Extreme Cold of Cryotherapy Seen to Ease Pain, Help Fibromyalgia Patients Manage Disease, Study Says

Extreme Cold of Cryotherapy Seen to Ease Pain, Help Fibromyalgia Patients Manage Disease, Study Says
Cryotherapy, or the use of extreme cold in short bursts to ease pain, is of benefit to people with fibromyalgia (FM) and may be an effective add-on treatment, a study in 60 patients suggests. The study, “The effect of cryotherapy on fibromyalgia: a randomised clinical trial carried out in a cryosauna cabin” were published in the journal Rheumatology International. Fibromyalgia (FM), a chronic disorder of unknown origin, is characterized by prevalent pain in muscle and bone (musculoskeletal) and areas of tenderness. It is accompanied by general fatigue, sleep problems, memory loss, joint stiffness, and trouble concentrating. Although medications, like pain-killers or sleeping aids, are often prescribed to help patients manage symptoms, non-pharmacological options are popular, and patients are known to try alternatives like acupuncture or hypnosis. Extreme cold, like ice packs, are often used for sports-related trauma, as cold is known to lessen inflammatory reactions. Researchers in Spain conducted a cross-over clinical trial (NCT03425903) to evaluate whether a procedure known as whole-body cryotherapy — applying extremely cold dry air in a controlled environment (a cabin or chamber) for short periods of time — would relieve pain in fibromyalgia patients. They enrolled 60 people, a mix of men and women 25 to 80 years old, who were diagnosed with the disease — according to the American College of Rheumatology (ACR)
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