Original Article

Clinical Rheumatology

, Volume 32, Issue 9, pp 1337-1345

First online:

Effects of 15 consecutive cryotherapy sessions on the clinical output of fibromyalgic patients

  • Lorenzo BettoniAffiliated withReumatologia/CT, Ospedale di Manerbio
  • , Felice Giulio BonomiAffiliated withDipartimento Cardio-vascolare, U.O. Cardiologia, Humanitas GavazzeniCentro di Crioterapia Sistemica, Poliambulatorio Bongi
  • , Viviana ZaniAffiliated withCentro di Crioterapia Sistemica, Poliambulatorio Bongi
  • , Luigia ManiscoAffiliated withReumatologia/CT, Ospedale di Manerbio
  • , Annamaria IndelicatoAffiliated withDirezione Sanitaria
  • , Patrizia LanteriAffiliated withLaboratory of Experimental Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, I.R.C.C.S. Istituto Ortopedico Galeazzi
  • , Giuseppe BanfiAffiliated withLaboratory of Experimental Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, I.R.C.C.S. Istituto Ortopedico GaleazziDipartimento di Scienze Biomediche per la Salute, Università degli Studi di Milano
  • , Giovanni LombardiAffiliated withLaboratory of Experimental Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, I.R.C.C.S. Istituto Ortopedico Galeazzi Email author 

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Fibromyalgia Pain Quality of life Whole body cryotherapy