Is it time to put traditional cold therapy in rehabilitation of soft-tissue injuries out to pasture?

World J Clin Cases. 2021 Jun 16;9(17):4116-4122. doi: 10.12998/wjcc.v9.i17.4116.


Cold therapy has been used regularly as an immediate treatment to induce analgesia following acute soft-tissue injuries, however, a prolonged ice application has proved to delay the start of the healing and lengthen the recovery process. Hyperbaric gaseous cryotherapy, also known as neurocryostimulation, has shown the ability to overcome most of the limitations of traditional cold therapy, and meanwhile promotes the analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects well, but the current existing studies have shown conflicting results on its effects. Traditional cold therapy still has beneficial effect especially when injuries are severe and swelling is the limiting factor for recovery after soft-tissue injuries, and therefore no need to be entirely put out to pasture in the rehabilitation practice. Strong randomized controlled trials with good methodological quality are still needed in the future to evaluate the effects of different cryotherapy modalities.

Keywords: Cold therapy; Cryotherapy; Hyperbaric gaseous cryotherapy; Neurocryostimulation; Soft tissue injury.

Publication types

  • Editorial