The use of freezing temperatures for analgesia has been recorded for thousands of years. Modern cryotherapy has slowly become a well-established treatment option for peripheral neuralgias and neuropathic pain conditions. Cryoneurolysis induces peripheral nerve damage and causes nerves to undergo axonotmesis followed by Wallerian degeneration. Nerve regrowth occurs but may not lead to permanent pain relief. The therapy continues to be optimized and is best used for well-defined small nerves that are easy to target. The use of cryotherapy has been indicated for intercostal neuralgia, occipital neuralgia, trigeminal neuralgia, phantom limb pain, obturator neuralgia, genitofemoral neuralgia, and intractable perineal pain.
KeywordsCryotherapy Cryoanalgesia Cryoneurolysis Seddon scale Axonotmesis Wallerian degeneration Cryoprobe Opioid alternative
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