While the recent literature on Whole-Body Cryotherapy pointed to its beneficial systemic effects on inflammatory markers in rheumatoid arthritis, it was not clear whether it could also have more localized effects, with the attainment of analgesic thresholds on hands that are usually protected during protocols. Twenty-five young, healthy subjects (12 males aged 25.1 ± 3.5 years and 13 females aged 23.5 ± 2.6 years) agreed to participate in this study. Two study groups were defined: (1) a control group with a hand fully gloved and (2) an experimental group with a partially ungloved hand during the WBC session. In both groups, the achievement of analgesic thresholds of skin temperature was established through thermal imaging, focused on the measurement of temperatures at the different joint locations. Using a new protocol with direct exposure of the hands during the last 40 s of a standard WBC session of 3 min at −110 °C made it possible to respect this risk/benefit balance. Infrared thermography analyses revealed that for all regions of interest (except MCP and IP, CMP for thumb), there was a clinically meaningful reduction of skin temperature in participants from the experimental group. The thermal analysis suggests that a protocol of Whole-Body Cryotherapy at −110 °C where hands must be ungloved during 40 s could be a useful tool for the management of hand rheumatoid arthritis by achieving local antalgic thresholds.
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The authors wish to thank the volunteers for their willingness to participate in this study.
No funding was received for conducting this study.
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No permission from the local ethics committee was obtained since only biomedical/clinical studies require this approval according to French law. However, the research participants provided written informed consent and the study was conducted in line with the principles of the Helsinki Declaration and its following amendments.
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Polidori, G., Bogard, F., Legrand, F. et al. Efficiency of a Whole-Body Cryotherapy protocol at -110 °C for hand rheumatoid arthritis: a controlled trial. J Therm Anal Calorim 147, 11159–11167 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10973-022-11339-y
- Whole-Body Cryotherapy
- Hand rheumatoid
- Antalgic threshold