Physical activity is one the keys to a long and healthy life. Unfortunately, injuries can tend to pile up along the way – whether they are as a result of ‘overdoing it’, intense training for an elite competition, lack of recovery time, or as an inevitable result of aging and our bodies not being able to perform like they used to. Whatever the cause, injuries have a nasty way of knocking us off track and causing us to fall short of our fitness goals. Therefore, it makes sense that any method of care that can reduce pain and increase healing stands to be a great benefit to the user. One of those methods is through the use of whole-body cryotherapy.
Q: What is cryotherapy?
A: Cryotherapy is a whole-body or localized application of extremely cold temperatures (-76° to -166°F) for the treatment of pain and inflammation. It is similar to traditional ice treatments (e.g. ice packs, cold compresses, or ice baths), but it utilizes colder temperatures for a shorter duration. This allows the muscles to sustain reduced temperatures without compromising the skin or core temperatures. It also allows the skin temperature to return to normal while deeper muscle tissues remain cold for added benefits.
Q: What are the benefits of cryotherapy?
A: The extreme cold temperature or cryotherapy decreases cellular metabolism, decreases inflammation, decreases pain and muscle spasm, promotes vasoconstriction, and stimulates the body’s nervous system. Users have reported a wide variety of benefits including: decreased stress, increased energy, improved sleep, and relief from muscle and joint pain.
Q: Can cryotherapy improve performance and injury recovery?
A: Absolutely! Many athletes have purported a substantial decrease in their injury recovery time. Additionally, the latest research has shown that utilizing cryotherapy prior to exercise (pre-cooling) can help improve peak performance levels by as much as 28%. Although cryotherapy is being used in training facilities by Olympic teams, professional sports teams, runners, and a number of other athletes; you do not need to be an elite athlete to reap the benefits.
If you would like to read more about cryotherapy in the research, click the article links below:
Whole-Body Cryotherapy in Athletes
Five-Day Whole-Body Cryostimulation, Blood Inflammatory Markers, and Performance
Effects of Whole-Body Cryotherapy on Recovery in Runners