Pain in the elderly: Prospective study of hyperbaric CO2 cryotherapy (neurocryostimulation)

Joint Bone Spine. 2007 Dec;74(6):617-21. doi: 10.1016/j.jbspin.2006.10.011. Epub 2007 Jul 19.


Objective: To evaluate the analgesic effects of hyperbaric CO(2) cryotherapy in elderly inpatients.

Methods: An open-label prospective study was conducted in two geriatrics departments in patients with a broad range of pain characteristics. Each patient underwent a physical evaluation followed by hyperbaric CO(2) cryotherapy sessions, whose spacing and number were at the discretion of the physiotherapist. Patients completed a 100-mm visual analog scale for pain severity before and after the sessions.

Results: We included 51 patients, who were treated between May 2 and June 30, 2005. Mean age was 83.7years, and the female-to-male ratio was 4/1. The patients had acute or chronic pain whose origin was usually musculoskeletal (80.3%) or neurological (18.6%). Pain scores decreased significantly after four sessions, from 52mm to 13mm (P<0.001) in patients with acute pain and from 45mm to 13mm (P<0.001) in those with chronic pain.

Conclusion: Hyperbaric CO(2) cryotherapy is an innovative tool that should be incorporated within the non-pharmacological armamentarium for achieving pain relief in older patients.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Analgesia / methods*
  • Carbon Dioxide*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Cryotherapy / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypothermia, Induced
  • Male
  • Pain / diagnosis
  • Pain / physiopathology
  • Pain Management*
  • Pain Measurement
  • Prospective Studies
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Carbon Dioxide