What Is Cryotherapy?

You might have seen treatments done with the help of various medicines, equipment, ointments, and many such things. Here we’re talking about a kind of therapy that is done using very low temperatures. This treatment is also called Cold Therapy or Cryotherapy. Simply put, Cryotherapy is the use of extreme cold to help heal, recover and treat our body.

What are the different types of Cryotherapy?

  • Ice packs – This is when you apply an ice pack to a local region on your body to help with swelling and pain. This treatment can take place up to 10 minutes. Joint pains are cured under this type of Cryotherapy.
  • Internal Cryotherapy (AKA Cryosurgery) – This is a type of surgical treatment in which, if the doctors need to freeze an internal part of the body, then Internal Cryotherapy is done.
  • Ice bathing – This is a very traditional method of Cryotherapy. Here you emerge yourself in ice cold water for anywhere between 15-20 minutes. This is by no means a fun task and since you’re in the water you have to take some time to dry yourself afterwards.
  • Localized Cryotherapy (e.g. Cryo Facials) – This is relatively and it includes exposing a limited region of our body to extreme cold air using nitrogen. This is works well for a specific region.
  • Whole Body Cryotherapy (AKA Cryotherapy Chamber) – In this type of Cryotherapy, you walk into an enclosed room that is filled with cold air, exposing your whole body including your head. You will have to wear safety mask, and protect your mouse, nose, eyes and ears.
  • Full Body Cryotherapy (AKA Cryosauna) – Here you walk into a machine that covers your body from the neck down, keeping your head safe, making sure you are not exposing yourself to any harm. This type of treatment usually lasts 2-3 minutes.

This treatment of Cryotherapy is not limited up to a specific problem, but it is very vast. Here is the list of different types of athletes that can take advantage of Cryotherapy for boosting their performance in their sport:

  • The first in the list of athletes who uses Cryotherapy for boosting their performance and getting the cure is a boxer, Mayweather. He regularly takes advantage of this treatment after his workout and training sessions. He uses Cryotherapy so that he can recover faster and can train more as he does not want to invest more time for recovery or rest purpose only.
  • The next in the list is LeBron James who is an NBA basketball player, and he also takes help of Cryotherapy treatment so that he can recover from the muscle fatigue that occurs after his training sessions and gameplays. He uses this treatment regularly, mostly after his gaming sessions.
  • Athletes from various sports such as Running events, high and long jumps, and any such sports go for this Cryotherapy for getting rid of all the stress and makes themselves feel relaxed.

Cryotherapy and Common DOMS

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness is the full form of DOMS, and this means that when there is soreness in your muscle, and it leads to high pains in various parts of your body. But is Cryotherapy helpful in curing Common DOMS?

Yes, Cryotherapy is very helpful in getting rid of common DOMS. This treatment will help you in providing relief from muscle pain, and if you are facing any joints pain, then also this treatment can help you.

With the help of lower temperature treatment, you can get rid of muscle soreness and can heal it faster. Although in the case of muscle soreness, you will only notice pain in particular part of the body, so ice pack therapy is mostly advised by doctors because it focuses on a specific part of the body only and you would not have to go for partial or full-body Cryotherapy.

Importance of Speedy Recovery

There was some question such as that why should we go for a speedy recovery with the help of this treatment as for curing such problems body should decide how much time must be taken.

Although they are also absolutely right, the body should decide because our body is quite smarter than us. But Cryotherapy offers you a speedy recovery. Here are some of the benefits of Speedy recovery with the help of Cryotherapy:

  • The first and most crucial benefit of speedy recovery is that you would be able to invest more and more time to your sports or any other important work, rather than just resting with the help of Cryotherapy’s speedy recovery.
  • In some cases you also feel a lot of pain, so for getting rid of that unbearable pain, you should go for a speedy recovery with the help of Cryotherapy.
  • After a speedy recovery, you would be able to work more and hence can improve your game within a short period.

Cryotherapy as the most advanced form of Cold Therapy

There are several factors, which make Cryotherapy the most advanced and highly used form of Cold therapy:

  • The first reason is that it is the safest form of cold therapy. You must have noticed that different type of cryotherapies uses a different kind of vessels or chambers, and each type has its time limit of use. This makes a highly safer and most efficient type of treatment.
  • The next factor is that we can get rid of various type of problems with the use of this treatment. Some of the issues are as follows:
    • Joint pains
    • Muscle cramps
    • Fat loss
    • Helps prevent cancer
    • Kills irritating nerves
    • Facial problems are also cured.

These were some of the reasons which make Cryotherapy the most advanced form of Cold Therapy.

How was Cryotherapy found and studied?

Various incidents took place with the help of which Cryotherapy was introduced as the best cold therapy. Here are some of those incidents-

  • In 2006 this therapy was found very helpful in offering various type of good effects for post-match recovery strategies in Rugby Players. It was seen that there was a massive improvement in their overall gameplay after this therapy.
  • It was also seen that this therapy helps in the overall production of enzyme activity in your body for better results. There were some articles posted regarding it in 2007 in the British Journal of Sports Medicine and European journal of Applied Physiology.
  • This was found that you get the best results with the help of Cryotherapy under full-body therapy while comparing it with other such therapies.

References:

Banfi, G. and Valentini, P. (2007). Effects of cold-water immersion of legs after training session on serum creatine kinase concentration in rugby players [letter]. British Journal of Sports Medicine. 41: 339.

Gill, N., Beaven, C. and Cook, C. (2006). Effectiveness of post-match recovery strategies in rugby players. British Journal of Sports Medicine. 40: 260-3.

Hausswirth, C., Louis, J., Bieuzen, F., et al. (2011). Effects of whole-body cryotherapy vs. far-infrared vs. passive modalities on recovery from exercise-induced muscle damage in highly-trained runners. PloS ONE. 6(12): e27749. Doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0027749