Effects of whole-body cryotherapy in the management of adhesive capsulitis of the shoulder.


To compare 2 different treatment approaches, physical therapy modalities, and joint mobilization versus whole-body cryotherapy (WBC) combined with physical therapy modalities and joint mobilization, for symptoms of adhesive capsulitis (AC) of the shoulder.
Design: A randomized trial.
Setting: Hospital.


Patients with AC of the shoulder (NZ30).
Intervention: Patients were randomly assigned to 2 groups. The WBC group received physical therapy modalities, passive joint mobilization of the shoulder, and WBC, whereas the non-WBC group received only physical therapy modalities and passive joint mobilization of the shoulder. Main Outcome Measures: Visual analog scale (VAS), active range of motion (ROM) of flexion, abduction, internal and external rotation of the shoulder, and the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons Standardized Shoulder Assessment Form (ASES) were measured before and after the intervention.


A statistically significant difference between groups was found for the VAS, active ROM of flexion, abduction, internal rotation, and external rotation, and the ASES with greater improvements in the WBC group (Ps<.01). Overall, both groups showed a significant improvement in all outcome measures and ROM measures from pre to post at a level of P<.01.


There is significant improvement with the addition of WBC to treatment interventions in this sample of patients.
Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 2013;94:9-16

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