Cryotherapy is used to define several techniques and procedures in the medical community. The most general definition is the local or general use of low temperatures in medical therapy or the removal of heat from a body part to decrease cellular metabolism, increase cellular survival, decrease inflammation, decrease pain and spasm, promote vasoconstriction, and when using extreme temperatures, to destroy cells by crystalizing the cytosol. It can also be called crymotherapy. The most prominent use of the term refers to the surgical treatment, specifically known as cryosurgery. Other therapies that use the term are cryogenic chamber therapy and ice pack therapy.
Cryotherapy (also called cryosurgery) is the application of extreme cold to destroy abnormal or diseased tissue. Cryotherapy is used to treat a number of diseases and disorders, especially skin conditions like warts, moles, skin tags and solar keratoses. Liquid nitrogen is usually used to freeze the tissues at the cellular level. The procedure is used often because of its efficacy and low rates of side effects.
For more information, see Cryosurgery
Cryotherapy (also known a cryogenic chamber therapy) is a treatment where a person is placed in a cryogenic chamber for a short duration. The chamber is typically cooled with liquid nitrogen to a temperature of –110 C.
For more information see Cryotherapy (chamber therapy)
Cryotherapy (which includes ice pack therapy that is used for the application of an ice pack - typically a plastic bag filled with ice) is commonly used to treat pain conditions. Most forms of cryotherapy (eg, ice, cold packs, cold whirlpool baths, cryotherapy-compression units, vapocoolant spray) used as passive physical modalities (these include cryotherapy, heat, and electrical stimulation) of the management and rehabilitation of both acute and persistent pain conditions, provide transfer of thermal energy by conduction, with the exception of vapocoolant sprays (evaporative cooling) and whirlpool baths (convective cooling). The physiologic effects of cold application include immediate vasoconstriction with reflexive vasodilation, decreased local metabolism and enzymatic activity, and decreased oxygen demand. Cold decreases muscle spindle fiber activity and slows nerve conduction velocity, therefore it is often used to decrease spasticity and muscle guarding.