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The effectiveness of whole-body cryotherapy and physical exercises on the psychological well-being of patients with multiple sclerosis: A comparative analysis.

ABSTRACT

Due to the chronic character of multiple sclerosis (MS), non-pharmacological treatment can be applied. These therapies can be a good complementation to standard pharmacological treatment. The aim of the study was to evaluate the effectiveness of whole-body cryotherapy (WBC) and physical exercise training on the psychological and general well-being of patients with MS. The study was carried out on 60 patients, who were divided into 3 groups: cryotherapy (Cryo), physical exercise training (Gym) and cryotherapy with physical exercise training (CryoGym). The Psychological General Well-Being Index, the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale and the Rivermead Mobility Index were used at 2 points in time: T1 - before the first therapy session and T2 - after 14 days of therapy. Statistically significant differences in the psychosocial well-being were found in the Gym and CryoGym group. Reduction of depressive symptoms and improved functional status was noted in Cryo group. The most significant improvement was observed in the group using WBC with exercise training (CryoGym). Whole-body cryotherapy with physical exercise training was an effective therapy for patients with MS. The introduction of WBC into the standard physiotherapy protocol for patients with MS is fully justified.