Cold Therapy Can Improve Quality of Life in Fibromyalgia Patients, Trial Shows

Exposure to extreme cold can help improve the quality of life in fibromyalgia patients by reducing musculoskeletal pain and inflammation, according to a clinical trial. Results of the trial suggest that whole body cold-based therapy, called cryotherapy, should be considered as a treatment for fibromyalgia. The study, “Effect of whole body cryotherapy interventions on health-related quality of life in fibromyalgia patients: A randomized controlled trial,” was published in Complementary Therapies in Medicine. Cold has been shown to reduce pain and inflammation in many conditions, including rheumatic diseases and fibromyalgia. Cryotherapy has been shown to provide short-term pain relief in fibromyalgia patients. Whole body cryotherapy is designed to trigger thermal stress that will promote blood vessel constriction and slow nerve signals, resulting in pain relief. To better understand the potential benefits of cryotherapy for fibromyalgia patients, a team led by researchers at University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne in France conducted a randomized, controlled trial. Participants included 24 adults with fibromyalgia who were randomized to undergo either whole body cryotherapy or not (these patients were called the control group). All patients underwent physiotherapy during the study period. Patients in the c
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