Influence of cryotherapy on spasticity at the human ankle

Robert Price, Justus F. Lehmann, Sherlyn Boswell-Bessette, Anne Burleigh, Barbara J. deLateur

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


The application of cryotherapy to temporarily reduce spasticity is a widespread clinical practice. A method of quantifying spasticity, based on viscoelastic stiffness measurements at the ankle, was applied to objectively determine the efficacy of cryotherapy in reducing spasticity of the calf. Baseline, cryotherapy and one-hour postcryotherapy measurements of spasticity were performed in 25 subjects with clinical signs of spasticity secondary to traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, and stroke. A statistically significant reduction in spasticity occurred during cryotherapy. Postcryotherapy results were equivocal, although there was a tendency for diminished spasticity relative to the baseline measurement. Two subjects showed a clear aggravation of spasticity following cryotherapy, thus leading to the conclusion that dichotomous results are possible.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)300-304
Number of pages5
JournalArchives of physical medicine and rehabilitation
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1993
Externally publishedYes


  • Cryotherapy
  • Muscles
  • Spasticity
  • Viscoelasticity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation


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