- Cryotherapy in Pain Management Center
- Surprising Reasons You're in Pain Slideshow
- Take the Pain Quiz
- Joint-Friendly Exercises to Reduce RA Pain Slideshow
- Patient Comments: Cryotherapy - Effectiveness
- Patient Comments: Cryotherapy - Conditions
- Patient Comments: Cryotherapy - Side Effects
What is cryotherapy and how does it work?
Cryotherapy is a pain treatment that uses a method of localized freezing temperatures to deaden an irritated nerve. Cryotherapy is also used as a method of treating localized areas of some cancers (called cryosurgery), such as prostate cancer and to treat abnormal skin cells by dermatologists. In this article we only discuss its use in nerve conditions.
In cryotherapy, a probe is inserted into the tissue next to the affected nerve. The temperature of the probe drops to then effectively freeze the nerve. The freezing inactivates the nerve and, as a result, painful nerve irritation is relieved. Cryotherapy is a relatively safe and effective means of treating localized nerve irritation.
What conditions can be treated with cryotherapy?
Cryotherapy can be used to treat conditions that involve irritation of an isolated nerve. In general, such conditions include benign nerve growths (neuromas) and pinched nerves (nerve entrapments). Specific examples include nerve irritation between the ribs (intercostal neuralgia), cluneal nerve entrapment, ilioinguinal neuroma, hypogastric neuromas, lateral femoral cutaneous nerve entrapment, and interdigital neuromas. Many forms of nerve entrapment can often be treated with cryotherapy.
What are the side effects of cryotherapy?
While cryotherapy can reduce unwanted nerve irritation, it sometimes can leave the tissue affected with unusual sensations, such as numbness or tingling, or with redness and irritation of the skin. These effects are generally temporary.
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Goldstein, Beth G., MD. "Dermatologic procedures." UptoDate. Updated Jan 27, 2016.
Top Cryotherapy Related Articles
Chronic PainChronic pain is pain (an unpleasant sense of discomfort) that persists or progresses over a long period of time. In contrast to acute pain that arises suddenly in response to a specific injury and is usually treatable, chronic pain persists over time and is often resistant to medical treatments.
Cutaneous Horns PictureThe cutaneous horn appears as a funnel-shaped growth that extends from a red base on the skin. See a picture of Cutaneous Horns and learn more about the health topic.
KeloidA keloid is a scar that doesn't know when to stop. When the cells keep on reproducing, the result is an overgrown (hypertrophic) scar or a keloid. A keloid looks shiny and is often dome-shaped, ranging in color from slightly pink to red. It feels hard and thick and is always raised above the surrounding skin.
Loop Electrosurgical Excision ProcedureLoop electrosurgical excision procedure (LEEP) is a procedure used to remove abnormal tissues of the cervix. LEEP is used often to treat mild to moderate dysplasia. The effectiveness of LEEP is comparable to:
- cold knife conization,
- laser ablation,
- or laser conization.
Molluscum Contagiosum FactsMolluscum contagiosum is a skin disease that causes pink painless bumps on the skin. It typically resolves in six to 12 months. Cryotherapy, laser therapy, and curettage may also treat the nodules of molluscum contagiosum.
Pain ManagementPain management and treatment can be simple or complex, according to its cause. There are two basic types of pain, nociceptive pain and neuropathic pain. Some causes of neuropathic pain include:
- complex regional pain syndrome,
- interstitial cystitis,
- and irritable bowel syndrome.
Penis CancerSigns and symptoms of penile cancer include a lump on the penis and redness, irritation, or a sore on the penis. Risk of penis cancer is higher in uncircumcised men, due to a higher risk of HPV infection. Other risk factors include being over 60, having phimosis, having poor hygiene, using tobacco products, and having many sex partners. Prognosis and treatment depend upon the tumor's location and size, the stage of the cancer, and whether the cancer was recently diagnosed or if it recurred.
Pinched Nerve OverviewA pinched nerve causes pain, numbness, or tingling in the affected area due to pressure on a nerve. Caral tunnel and sciatica are two examples of conditions caused by a pinched nerve. A pinched nerve is diagnosed by taking a patient history and performing a physical examination. Electromyography may be performed. Treatment for a pinched nerve depends on the underlying cause.
Prostate Cancer SlidesProstate cancer is the most common cancer in men. Learn the signs and symptoms of prostate cancer, along with causes and treatments. Know the stages, survival rates and lower your risk of prostate cancer.
Prostate Specific AntigenProstate specific antigen (PSA) is a protein that is found in the semen. PSA levels are used to detect prostate cancer and monitor the progression of the disease. A condition called benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH) can also cause elevated PSA levels.
STDs in Men Overview
Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are infections transmitted during sexual contact. They may be caused by viruses, bacteria, or parasites. STDs in men cause no symptoms or symptoms like genital burning, itching, sores, rashes, or discharge.
Common infections that are sexually transmitted in men include gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, hepatitis C and B, genital warts, human papillomavirus (HPV), and genital herpes.
Some STDs in men are treatable while others are not. STDs are diagnosed with tests that identify proteins or genetic material of the organisms causing the infection. The prognosis of an STD depends on whether the infection is treatable or not. Use of latex condoms can help reduce the risk of contracting an STD but it does not eliminate the risk entirely.
Trigeminal NeuralgiaPain that originates in the face is referred to as trigeminal neuralgia. This pain may be caused by:
- an injury,
- an infection in the face,
- a nerve disorder, or
- it can occur for no known reason.