Effects of cryotherapy methods on circulatory, metabolic, inflammatory and neural properties: a systematic review

Bruno Freire, Jeam Geremia, Bruno Manfredini Baroni, Marco Aurélio Vaz

Abstract


Introduction: The cooling therapy (cryotherapy) is commonly used in clinical environmental for the injuries treatment according to its beneficial effects on pain, local inflammation and the recovery time of patients. However, there is no consensus in the literature about the effects of cryotherapy in the physiological reactions of affected tissues after an injury. Objective: To realize a systematic review to analyze the cryotherapy effects on circulatory, metabolic, inflammatory and neural parameters. Materials and methods: A search was performed in PubMed, SciELO, PEDro and Scopus databases following the eligibility criteria. Included studies were methodologically assessed by PEDro scale. Results: 13 original studies were selected and presented high methodological quality. Discussion: The cryotherapy promotes a significant decrease in blood flow, in venous capillary pressure, oxygen saturation and hemoglobin (only for superficial tissues) and nerve conduction velocity. However, the effect of cryotherapy on the concentration of inflammatory substances induced by exercise, as the creatine kinase enzyme and myoglobin, remains unclear. Conclusion: The physiological reactions to the cryotherapy application are favorable to the use of this therapeutic tool in inflammatory treatment and pain decrease, and demonstrate its importance in the neuromuscular system injuries rehabilitation.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.1590/0103-5150.029.002.AO18

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