Combination of whole body cryotherapy with static stretching exercises reduces fatigue and improves functioning of the autonomic nervous system in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Sławomir Kujawski (Coresponding Author), Joanna Słomko, Beata Godlewska, Agnieszka Cudnoch‑Jędrzejewska, Modra Murovska, Julia Newton, Łukasz Sokołowski, Paweł Zalewski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: The aim of this study was to explore the tolerability and effect of static stretching (SS) and whole body cryotherapy (WBC) upon fatigue, daytime sleepiness, cognitive functioning and objective and subjective autonomic nervous system functioning in those with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) compared to a control population.
Methods: Thirty-two CFS and eighteen healthy controls (HC) participated in 2 weeks of a SS + WBC programme. This programme was composed of five sessions per week, 10 sessions in total.
Results: A significant decrease in fatigue was noted in the CFS group in response to SS + WBC. Some domains of cognitive functioning (speed of processing visual information and set-shifting) also improved in response to SS + WBC in both CFS and HC groups. Our study has confirmed that WBC is well tolerated by those with CFS and leads to symptomatic improvements associated with changes in cardiovascular and autonomic function.
Conclusions: Given the preliminary data showing the beneficial effect of cryotherapy, its relative ease of application, good tolerability, and proven safety, therapy with cold exposure appears to be an approach worth attention. Further studies of cryotherapy as a potential treatment in CFS is important in the light of the lack of effective therapeutic options for these common and often disabling symptoms.
Keywords: Myalgic encephalomyelitis, Chronic fatigue syndrome, Autonomic nervous system, Cold therapy, Brain fog
Original languageEnglish
Article number273
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Translational Medicine
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jun 2022

Keywords*

  • Myalgic encephalomyelitis
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Autonomic nervous system
  • Cold therapy
  • Brain fog

Field of Science*

  • 3.3 Health sciences

Publication Type*

  • 1.3. Anonymously reviewed scientific article published in a journal with an international editorial board and is available in another indexed database

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