Open Access

Effect of whole-body cryotherapy treatments on the functional state of patients with MS (multiple sclerosis) in a Timed 25-Foot Walk Test and Hand Grip Strength Test


Introduction: Whole-body cryotherapy (WBC) is one of the main elements of comprehensive rehabilitation of patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). It is used both to improve the mental and physical condition of patients.

The study attempts to assess the effect of a series of 20 daily WBC treatments on global walking function and muscle strength in patients with MS.

Materials and methods: The study included 25 patients with diagnosed MS (ICD10-G35), mean age 44.58 ±12.15 years, who after a detailed medical examination were qualified to a series of 20 daily WBC treatments. Treatments lasted 2–3 min at -110°C. Before and after the series of WBC treatments, all subjects were tested for global hand grip and thumb strength using a hydraulic dynamometer (kg) for both the right and the left hands, as well as measuring the time needed to walk a distance of 7.6 metres, in accordance with the Timed 25-Foot Walk Test, a standardised diagnostic test recommended for the global assessment of walking function by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. The obtained results were subjected to statistical analysis.

Results: After the series of WBC treatments, a marginal but statistically significant increase in thumb strength was observed in the right hand (p < 0.01). Other changes in the value of hand-grip and thumb strength were not statistically significant. In addition, there were no statistically significant changes in the average time needed to cover the walking distance of 7.6 metres.

Conclusions: The series of 20 daily WBC treatments for patients with MS did not significantly improve global walking function, although a beneficial effect on the thumb strength of the right hand was observed.

Publication timeframe:
4 times per year
Journal Subjects:
Medicine, Basic Medical Science, other, Clinical Medicine, Surgery, Public Health