Anna Lubkowska, Barbara Dołęgowska, Zbigniew Szyguła
It is claimed that WBC (whole-body cryotherapy) enhances the resistance of the human body, also thanks to the beneficial effect on the antioxidant system. Accordingly, this research aimed to evaluate the effect of a series of whole-body cryostimulations on the level of non-enzymatic antioxidants and the activity of antioxidant enzymes in healthy men. The study was carried out on 30 young and healthy men aged 27.8±6.1 years with average body mass index and peak oxygen consumption (46.34±6.15 ml kg−1 •min−1). The participants were daily exposed for 3 minutes to cryogenic temperatures (−130°C). Blood samples were obtained in the morning before cryostimulation, again 30 min after exposure and the following day in the morning, during the 1st, 10th and 20th session. Analysis concerned changes in plasma concentrations of total protein, albumin, glucose, uric acid and ceruloplasmin, and the most important components of the antioxidant system in red blood cells: superoxide dismutase, catalase, glutathione peroxidase, glutathione reductase, reduced and oxidized glutathione. To assess the oxidative stress level the 8-isoprostane concentration in plasma was measured. The obtained results indicate that cryogenic temperatures in repeated daily treatments result in changes in the peroxidant and antioxidant status. These changes seem to depend on the number of cryostimulations. After 20 daily treatments there was an increase in SOD, SOD:CAT ratio, a decrease in the concentration of reduced and oxidized glutathione and in the activity of GPx. It could be possible that differences in the activity of GSSG-R after 20 treatments depended on the body mass index of participants.
Whole-Body Cryostimulation - Potential Beneficial Treatment for Improving Antioxidant Capacity in Healthy Men - Significance of the Number of Sessions Lubkowska A, Dołęgowska B, Szyguła Z (2012) Whole-Body Cryostimulation - Potential Beneficial Treatment for Improving Antioxidant Capacity in Healthy Men - Significance of the Number of Sessions. PLOS ONE 7(10): e46352. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0046352
Ilona Korzonek-Szlacheta, Tomasz Wielkoszyński, Agata Stanek, Elzbieta Swietochowska, JacekKarpe, Aleksander Sieroń
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 from 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.
Practitioners are vague when it comes to recommendations on the duration of a single session. Recommended exposure for cryo-chamber is 150 s, but no empirically based recommendations are available for a cryo-cabin. Therefore the aim of this study was to examine thermal and cardio-vascular responses after 90, 120, 150 and 180 s of WBC in a cryo-cabin…Our results indicate that practitioners and clinicians using cryo-cabin for WBC do not need to perform sessions longer than 150 s. We have shown that longer sessions do not substantially affect thermal and cardio-vascular response, but do increase thermal discomfort.Download the Study
Research by Łuczak, carried out on a large group of athletes (300 people), was meant to find an optimal operating temperature during the whole-body cryostimulation for the improvement of motor skills. The effects of exposure were compared between two 10 minute whole-body cryostimulations (at -100°C, -130°C and -160°C) and physical efficiency, based on an assessment of agility, balance, speed and dynamic strength of abdominal muscles.The analysis of the results showed no effect of cryostimulation on the level of agility. Balance improved significantly in groups exposed to temperatures below -100°C, while no significant effects were observed for -100°C. Parameters evaluating speed and dynamic strength of abdominal muscles improved most after the application of -100°C. It was proposed that whole body cryotherapy exerts positive effects on human motor characteristics, although the lowest cryogenic temperatures should be used in only specific cases [Łuczak et al. 2006]. Subsequent studies showed that a series of 20 stimulations with an average temperature -130°C performed on martial arts competitors, resulted in an extended duration of exercise and lower subjective feeling of fatigue at increasing mean speed and angle of treadmill inclination during an exercise according to the Bruce protocol [Hagner et al. 2009]. A recent study on the effects of whole-body cryostimulation on aerobic and anaerobic capacities showed that three 10 minute sessions (average temperature -130°C) increased maximal anaerobic power in males but not in females, and did not influence aerobic capacity in either gender [Klimek et al. 2011]. There are also reports of improved exercise tolerance, expressed by a lower level of lactates, heart rate and increased threshold capacity during a rowing ergometer test by Olympic team athletes (rowers) after 23 cryostimulation sessions (3-minutes at a temperature of -150°C, 2 x day).
Blazej Misiak, Andrzej Kiejna
Alzheimer’s disease (AD), which is the most common form of dementia, constitutes one of the leading causes of disability and mortality in aging societies. Currently recommended medications used in treating AD include cholinesterase inhibitors and the NMDA antagonist – memantine, but poorly counteract progression of the disease. According to current knowledge, the neuropathological process underlying the etiology of AD begins many years, if not decades, before the development of overt symptoms of dementia. Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is regarded as the first detectable manifestation of cognitive decline. Nowadays, there is a general consensus that vascular alterations, oxidative stress and inflammatory response contribute to the development of AD. Following these mechanisms and tracing the anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative effects of cryostimulation, we postulate that whole-body cryotherapy (WBCT) might be utilized as a means of preventing AD. WBCT is a relatively safe and cost-effective procedure, which is widely applied in various medical specialties. Thus, there is an urgent necessity to evaluate the long-term effectiveness of WBCT in the prevention of AD in patients with MCI and healthy individuals.
Medical Hypotheses. 3/2012
J Rymaszewska, D Biay, Z Zagrobelny, A Kiejna ł
The paper presents a little known issue about the influence of Whole Body Cryotherapy on mental health. Observations of patients’ behavior 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 center in Wrocław.
Psychiatria Polska. 34(4):649-53. ISSN: 0033-2674
Banfi Giuseppe, Melegati Gianluca, Barassi Alessandra, Gianvico Melzi d’Eril
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.
We observed in the athletes increase of haptoglobin and an increase of MSCV after the treatment period.
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;
Kay-P Braun, Sabine Brookman-Amissah, Katrin Geissler, Doris Ast, Matthias May, Helmut Ernst
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
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 program.
Die Rehabilitation. 01/05/2000; 39(2):93-100. ISSN: 0034-3536
Joanna Rymaszewska, David Ramsey, Sylwia Chładzińska-Kiejna
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.
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.
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
Agnieszka Kamińska-Staruch, Jurek Olszewski
The aim of the study was evaluation of effectiveness of whole-body cryotherapy in patients with tinnitus. 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.
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.
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
Agata Stanek, Aleksander Sieroń, Grzegorz Cieślar, Beata Matyszkiewicz, Irena Rozmus-Kuczia
The aim of our study was to assess the impact of whole-body cryotherapy with subsequent kinesitherapy on spinal mobility parameters in patients with ankylosing spondylitis. Material and methods. We enrolled 32 men with ankylosing spondylitis in a clinical trial. The subjects were randomly divided into 2 groups consisting of 16 persons, with no significant differences in age, duration, or stage of disease, treated with a cycle of 10 whole-body cryotherapy procedures with subsequent kinesitherapy or kinesitherapy alone, respectively. Routine spinal mobility parameters were determined for all patients before and after the end of the therapeutic cycle.
Significant improvement of spinal mobility was observed in both groups of patients, but in patients exposed to whole-body cryotherapy with subsequent kinesitherapy the percentage changes in the values of particular parameters were more distinct as compared to patients in whom kinesitherapy alone was used, mainly in respect to lumbar and thoracic spinal mobility.
The use of whole-body cryotherapy as a component of comprehensive therapy in patients with ankylosing spondylitis produces significant improvements in spinal mobility parameters as compared to patients in whom kinesitherapy alone is used.
Ortopedia, Traumatologia, Rehabilitacja. 01/11/2005; 7(5):549-54. ISSN: 1509-3492
Authors: Armand Cholewka, Zofia Drzazga, Aleksander Sieroń
In whole body cryotherapy the whole human body is exposed to low temperature below -100 degrees C in a special room called cryogenic chamber for a very short period of time (2-3 minutes). The impact of cold can cause many different biochemical and physiological reactions of the organism. The skin temperature response due to whole body cryotherapy was studied by means of infrared measurements. The thermograms of chosen body parts of patients suffering from low back pain were performed before and after whole body cooling on the 1(st), 5(th) and the last (10(th)) day of medical treatment. Infrared imaging performed after cold impact owing to the enhancement of the skin temperature profile may reveal a slight decrease of the inflammatory states as a result of the 10 sessions of cryotherapy.
Physica Medica : PM : An International Journal Devoted to the Applications of Physics to Medicine and Biology. 22(2):57-62. ISSN: 1120-1797 DOI: 10.1016/S1120-1797(06)80054-2
Zbigniew Sliwiński, Wojciech Kufel, Beata Michalak, Bartłomiej Halat, Wojciech Kiebzak, Magdalena Wilk, Robert Jonak
In pain syndromes involving the lumbo-sacral region, the pelvis, and the lower extremities, the mobility of the hip joint is disrupted by structural and functional changes in tissues, which also cause irritation of the ligaments and muscles of the pelvis. Dislocation of the pelvis with incorrect alignment of the sacroiliac bone leads to an oblique load on the lumbar vertebrae and muscle tension. In recent years whole-body cryotherapy has come to be more and more often applied in the comprehensive treatment of spinal overload syndrome, to reduce pain, relax skeletal muscles, and increase joint mobility. Material and method. The research was conducted in the SP ZOZ outpatient rehabilitation clinic in Zgorzelec, Poland, from December 2004 to March 2005. The study group consisted of 20 persons, 13 women (65%) and 7 men (35%), ranging in age from 23 to 77 years (mean age 47). Each of the subjects received whole-body cryotherapy in a 20-day cycle, once a day for 3 minutes at a temperature of -130 degrees C. The length of the pelvic muscles implicated in overload syndrome, the pain pressure of the pelvic ligaments, the Pidelou test, and Patrick’s symptom were assessed before therapy was commenced and after its completion. Immediately after each session the patients received kinesitherapy under supervision of a physiotherapist, Magine exercises, post-isometric relaxation using Mitchel’s method for the muscles and the intraspinal, lumbo-sacral and ilio-lumbar ligaments, active of the lumbar spine in the non-painful direction, and neuromobilization using Butler’s method. This was supplemented by exercises on the ergometer in horizontal position.
Whole-body cryotherapy applied together with kinesitherapy was effective in reducing pressure pain in the ligaments (average 20%) and tension in significant pelvic muscles (average 30%).
The cryotherapy and kinesitherapy combination applied to the treatment of spinal overload syndrome gives satisfactory clinical outcome.
Ortopedia, Traumatologia, Rehabilitacja. 01/05/2005; 7(2):218-22. ISSN: 1509-3492
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.
Polski Merkuriusz Lekarski : Organ Polskiego Towarzystwa Lekarskiego. 01/11/1998; 5(28):222-4. ISSN: 1426-9686
J Leppäluoto, T Westerlund, P Huttunen, J Oksa, J Smolander, B Dugué, M Mikkelsson
Cold therapy is used to relieve pain and inflammatory symptoms. The present study was designed to determine the influence of long-term regular exposure to acute cold temperature. Two types of exposure were studied: winter swimming in ice-cold water and whole-body cryotherapy. The outcome was investigated on humoral factors that may account for pain alleviation related to the exposures. MATERIAL AND METHODS: During the course of 12 weeks, 3 times a week, a group of healthy females (n = 10) was exposed to winter swimming (water 0-2 degrees C) for 20 s and another group (n = 10) to whole-body cryotherapy (air -110 degrees C) for 2 min in a special chamber. Blood specimens were drawn in weeks 1, 2, 4, 8 and 12, on a day when no cold exposure occurred (control specimens) and on a day of cold exposures (cold specimens) before the exposures (0 min), and thereafter at 5 and 35 min.
Plasma ACTH and cortisol in weeks 4-12 on time-points 35 min were significantly lower than in week 1, probably due to habituation, suggesting that neither winter swimming nor whole-body cryotherapy stimulated the pituitary-adrenal cortex axis. Plasma epinephrine was unchanged during both experiments, but norepinephrine showed significant 2-fold to 3-fold increases each time for 12 weeks after both cold exposures. Plasma IL-1-beta, IL-6 or TNF alpha did not show any changes after cold exposure.
The main finding was the sustained cold-induced stimulation of norepinephrine, which was remarkably similar between exposures. The frequent increase in norepinephrine might have a role in pain alleviation in whole-body cryotherapy and winter swimming.
Scandinavian Journal of Clinical and Laboratory investigation. 01/02/2008; 68(2):145-53. ISSN: 0036-5513 DOI: 10.1080/00365510701516350
Joanna Rymaszewska, David Ramsey, Sylwia Chładzińska-Kiejna, Andrzej Kiejna
The aim of the research was to assess the effect of whole-body cryotherapy (WBCT) on the symptoms observed in a group of patients suffering from affective and anxiety disorders and their own subjective assessment of life satisfaction. METHOD: The study group was given short-term exposure (120-180 sec.) to temperatures between -110 degrees C and -160 degrees C on each working day for a period of 3 weeks (a total of 15 treatments). Both the study group (n=26) and control group (n=34) were observed at the beginning and the end of this 3 week interval. Standard psychopharmacological treatment was carried out in both groups, independently of whether cryotherapy was used or not. Hamilton’s scales of depression and anxiety were used, together with the life satisfaction scale.
A statistically significant larger improvement, together with a better mean state after 3 weeks, was observed with respect to 11 of the 14 components of the anxiety scale in the study group compared to the control group (except symptoms associated with the gastrointestinal and genitourinary symptoms and behaviour at interview). A larger improvement, together with a better mean state after 3 weeks, was observed with respect to 12 of the 16 components of the depression scale (except digestive, sexual life hypochondria, body weight and criticism) and 6 of the 11 components of the life satisfaction scale (physical well-being, physical condition, domestic activity, professional activity, personal interests and general satisfaction from life) in the study group.
Cyclic short-term whole-body exposition to extremely low temperatures significantly reduced the severity of depressive and anxiety symptoms and increased the life satisfaction.
Psychiatria Polska. 41(5):625-36. ISSN: 0033-2674