Cryotherapy is a cold therapy technique where the body is exposed to extremely cold temperatures for several minutes. This can be performed as whole body cryotherapy or localized to a specific area. Cryotherapy started in Japan in 1978 as a treatment for patients with serious cases of inflammation, arthritis and muscle pain. It is now a common treatment used frequently by trainers, athletes, and physical therapists.
During a whole body cryotherapy session, the body is immersed in a chamber with nontoxic nitrogen gas, which can get down to between negative 200-300 degrees. The patient stands inside this specialized chamber for around 2 to 3 minutes, bringing the body’s temperature down to about 55 degrees.
Cold therapy has been utilized for years to treat musculoskeletal issues, among many other ailments. Cryotherapy can specifically aid chiropractors because both cryotherapy and chiropractic adjustments can reduce inflammation and lessen pain.
At Francis Optimal Performance Chiropractic, we offer whole body cryotherapy services on-site with sessions starting at very affordable prices. Contact our Wilmington Chiropractic office today.
Benefits of Cryotherapy:
Just as there are many different styles and approaches to cryotherapy, there are also numerous potential benefits. Cryotherapy can be used to treat a plethora of ailments, and as such, it has become increasingly popular for those on a quest toward optimal health. Proponents of the treatment swear by the benefits that extreme therapeutic cold provide, including both mental and physical effects.
Though fairly new, research has been conducted to study whether these claims are true. Here, we can examine some of these possible benefits, in addition to considering other facts that a person should know before considering this type of treatment.
Muscle Healing and Pain Relief
This is the most common reason that individuals choose to undergo cryotherapy. The cold is meant to have a soothing effect on aching muscles, particularly in athletes who regularly exhaust them.
Professional and/or Olympic athletes, for example, perform strenuous exercises and engage in intense activities every day. It should come as no surprise that these overused muscles will become fatigued, or even injured, more quickly.
The therapeutic cold is thought to promote faster healing, allowing athletes to get back to their game more quickly— just think, doctors and trainers have long recommended applying an ice pack to sore muscles, as blood circulation to the area increases significantly once the cold is removed. Likewise, the treatment can be used to treat some muscle and joint disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis.
Inflammation can occur in the body for a plethora of reasons. However, it is also the way in which the immune system fights against infection. Sometimes, though, the immune system becomes overly reactive, causing chronic inflammation and pain.
This is linked to many health problems, such as diabetes, depression, dementia, and even cancer. Reducing this inflammation using cold therapy could thus reduce the risk of many chronic ailments, as well as improving overall health.
Reduced Psychological Stress, Anxiety and Depression
The cold air used in whole body cryotherapy causes the brain to release a higher than normal level of endorphins and adrenaline. When patients feel this increase in their physiological hormone response, they usually feel a positive impact on their mood. Studies have shown that cryotherapy can result in short term improvement in mood disorders like stress, anxiety and depression.
We must be clear that cryotherapy alone will not cause weight loss. However, some research has shown that it can support the process. Being in a state of cold forces the body to work hard to stay warm, thus boosting the metabolism and burning calories and fat.
Even just a few minutes in the cold can increase the metabolism for the rest of the day- eventually, a person’s metabolism adjusts accordingly and increases in response to the temperature, resulting in the person no longer feeling the cold. Furthermore, cold therapy helps with muscle pain after an injury, meaning that a person is better able to get back into a fitness routine and exercise.
What Should You Expect During a Cryotherapy Session?
During the whole body cryotherapy session, your body will react by constricting blood vessels and centralizing blood around your internal organs. This blood then becomes super-oxygenated and nutritionally rich. When you leave the cryotherapy chamber, the super-oxygenated and enriched blood is resupplied to your entire body and can help to heal injured problem areas of the body.
You may notice an immediate increase of energy and relief from aches and pains. With routine treatments you may also enjoy other benefits like weight loss and reduced mood disorders. Our active patients also report increased endurance and faster recovery from their workouts. Additionally, you may notice better quality of sleep after a cryotherapy session.
Types of Cryotherapy We Offer:
Cryo Innovations XR Recovery Chamber
Recent innovation, research, and technology now allows for whole body cryotherapy (WBC) in a specialized chamber (or sauna) that exposes the entire body (with exception for the head) and is the most advanced, tolerable, and time-efficient form of cryotherapy currently available. Whole body Cryotherapy (WBC) treatments are a revolutionary method of cryotherapy; exposing the body to subzero temperatures for a very short duration (less than 2-3 minutes). This will lower your skin temperature to 30-50 degrees Fahrenheit, while your core body temperature still remains around 98 degrees (its natural state).
WBC can also alleviate muscle and joint pain, sprains and strains, swelling, tendonitis, and bursitis. Many clients also report improvements in sleep quality, restfulness, anxiety, and depression. In athletes, it can accelerate recovery by minimizing post-training soreness and fatigue. It can also be used as part of a weight management program, as the average person will burn 500-800 calories the same day after a whole body cryotherapy session.
Localized Thermotherapy/Cryotherapy Station
Dense heat pads are soaked in an electric hydrocollator prior to usage, providing deep, penetrating heat to the patient. This helps reduce muscle stiffness, tension, and spasms, while increasing circulation to muscles, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and discs. Gel packs are kept in a freezer prior to usage, and provide localized cryotherapy to the patient. This traditional therapy is great for reducing pain and inflammation in localized, targeted body parts.