The assessment of pelvic statics in patients with spinal overload syndrome treated in whole-body cryotherapy

Ortop Traumatol Rehabil. 2005 Apr 30;7(2):218-22.


Background. 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. Results. 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%). Conclusions. The cryotherapy and kinesitherapy combination applied to the treatment of spinal overload syndrome gives satisfactory clinical outcome.