Does Cryotherapy Improve Outcomes With Soft Tissue Injury?

Hubbard, Tricia J.; Denegar, Craig R.
July 2004
Journal of Athletic Training (National Athletic Trainers' Associ;Jul-Sep2004, Vol. 39 Issue 3, p278
Academic Journal
Reference: Bleakley C, McDonough S, MacAuley D. The use of ice in the treatment of acute soft-tissue injury: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials. Am J Sport Med. 2004; 32:251-261. Clinical Question: What is the clinical evidence base for cryotherapy use? Data Sources: Studies were identified by using a computerbased literature search on a total of 8 databases: MEDLINE, Proquest, ISI Web of Science, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health (CINAHL) on Ovid, Allied and Complementary Medicine Database (AMED) on Ovid, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Cochrane Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effectiveness, and Cochrane Controlled Trials Register (Central). This was supplemented with citation tracking of relevant primary and review articles. Search terms included surgery, orthopaedics, sports injury, soft tissue injury, sprains and strains, contusions, athletic injury, acute, compression, cryotherapy, ice, RICE, and cold. Study Selection: To be included in the review, each study had to fulfill the following conditions: be a randomized, controlled trial of human subjects; be published in English as a full paper; include patients recovering from acute soft tissue or orthopaedic surgical interventions who received cryotherapy in inpatient, outpatient, or home-based treatment, in isolation or in combination with placebo or other therapies; provide comparisons with no treatment, placebo, a different mode or protocol of cryotherapy, or other physiotherapeutic interventions; and have outcome measures that included function (subjective or objective), pain, swelling, or range of motion. Data Extraction: The study population, interventions, outcomes, follow-up, and reported results of the assessed trials were extracted and tabulated. The primary outcome measures were pain, swelling, and range of motion. Only 2 groups reported adequate data for return to normal function. All eligible articles were rated for methodologic quality using the PEDro s...


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