Local Cold Application: Effects on Fibromyalgia pain

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Local Cold Application: Effects on Fibromyalgia pain

Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder, defined by musculoskeletal pain which could be accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory difficulties. The trapezius muscle is usually a source of pain in fibromyalgia patients, which mostly covers upper back and the exterior of the neck. Researchers, today are trying to explore newer ways of treating pain in fibromyalgia patients.

A study was conducted to evaluate the effects of the local cold application on pain on the trapezius muscles of patients suffering from fibromyalgia. A total of 55 fibromyalgia patients were included who received treatment from rheumatology outpatient clinic in Turkey. A one-group, pre-test/post-test, the pre-experimental model was applied in this study. Each patient was exposed to 10-min cold application to one trapezius muscle. The pain of the participants was assessed four times (before the cold application and at 10 min, 1.5 h and 24 h after the cold application). Data of pain score was collected through the use of visual analogue scale (VAS). The assessment of the data was done using Friedman and Wilcoxon tests.

The patients' pain mean score before the cold applications were found to be considerably higher than the scores, noted 10 min, 1.5 h, and 24 h after the application.

The study concludes that the local cold applications on the trapezius muscle cause a significant decrease in the pain of fibromyalgia patient. Therefore, this newly discovered method to control pain in fibromyalgia patients will contribute a lot to science. It will work as a guide in pain management, especially in nursing practice. Further studies should be conducted to assess the effect of maximum duration and mechanisms of local cold applications to the trapezius muscles of fibromyalgia patients.


Int J Rheum Dis. 2017 Apr 17

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The original title of the article:

The effects of local cold application on fibromyalgia pain


Yilmaz N, Kiyak E

Local cold application, Fibromyalgia, Pain
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