Objectives: Whole body cryotherapy (WBC) is widely used in inflammatory diseases of the joints, including rheumatoid arthritis (RA), but the mechanism(s) of its action is not fully understood. The aim of the study was to compare the effects of WBC and conventional rehabilitation (CR) on the clinical and immune status of RA patients.
Material and methods: Rheumatoid arthritis patients were classified into 2 groups according to the rehabilitation method used: the study group (CT, n = 25) and control group (CR, n = 25). To measure disease activity, the disease activity score (DAS28) was used, while to assess the morning stiffness and pain intensity, the visual analogue scale (VAS) was applied. Selected laboratory parameters, such as erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) and C-reactive protein (CRP) levels, were also determined. The serum concentrations of pro- (interleukin 6 [IL-6], tumor necrosis factor α [TNF-α], macrophage migration inhibitory factor [MIF]) and anti-inflammatory (IL-10) cytokines were measured to assess the patient’s immune status.
Results: After rehabilitation disease activity (DAS28), morning stiffness and pain intensity (VAS) decreased in both patient groups and no statistically significant differences were observed between them. However, statistically significant improvement in the CRP serum level was observed in the CT group only. No differences were observed in the serum concentrations of tested cytokines either before and after rehabilitation, or between patient groups.
Conclusions: We report that regardless of the type of therapy, comprehensive rehabilitation improves the patient’s clinical status, but has no effect on the levels of circulating cytokines, such as IL-6, IL-10, TNF-α, and MIF, despite significant reduction of a systemic inflammatory marker (CRP), especially in the CT group.
Full Article : https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32226165/