Therapeutic Efficacy of Intermittent Cryotherapy in the Management of Closed Soft Tissue Injuries

  • AKO Henry
  • K Amadi
  • BG Ogundumade
Keywords: Efficacy, Intermittent cryotherapy, Management, Pain, Closed soft tissue injury


The strength of evidence supporting the use of cryotherapy in the management of soft tissue injury (STI) is generally poor and only a few studies have assessed its efficacy on closed soft tissue injuries (CSTIs). Standard or continuous cryotherapy application (20 mins.) is popular and commonly used in the clinical settings, but the evidence base to support the efficacy of intermittent cryotherapy in treating various CSTIs is however, limited among human subjects. This study was therefore, designed to investigate the efficacy of intermittent cryotherapy in the management of pain among human subjects who sustained closed soft tissue injuries (CSTIs). Subjects' pre- and post-treatment pain perception scores (PPS) using visual analogue scale (VAS) and the sessions of treatment were recorded. Ice pack was applied directly over the subjects injury sites for 10 minutes. The ice pack was then removed after the initial 10 minutes application while the treatment part was allowed to rest at room temperature for 10 minutes. The ice pack was reapplied immediately following the expiration of the rest period for another 10 minutes. Cryotherapy was applied once on alternate days. Of the 20 eligible subjects, only 19 received and completed treatment. The difference in the severity of pain perception before and after treatment among the subjects was statistically significant (P < 0.05). Twelve (63%) subjects were pain free and fit for discharge at the first week of treatment. The study has demonstrated that intermittent mode of cryotherapy application for a period of 20 mins. on alternate days could produce optimal pain relief among subjects who sustained various CSTIs. The procedure was well tolerated and in less than 10 treatment sessions, more than 90% of the subjects were pain free and fit to return to their activities of daily living (ADL) with no side effects report

Key Words: Efficacy, Intermittent cryotherapy, Management, Pain, Closed soft tissue injury


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eISSN: 1597-7889