Neurological Associate Pain Management Center

Vero Beach, Florida

Cryotherapy Article

Doctors Hooshmand, Hashmi and Eric M. Phillips have co-authored the following article: Cryotherapy Can Cause Permanent Nerve Damage: A Case Report which was published in the American Journal of Pain Management in April 2004.  This is a case study of a patient who had undergone repetitive and prolonged cryotherapy (application of ice), and cryosurgery (cryoablation).

Below is an abstract from the article Cryotherapy Can Cause Permanent Nerve Damage: A Case Report.  

Please click on the link below to view the full text of this article in PDF-format.

Cryotherapy Article




Hooshang Hooshmand, MD, Masood Hashmi, MD, and Eric M. Phillips


Abstract. Cryotherapy (ice application) and deep cryosurgery are commonly employed for neurological, surgical, and physical therapy. Prolonged and repetitive cryotherapy can result in permanent damage to myelinated nerves which are susceptible to myelin coagulation, axonal destruction, and focal somesthetic nerve dysfunction. The stimulation of microscopic perivascular unmyelinated C-thermoreceptornerves (CTN) leads to regional sympathetic nerve dysfunction in the form of neuropathic pain, vasoconstriction, and edema. The cryogenic field is not limited to a small microscopic area. The adjacent intact nerves are susceptible to damage as well, leading to a new source of pain. If, from the beginning, cryotherapy aggravates the pre-existing neuropathic pain, it should be discontinued. An illustrative case is presented.

Descriptors. cryosurgery, cryotherapy, C-thermoreceptor nerves, CTN, neuropathic pain, somatic pain.

Hooshmand H, Hashmi M, and Phillips E.M. Cryotherapy Can Cause Permanent Nerve Damage: A Case Report. AJPM 2004; 14: 70. Received: 05-09-03; Accepted: 11-24-03