Effects of Topical Analgesic Cryotherapy on Postural Sway

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Condon, Tyler C.
Gerlach, Nick J.
Reinert, Evan J.
Wigger, Sarah L.
Smith, Barbara S.

Condon, Tyler C., Gerlach, Nick J., Reinert, Evan J. & Wigger, Sarah L. (2011). Effects of Topical Analgesic Cryotherapy on Postural Sway. -- In Proceedings: 7th Annual Symposium: Graduate Research and Scholarly Projects. Wichita, KS: Wichita State University, p. 22-23


Topical analgesic (TA) agents are readily available over-the-counter, and are marketed to physical therapists as well as the general public as quick solutions for acute and chronic joint and muscle pain. The purpose of this study was to determine if a change in postural sway occurred following the application of a TA to the lower leg. A better understanding of a TA's effects on postural sway will provide knowledge on the use of this type of analgesic in regard to overall safety and balance. Subjects consisted of 34 individuals ranging from 18-30 years old recruited from the Wichita State University student population. Postural sway was measured in each subject using the Biodex Balance System SD. Subjects underwent a familiarization session, performed a pretest, and then a posttest following the application of a TA. No significant difference was found between pretest and posttest postural sway. Due to lack of support in the literature, further investigation is necessary to confirm these results.

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Paper presented to the 7th Annual Symposium on Graduate Research and Scholarly Projects (GRASP) held at the Marcus Welcome Center, Wichita State University, May 4, 2011.
Research completed at the Department of Physical Therapy