Effect of cryotherapy on the lumbar spine in elderly men with back pain. Aging

Abstract Whole-body cryotherapy (WBC) is a procedure which is successfully applied in medicine with increasing frequency. Used in physiotherapy programs it improves the efficiency of physiotherapeutic exercises applied in different aliments. The aim of the research was to determine the influence of WBC treatment on the improvement of spine activity in elderly men. The evaluation was based on subjects suffering from chronic lower back pain. The research was conducted on 96 males between the ages of 65-75 years suffering from chronic pain in the lumbar spine, lasting >3 months. All the subjects performed physical exercises at a gym. Half of the examined patients performed only physical exercises while the second half of the group participated in WBC before performing the same exercises. The research evaluated the mobility of the lumbar spine at all movement planes and examined the values of active potentials of erector spinae in the lumbar part of the spine.

The group of men who participated in WBC showed significantly lower values of active potentials of erector spinae muscles in the lumbar part of the spine and a significant increase in the range of the lumbar spine mobility, in comparison to the group which did not use WBC.