WHOLE-BODY CRYOTHERAPY IN INFLAMMATORY AND NON-INFLAMMATORY RHEUMATIC DISEASES
KARGUS, K.BLUM, T. TÄUBER, J. TEUBER, BAYREUTH
Since 1999, our clinic is equipped with a whole-body cryochamber which is used to combat rheumatic disorders. The cryochamber design is a two-chamber system consisting of an antechamber with a temperature of approx. -60°C and a main chamber with a temperature of about -110°C. Patients change into bathing costume, trainers, gloves, nose mask and headband when they enter the chamber. At first, they stay in the antechamber for 1 minute, then they proceed to the main chamber with a temperature of -110°C where they keep moving for up to 3 minutes. After the first year of operation, the gathered data were critically evaluated to take stock.
89 of our patients underwent whole-body cryotherapy for ten times. Prior to treatment and after 10 minutes of application, patients were interviewed and examined, and laboratory diagnosis was established. 42 patients suffered from fibromyalgia, 47 from an inflammatory rheumatic disorder (38 from a rheumatoid arthritis, 9 from Bechterew’s disease). Patients with rheumatic arthritis and fibromyalgia met the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) criteria for the classification and diagnosis of fibromyalgia and rheumatic arthritis. Patients with Bechterew’s disease were diagnosed according to the modified New York criteria. In patients with fibromyalgia, the age span ranged from 28-73 years (with an average age of 53.05 years). The share of female patients dominated by a ratio of 35 female to 7 male patients. The mean age of patients with inflammatory rheumatic disorders was 53.37 years with ages ranging from 21 – 79 years. In this case, too, female patients were in the majority with a ratio of 24 female vs. 14 male patients. 9 patients with Bechterew’s disease were examined with ages ranging from 46 – 68 years. The mean age was 54.25 years; in this case, the number of male patients dominated with a ratio of 7 male vs. 2 female patients.
The control group was made up of patients for whom whole-body cryotherapy was contra indicated or who rejected this therapy form from the start. Severe coronary heart disease, arterial occlusive disease, arterial hypertension, Raynaud disease symptoms, congestive heart failure or claustrophobia are considered a contra-indication. The patient pain score (PPS) was used as a control parameter for all three diseases. Pain was rated according to a 0 – 10-point numerical scale (0= no pain, 10 = worst pain). In the case of rheumatic arthritis, the following criteria were additionally assessed: C-reactive protein (CRP), morning stiffness and number of swollen joints; additionally, blood sedimentation rate (BSR) as well as the stress hormones prolactine and cortisol were determined in the laboratory. No significant differences were found so that these parameters were no longer taken into consideration.
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