There are many new treatment options available these days, and sometimes it is hard to keep track. With technology constantly advancing, research broadening, and funding becoming more available, it’s incredible how much progress is being made. So, if you have a medical condition that you aren’t finding the answers for, hang in there. Something new is bound to come along, such as Cryotherapy for example.
How Does Cryotherapy Work?
Cryotherapy involves strategic use of cold temperatures for therapeutic reasons. The cold can be applied to a single area or to the entire body, promoting a variety of benefits to the area being treated. This might sound complicated, but you have probably utilized cryotherapy without even realizing it. Icepacks, submersion into cold temperatures, cold massage, and coolant sprays, are some of the more common uses of cryotherapy.
Benefits of Cryotherapy
Modern medical research seeks to make the most out of cryotherapy, using the benefits of strategic cold to treat a variety of common conditions. These benefits include, reduced inflammation, increased antioxidant levels, and numbing effects. Many people who utilize this form of treatment also experience a quicker recovery time after muscle or joint trauma.
Using Cryotherapy, you can also:
- Soothe Nerves: Many injuries benefit from cold compression, such as sprains and tendonitis. Freezing temperatures reduce swelling and provide a numbing effect, creating an almost instant sense of relief.
- Heal Troubled Skin: Uncomfortable skin conditions that wreak havoc on one’s body and self-esteem. Studies have found that cryotherapy can help treat certain skin conditions such as atopic dermatitis by promoting antioxidant levels in the blood while reducing inflammation.
- Treat Cancer: Cryotherapy is now being used to treat certain forms of cancerous tumors. This type of cryotherapy is commonly known as “cryosurgery.” This treatment is performed by freezing and surrounding the cancerous cells with ice crystals to terminate and prevent spreading.
- Stop Migraines: When extreme cold temperatures are applied to the carotid arteries in the neck, migraine pain is significantly reduced. This is normally done in the form of ice wraps or packs. This works by cooling the blood that is passing through the intracranial vessels. This treatment can provide migraine sufferers with much needed relief to get through their day.
- Improve Mood: In some cases, full body cryotherapy has been shown to improve certain mood disorders such as depression. This is due to the body releasing endorphins and undergoing a physiological hormonal response in the extreme cold temperature. Though still being studied, this is being considered as an effective short-term treatment option.
Ask Your Doctor
Though cryotherapy is a natural healing treatment, there are risks for people with certain underlying health conditions. People suffering from illness such as diabetes should talk to their doctor before performing cryotherapy, as they are unable to fully feel the effect of this treatment. Do not use cryotherapy if you suffer from poor circulation.
Certain reactions may occur when undergoing cryotherapy treatment. One may experience redness, tingling, or skin irritation. It is important to talk to your doctor if any of these conditions last over 24 hours or cause extreme discomfort.
Cryotherapy at Home
When applying ice packs to the skin, always use a barrier such as a towel. Utilizing cold temperatures without a protective barrier could damage the skin. Never apply cold temperatures for more than 20 minutes at a time.
When Not to Use Cryotherapy
Cryotherapy should not be used on muscles or joints that are stiff because it can worsen the problem rather than help. If you are experiencing swelling or pain for more than a few days while utilizing cryotherapy, consult with your doctor for further instruction. Pay attention to any additional bruising or changes in the skin.
Full Body Cryotherapy
When undergoing full body cryotherapy, it is important to follow the instructions given by your provider. Wear appropriate, dry, clothing to prevent frostbite. If you notice any signs of skin breakdown, consult with your physician right away.
Research on Cryotherapy
Though certain forms of Cryotherapy have been used for years, such as icepack application, other forms like the full body treatment are still being researched. There are many athletes who have successfully undergone this treatment with little to no complications, and they experienced noticeable improvement to their recovery and performance.
Cryotherapy is proven to aid in the treatment of many health conditions, and there are benefits that are yet to be fully known, so there is more to look forward to. If you want to learn more about Cryotherapy or if you’re considering adding this treatment to your current regimen, consult your medical professional to find out if Cryotherapy could be right for you. Remember, it’s always a good idea to speak with your doctor, even if you just have a few questions you want answered.