Infantil cerebral palsy

Whole body cryotherapy in cryo-chamber for treating infantil cerebral palsy

Infantile cerebral palsy is a chronic postural and locomotory disorder that results from damage of the central nervous system occurring before, during or immediately after birth. The localisation and severity of the palsy can be different. Due to the central damage, innervation disorders of the skeletal musculature can result (raised γ-motoneuron activity). The result is a permanently increased tension (spastic) in certain muscle groups so that the normally fine balance between actively and counteractively working muscles is no longer present and defective movement patterns result.

Treatment of spastic increases in muscular tone by cold is not new. It is based on “the reciprocal behavior of α– and γ-motoneuron activity in response to cold stimuli”. Muscle tone can therefore be lowered via this mechanism.

Whole body cold is applied both to spastic children as well as in adulthood and should ultimately replace the still conventional cold water baths before gymnastic exercises thanks to its extremely patient-friendly mode of application.

The up to three-minute stay in the cold chamber which is approximately half an hour before starting a mobilization therapy, contributes to a moderate relaxation of the spastic musculature and as such to improved conditions for the subsequent active therapy component. A close cooperation between the cryotherapist and the mobility therapist can not be dispensed with if an optimal cold dose is to be found so that any counteracting muscular imbalances due to overdosing can be compensated for in time. Therapeutic results should therefore be assessed using standardized procedures as well.


Disclaimer: The information on this page is inspired by the book "Power from the Cold" by Prof. Papenfuß. The author states explicitly in his book that the descriptions in his book (and on this page) are not in any way intended to act as a substitute for the careful clinical indication process and the observation of strict safety measures developed in individual cryotherapy centres, or as a substitute for the indication of whole body cryotherapy in combination with other treatments.

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