Effects of Whole-Body Cryotherapy in Comparison with Other Physical Modalities Used with Kinesitherapy in Rheumatoid Arthritis

Biomed Res Int. 2015;2015:409174. doi: 10.1155/2015/409174. Epub 2015 Oct 21.


Whole-body cryotherapy (WBC) has been frequently used to supplement the rehabilitation of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The aim of this study was to compare the effect of WBC and traditional rehabilitation (TR) on clinical parameters and systemic levels of IL-6, TNF-α in patients with RA. The study group comprised 25 patients who were subjected to WBC (-110 °C) and 19 patients who underwent a traditional rehabilitation program. Some clinical variables and levels of interleukin-6 (IL-6) and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) were used to assess the outcomes. After therapy both groups exhibited similar improvement in pain, disease activity, fatigue, time of walking, and the number of steps over a distance of 50 m. Only significantly better results were observed in HAQ in TR group (p < 0.05). However, similar significant reduction in IL-6 and TNF-α level was observed. The results showed positive effects of a 2-week rehabilitation program for patients with RA regardless of the kind of the applied physical procedure.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / blood
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / rehabilitation*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / therapy*
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Combined Modality Therapy / methods
  • Cryotherapy / methods*
  • Exercise Therapy / methods
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-6 / blood*
  • Massage / methods*
  • Middle Aged
  • Physical Therapy Modalities
  • Recovery of Function
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / blood*


  • Biomarkers
  • Interleukin-6
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha