Cryotherapy is based on surface cooling and thus local reduction of tissue temperature. Cold air therapy uses a continuously cooled stream of air within a constant temperature range, which results in a series of thermoregulatory effects that differ from other cold application forms (e.g. ice or cold packs) and are desirable for various indications, including acute and chronic pain (especially in sport physiotherapy) and rheumatism. Cold air therapy is also used to cool the skin surface during laser treatment.
In detail, there are the following specific physiological effects of cryotherapy with cold air flow:
» Reduction in the sensitivity of sensory nerves
» Reduction in nerve conduction
» Immediate vasoconstrictive effect