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The Effects of Cryotherapy on Recovery Sample Essay

The Effects of Cryotherapy on Recovery


It was proved by modern medicine that using of cold provides healing of the human body. Local cryotherapy as cold application has become one of the directions of physiotherapy. Currently, the information concerning cryotherapy is abundantly available. Therefore, the main goal of this work is precise and direct research on the effects of cryotherapy and confirmation of the thesis that cryotherapy has positive effects on recovery. To achieve this goal, the paper has been divided into several sections, where the following features will be studied: theoretical data about cryotherapy, mechanisms of influence of cryotherapy on recovery of human body, the main results of cryotherapeutic procedures, application of cryotherapy in specific areas of medical and preventive medicine and counterindication to its use.

Theoretical Data about Cryotherapy

Cryotherapy is a process of treatment with cold; physiotherapeutic therapy procedures, the effect of which is based on response of the body to the supercooling of outer (receptor) panniculus of the skin. General and local cryotherapy should be distinguished, since, despite the similarity of physical impact, the methods provide fundamentally different results. General cryotherapy irritates all receptor field of the skin and affects the central nervous system. Local cryotherapy causes local effects.

The main results of cryotherapeutic procedures should be described (Morgan, 2014): improving the general tone of the body, improving the state and color of the skin, swelling removal; removal of depression and stress, chronic fatigue syndrome; removal of alcohol withdrawal syndrome within 20 minutes; fat burning, the effective component of anti-cellulite treatments; strengthening of immunity, tempering, the lifting of body resistance, the restoring of weakened or reduced function of the body; recovery after injuries and physical exertion; removal of allergic conditions; prevention of acute respiratory diseases, cardiovascular and bronchopulmonary diseases. prevention of chronic diseases associated with disorders of the endocrine and metabolic and autoimmune processes and immunity deficit; treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, mainly affecting the joints phase.

Mechanisms of Influence of Cryotherapy on Recovery of Human Body

Cryotherapy impacts on pain relieving, blood vessels, analgesia, anti-inflammatory effect, vasculomotor reactions and nervous system. Pain relieving effect is provided to human body through blocking pain receptors by lowering the temperature of the skin. Also, cryotherapy has anti-inflammatory effect, which means 10 time lowering of white blood cells in para-articular. The inflammatory process slows down and swelling of tela can be removed. In addition, it dissipates edemas of glands and normalizes. Lymph flow of T-reactive protein level is decreased. Blood vessels constriction exists in tela, to which it was applied. At the same time cryotherapy causes vascular distension in surrounding of application area telas. Such varying vasodilation and vasoconstriction promotes enhanced oxygen supply of the human body. Cryotherapy also has immunomodulatory effect. Applying local cryotherapy, a person begins to feel increased muscular tone, which helps to eliminate spasms and incarcerations (Morgan, 2014). Local anesthesia (analgesia) can be achieved, when skin temperature drops below +15 ° C, the feeling of cold slows the nerve impulses (thermal shock). The cold reduces the sensitivity of nociceptors due to depolarization of the cell membrane and causes the effect of “input control” stimulating thick myelinated nerve fibers, the excitation of which leads to a block at the level of the posterior horns of the spinal cord (Peluaga, 2008). Anti-inflammatory effect can be also caused with cryotherapy. The inflammatory reaction, capillary permeability and the cellular response are directly related to the temperature of tela. Using cold helps reducing production of neurotransmitters, responsible for starting the reaction of inflammation. In this case, reduction of concentration of inflammatory factors also leads to a decrease in intensity of pain by 70-80%. In addition, vasoconstriction of arterioles and capillaries occurs under the influence of cold (in case of development of inflammatory reaction vasodilation of vessels occurs). Vasoconstriction slows blood flow, reduces  hydrostatic pressure of fluid, reduces the output of fluid from the vessels into the extracellular space as well as reduces tela swelling. If to speak about vasculomotor reactions, the cold causes reflex reaction of vessels constriction. Prolonged application of cryotherapy may cause vasodilatation. This paradoxical reaction is associated with protective hyperemia. Thus, in case of prolonged cryotherapy vasodilation the effects would cyclically alternate with the effects of vasoconstriction. This phenomenon occurs when the temperature of tela is between +7 to +12° C. Effect on the nervous system is following. The cold causes not only a local effect when the temperature of the skin is below +15 ° C, but also the muscle spasticity. The amplitude of the reflex response in case of pre-cooled muscles stretching is reduced during and after use of cold. This phenomenon has allowed to develop a cooling and stretching method for treatment of muscle contractures (Morgan, 2014).

The application of cryotherapy in specific areas of medical and preventive medicine should be investigated.

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The Application of Cryotherapy in Specific Areas of Medical and Preventive Medicine

Cryotherapy has its application in different medical areas. In neuropathology and vertebrology cryotherapy  is applied as one of the methods of curing diseases of the nervous system (cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, myasthenia gravis, migraine, Parkinson etc), as well as for reducing manifestations of systemic diseases and the effects of trauma. Exposure of cryogenic temperatures on huge receptor field primarily evokes a response in the nervous and endocrine systems. The main synergistic components of pathogenesis in case of osteochondrosis are spasm of vessels and muscles, violation of venous and lymphatic drainage, arthrosis of zygapophysial joint, change of local metabolism, development of aseptic inflammation and pain among others. Effects of cryotherapy  are completely antagonistic to pathogenesis of osteochondrosis, which explains higher efficiency of Cryotherapy  in treatment of degenerative diseases of the spine (Morgan, 2014). In psychiatry cryotherapy is used for relieving of withdrawal of symptoms in patients suffering from opiate addiction. Splash of concentration of endorphins leads to replacement of exogenous opiate from receptor complexes which normalizes their functioning. Similar results were obtained in the case of abstinence of alcoholism. Cryotherapy also proved to be effective in treatment of moderately severe depressive states, especially, the endogenous nature of non-pharmacological prevention and treatment of chronic fatigue syndrome to relieve stress.

In rheumatology normalizing effect of Cryotherapy on the human body is clearly and pointedly manifested in curing of rheumatism, rheumatoid arthritis and uratic arthritis. It should be remembered that the treatment of connective tela diseases (rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, systemic lupus erythematosus etc) requires sanitation of nidus of chronic infection. In dermatology application of cryotherapy in dermatology has a wide nosological range: from “treatment of acute and chronic inflammatory processes to the rehabilitation of secondary degenerative manifestations of skin diseases” (Nadler, Weingand, & Kruse, 2014).

Cryomedical technologies are also the basic element of combination therapy of psoriasis. Local cryotherapy can and should be used directly for treatment of cutaneous manifestations of psoriasis. In this case Cryotherapy  is mainly focused on immunocorrection and normalization of metabolism.  f to speak about atopic dermatitis, aeborrhea and acne, local cryotherapy is used in excoriations places. Maximal ischemic exposure is primarily used on infiltrated nidus of lichenification. The maximum exposure of the local Cryotherapy  is used on the back and chest. Local cryotherapy can be administered to suppress hyperfunction and normalize activity of the sebaceous glands in case of seborrhea of the scalp. Generaly, in cosmetology cryotherapy is used to improve microcirculation, optimize metabolism and enhance skin turgor. It can rejuvenate significantly external aesthetic skin state.  Cryotherapy is effective in correction of cellulite and excess weight.

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In sports medicine and physiotherapy it is used for: relief, treatment and rehabilitation of acute and chronic sport traumas (White & Wells, 2013); modulating and maintaining fitness level of the athlete; optimization of the state of the athlete; rehabilitation of athletes after competitions in order to prolong the sport life of the latter (Lubkowska, 2012). In general surgery cryotherapy is effective in treatment of venous ulcers and cases of wound cicatrization. Local Cryotherapy reduces edema granulation by drying and flattening them, hence, it can be used in the process of wound preparation for plastic closure (there is a good engraftment of skin flaps). In case of providing first aid for patients with burns, local cryotherapy allows to downplay the scale of the pathogenetic processes in short term.


It is not recommended for people who have had a stroke or acute myocardial infarction, those who suffer from third degree hypertension, has heart failure and who do not tolerate with cold. Cryotherapy is contraindicated to infants and pregnant women.


Cryotherapy is a process of treatment by application of cold. It stimulates recovery processes by providing a range of therapeutic effects such as local anesthesia (analgesia) and anti-inflammatory effect, it impacts asculomotor reactions, improves microcirculation, bears positive effect on the nervous system. Additionally, pain receptors can be blocked by lowering the temperature of the skin.

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Cryotherapy is used in different specific areas of medical and preventive medicine, such as: neuropathology,  vertebrology, psychiatry, rheumatology, dermatology, complex therapy of psoriasis, cosmetology, sports medicine, general surgery, traumatology etc. Therefore, cryotherapy has positive effects on recovery in many areas of medicine.

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