Cryotherapy substance and mechanisms of cold therapy


What is cryotherapy?

Cryotherapy is cold treatment. Cryotherapy is the use of cold to remove heat from the tissue in case of inflammatory or feverish processes.

In addition to balneotherapy (medicinal baths), cryotherapy is one of the oldest forms of therapy, having been in use since antiquity.

Cryotherapy is widely used today in traumatology and sports medicine.

Cryotherapy is of enormous importance, not only because it is very easy to apply, but particularly because patients can be treated without medication or at least with considerably reduced medication.


What are the effects of cryotherapy?

Thermosteresis (heat removal) is used for all indications applicable in human medicine (all stages of acute inflammation, acute post-traumatic or feverish states). Cryotherapy results in reduced circulation, thus inhibiting or at least considerably reducing the activation of inflammation mediators (transmitters), for example, bradykinin or serotonin.

However, the STÜBBEN KRYO KOMPAKT HORSE cold compress (which has been familiar in international equestrian sport for years, having been tested by the former veterinary of the German dressage team, Dr. Gerhard Grenz) has much more to offer.

The compress has proved extremely effective in postoperative applications, for preventing swelling and pain, in the acute treatment of oedemas, haematomas and swelling of the tendons, in acute inflammatory processes such as phlegmon, tendinitis and tenosynovitis.

It has proved itself.

Long-term cryotherapy

Warmth removal will only be effective if a cold medium with a sufficiently low temperature is placed on the organ concerned for a sufficiently long time. When treating acute conditions, everything else is an illusion.

Short-term application of cold, for example with natural ice, cooling gels or water therapies according to Kneipp (hosing) result in warming after application. The tissue treated will then be better supplied with blood, inflammation and pain will increase.


Cryotherapy in equestrian sport up to now 

Not only does the popular method of hosing the horse's legs after sports activity for a more or less long period - 10 to 20 minutes - have no therapeutic effect, it is also completely uneconomical (water consumption).

In the acute phase (after activity), the metabolism has to be inhibited, and this can only be done by means of a sufficiently low temperature for a longer period.

Circulation is only required for rehabilitation of tissue after the acute phase. In a subacute or chronic stage, inflammation mediators should be subjected to positive influence.

A suitable medium is required for lasting thermosteresis (heat removal). As tests have shown, the product STÜBBEN KRYO KOMPAKT HORSE is ideally suited for this purpose. It is a specially developed cold medium containing microscrystalline ice when frozen (about 50% volume by weight). It makes a lasting removal of heat possible, and since the development of the cold is slowed down (method protected by international patent), there is no danger of frost injury.

The cold mass remains free of pieces of sharp ice and troublesome meltwater, and even at contact temperatures down to minus 22 degrees Celsius it is readily mouldable and agreeably soft.

Studies have shown that after local application for about 30 minutes, a reduction of body temperature by more than 10 degrees Celsius is reached (which is within the therapeutically desired range) and that this level is maintained for more than 3 hours.

The total duration of cold supply was significantly more than 5 hours.

These impressive test results are evidence that STÜBBEN KRYO KOMPAKT HORSE has the qualities which are required on scientific grounds and that it is extraordinarily suitable for effective long-term cryotherapy.

- sufficient cold capacity without frost injury despite low contact temperature

- rapid release of cold (immediate effect) due to thawing of microcrystalline ice

- necessary depth of effect 

- no dermatological damage (such as occurs with chemical cold compresses, for example) 

- highly economical due to frequent reuse

These are the significant practical advantages of the product; they make it distinctive and unique.



Cooling with normal ice

An ice bag will only bring about the desired cold for a short period. The disadvantage is, however, that this brief cold stimulus will increase the circulation in the blood vessels immediately after application.

The result is activation of the inflammation mediators and an increase in the horse's sensitivity to pain.



Cooling with gel packs and pads

Gel packs are unsuitable for long-term cold therapy.

They are not temperature controlled and therefore cause cryalgesia (cold pain) and burns. The recommended short-term application activates the inflammation and increases the sense of pain.


Cooling with STÜBBEN KRYO KOMPAKT HORSE cold compresses

When deeply frozen, STÜBBEN KRYO KOMPAKT HORSE contains fine ice crystals in an emulsion which melts between minus 9 and minus 2 degrees Celsius.

The well controlled influx of cold ensures that frost injury and cryalgesia (cold pain) will not occur. This makes it possible for treatment to be uniform, longer lasting and particularly effective. The extraordinary cooling performance has been scientifically and clinically demonstrated. It has proved to be excellent in practice - also in human medicine. The world elite in dressage riding, show jumping, three-day-event and western riding put their trust in it.