Bone and Joint Disorders

  • BONE HEALTH Results in postmenopausal women showed statistically significant changes in bone turnover markers indicating new bone formation:
  • decreased serum osteocalcin
  • increased carboxyterminal cross-linked telopeptide of type I collagen (ICTP)
  • Osteogenic effect on bone remodelling seen in elite rugby players. New bone formation was indicated by:
  • Increased OPG
  • Increased OPG/RANKL ratio

Protocols for improvement of bone health

Courses of 10 to 20 treatments show changes in bone biomarkers. Longer courses are needed for longer term improvements.


Osteoarthritis is a result of the breakdown of the joint cartilage starting with small tears in the cartilage that extend gradually over time. As the cartilage degenerates, small fragments break off and move freely in the joint. As the degeneration continues, joints become inflamed and painful, and over time, restriction of movement will occur. This leads to atrophy of surrounding muscles.

Degenerative conditions of the joints in the body have also become a major indication for both localised and whole body cryotherapy. Treatment of the cause is not possible and treatments are aimed at management of pain and swelling.

Whole body cryotherapy has the advantage of treating the whole body as it is rare that a single joint is affected. Its multiple mechanisms of action mean that WBCT treats several factors at once. The therapeutic effect lasts for several months following a course of treatments.

Benefits of WBCT in management of osteoarthritis

  • Improvements in nutrient and oxygen supply to the cartilage
  • Delayed disease progression
  • Reduction in inflammation
  • Reduction in pain
  • Interruption of development of pain memory
  • WBCT allows for analgesic effect before exercise hence maintaining mobility
  • Decreased swelling
  • In the case of joint pain, WBCT induces a local cold therapy on the inflamed joint, reducing pain and inflammation, and allowing activation of the surrounding musculature. This prevents degeneration and muscle atrophy occurring. The higher joint mobility ensures a better oxygen and nutrient supply to the joint cartilage. Following repeated treatments, an adaptation will occur leading to overall functional improvement.

Benefits of localised cryotherapy in the management of osteoarthritis

  • Reduced joint oedema and swelling
  • Improvements in joint mobility: increased range of motion and reduced stiffness
  • Pain reduction
  • Decreased pain during examinations

Protocol for management of osteoarthritis

Short-term relief is seen after 12 to 15 treatments of between two and three minutes at a time, but long-lasting relief is usually seen after a course of 20 to 25 sessions. A course of treatments might be repeated once or twice a year.