Cryotherapy for knee osteoarthritis

...does it improve pain, function and quality of life?

Knee osteoarthritis is a prevalent and costly chronic musculoskeletal condition. People with the condition experience pain and disability. Clinical guidelines recommend a combination of non-pharmacological treatments, including patient education, exercise and some other physiotherapy interventions, together with pharmacological treatments, to improve pain and symptoms.

Cryotherapy (that is, the application of cold as a treatment) is widely applied using ice packs in various rheumatic joint diseases for its effects on pain, inflammation and oedema. However, the evidence is not very clear about its effects in osteoarthritis.

The authors concluded that, in people with symptomatic knee osteoarthritis, the short-term use of cryotherapy is not substantially superior to a sham control in terms of relieving pain, and it has uncertain effects on function and quality of life. Although cryotherapy is widely used in clinical practice, and recommended by some treatment guidelines, the estimates of its effects in this study suggest that it might not have a worthwhile effect on knee osteoarthritis.

> From: Dantas et al., J Physiother 65 (2019) 215-221 . All rights reserved to Australian Physiotherapy Association. Click here for the online summary.

Want to read deeper into this topic? Have a look at the free full text version of this article published in Journal of Physiotherapy!

Signup for our weekly or monthly newsletter and get notified on updates on the themes you're interested in:

Please enable the javascript to submit this form

Anatomy & Physiotherapy is a joint venture
between SoPhy & Sharing Science

Summaries on Physiotherapy B.V.
Berkenweg 7
Postbus 1161
3800 BD Amersfoort
The Netherlands

Chamber of commerce: 74973738
Bank: NL72ABNA0849809959
V.A.T. number: NL860093530B01

Sharing Science
Rijksweg Zuid 99
6134 AA Sittard
The Netherlands
Chamber of Commerce: 58306862