15 Feb How Cryotherapy Works
It’s a common question we hear in our industry… “So how does cryotherapy work?” To avoid complicated answers, we’ll keep this as simple as possible so you can understand the many benefits of cryotherapy without needing a science degree too.
Let’s answer the big question first. What is cryotherapy? Cryotherapy is also known as cold therapy and is a method of exposing the body to extreme cold temperatures, ranging from -150°F to -300°F degrees over the course of a few minutes. While this might sound a bit radical, this non-medical procedure has a number of benefits for people seeking non-invasive treatment of muscle pains, migraines, back pain, and more. Some studies have shown that cryotherapy is a powerful aid to combat inflammation as well.
Not so technically speaking, how does cryotherapy work?
To use a simple analogy, if you think back to your days of playing sports or a more recent physical injury, you might have been told you need to ice the injury. Cryotherapy is this concept applied on a whole body scale. The therapy works with the patient standing, with as much skin exposed as possible, in the cryochamber. Gloves, socks, and underwear can be worn during the session in which bursts of nitrogen cool the chamber over a 3 minute session, dropping to a low temperature of -300°F. Immediately after this exposure to the cold, most patients reported similar feelings to a post-workout with endorphin releases, increased energy levels, reduction in inflammation and joint edema.
Which leads us to our final and perhaps most complicated question to consider. Why does cryotherapy work?
Remember the icing your sports injury? The reason behind icing isn’t just to numb the pain away, it’s to reduce and maybe even prevent swelling and inflammation. You might have some experience with this if you live or travel to warmer climates — your hands and feet might swell, even if you’re not pregnant. This is due to temperature and its affect on our body’s ability to fight inflammation. Exposure to the cold is a proven method for reducing inflammation, even in people who aren’t currently suffering from an injury, because essentially this therapy produces a number of positive immuno-responses, including increased white blood cell counts and the release of anti-flammatory hormones by the body’s endocrine system.
Specifically for cryotherapy, exposure to extreme cold temperatures for short periods of time are therapeutic and not harmful to the body. Exposure to extreme temperatures of this kind elicit a fight or flight response, increasing adrenaline and stimulating endorphins. You’ve probably seen a Polar Plunge or two and unlike exposure to extreme cold water, cryotherapy allows you to control the exposure and rate at which you become exposed, while hot and cold air dissipate more easily and faster than the icy water on those swimmers. Meaning that chances are you’ll feel more like yourself after a cryotherapy session than you will after dip in an icy lake, which is probably one of the reason you might have seen a number of professional athletes using cryotherapy as part of their physical therapy or weekly therapy sessions.
As leading manufacturers of whole body crotherapy machines, Cryonext can answer all of your cold, hard, therapy questions. Contact us for more information about our products today.