Cryotherapy Effectiveness for Soft Tissue Injuries

Does Cryotherapy Improve Outcomes With Soft Tissue Injury?

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“Does Cryotherapy Improve Outcomes with Soft Tissue Injury?” is a research study conducted by Tricia Hubbard and Craig Denega from Pennsylvania State University. The study itself is formed around the question, “What is the clinical evidence base for cryotherapy use?” and researchers examined a population that used cryotherapy and icing techniques to treat pain and swelling of injuries. Below are excerpts from the Discussion section of the full study.

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From the study’s discussion: “The effects of ice have been demonstrated in numerous animal models and human studies. Ice reduces tissue temperature, blood flow, pain, and metabolism. However, and possibly more important, is the question, ‘‘Does ice application improve the treatment outcomes?’’ Does treatment facilitate achievement of goals related to functional limitations and sudden transient disability after injury or surgery? Bleakley et al1 reported that cold seemed to be more effective in limiting swelling and decreasing pain in the short term (immediately after application to 1 week postinjury). However, the long-term effects of cryotherapy and the effect on the tissue repair are not known. Only 1 group examined the effect of cryotherapy at 4 weeks postinjury. Additionally, evidence is limited that cryotherapy hastens return to participation.”


“Currently, no authors have assessed the efficacy of ice in the treatment of muscle contusions or strains. Considering that most injuries are muscle strains and contusions, this is a large void in the literature. Most cryotherapy studies have focused on postsurgical anterior cruciate ligament repairs and knee and hip replacements. The results of these studies cannot be generalized to muscle strains and contusions.”


Journal of Athletic Training 2004;39(3):278–279 q by the National Athletic Trainers’ Association, Inc. 

Tricia J. Hubbard, MS, ATC, and Craig R. Denegar, PhD, ATC, PT, contributed to conception and design; acquisition, analysis, and interpretation of the data; and drafting, critical revision, and final approval of the article.

[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]This study was brought to DC Aligned’s attention by NormaTec.  The author’s opinions are their own and DC Aligned does not take responsibility for content statements and opinions. You should seek expert counsel in evaluating opinions, treatments, products and services. For more info see our Editorial Policies.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”2504″ alignment=”center” border_color=”grey” img_link_large=”” img_link_target=”_self” img_size=”Full”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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