: Giuseppe Banfi, Gianluca Melegati, Alessandra Barassi, Gianlodovico Melzi d’Eril

Whole-body cryotherapy refers to brief exposure to very cold air for treating symptoms of various illnesses. In sports medicine, whole-body cryotherapy is administered to improve recovery from muscular trauma. As specific studies are lacking, we measured cardiac markers in 10 top-level rugby players of the Italian National team before and after a 1-week course of daily sessions of whole-body cryotherapy. All subjects continued with the same training workload as that of the previous weeks. N-terminal pro B-type natriuretic peptide (NTproBNP) levels increased but remained within the normal range, whilst troponin I (TnI) and high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) were unchanged. Whole-body cryotherapy did not impair cardiac function in this sample of elite athletes.
Journal of science and medicine in sport / Sports Medicine Australia. 01/11/2008; ISSN: 1440-2440 DOI: 10.1016/j.jsams.2008.06.004

Evaluation of effectiveness of whole-body cryotherapy in patients with tinnitus

Authors: Agnieszka Kamińska-Staruch, Jurek Olszewski

INTRODUCTION: The aim of the study was evaluation of effectiveness of whole-body cryotherapy in patients with tinnitus. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The research was carried out in 120 patients (aged 20-
68) with tinnitus, divided into two groups: I–80 patients treated by cryotherapy and II–40 patients non treated. There were: 73 women and 47 men. Among patients of I group: 39 reported bilateral tinnitus, 20 reported right tinnitus, 15 reported left tinnitus and 6 reported tinnitus in head. Duration of the ailment took from 1 month to 23 years. The methods included: taking a history, otolaryngological physical examination, audiometry establishing level of tinnitus, medical consultation, X-ray examination of chest and cervical spine and CT of head. After examinations and additional consultations the patients were qualified for cryotherapy unless there were some contraindications. The patients underwent 10 procedures in two cycles with the weekend break. They were in cryochamber in temperature of -110 degrees C for 3 minutes. After cryotherapy they used kinesitherapy for 45 minutes. Intensity and troublesomeness of tinnitus was evaluated using self-assessment chart (point scale 0-100) and audiometry establishing level of tinnitus before and after treatment. RESULTS: The results indicates complete elimination of tinnitus in 4 patients, decrease in their intensity in 47 patients, maintenance of the ailment on the same level in 13 people and slightly increase of tinnitus in 16 patients. In audiometry we could observe in I group changes in frequency of tinnitus in 138 ears and changes in intensity of tinnitus in 91 ears. After treatment decrease of average hearing loss and average hearing damage were observed. CONCLUSIONS: Treatment of tinnitus may be effective by using whole-body cryotherapy.
Otolaryngologia polska. The Polish otolaryngology. 01/02/2007; 61(5):801-4. ISSN: 0030-6657