Does Cryotherapy Speed Muscle Recovery?

Monday, July 31 2017 9:36 AM

Whole Body Cryotherapy To Speed Muscle RecoveryIf you’ve ever had sore muscles, you know how they can prevent you from sticking to your normal routine. For the lives of many, this simply isn’t an option. Professional athletes claim that cryotherapy works to speed muscle recovery, and now that it’s readily available to the public, it’s important to know if the results are worth the price tag.

What is Cryotherapy?

Cryotherapy is the local or general use of temperatures that can reach as low as minus 300 degrees Fahrenheit in medical therapy. The term "cryotherapy" comes from the Greek words cryo, meaning cold, and therapy, meaning cure. Its goal is to increase cellular survival and decrease cell growth and reproduction, inflammation, pain and spasm, and promote the constriction of blood vessels. Whole-body cryotherapy is meant to be endured for only one to four minutes as it’s dangerous to stay in much longer due to the extremely low temperature.

Cryotherapy can also be offered as a spa treatment for toning the skin, improving sleep, reducing cellulite, managing pain, reducing stress, increasing energy, preventing osteoporosis and treating asthma, although there isn’t a lot of research surrounding this yet.

Whole-Body Cryotherapy

Whole Body Cryotherapy (WBC), or general cryotherapy, targets the entire body. This treatment involves exposure to extremely cold dry air for up to four minutes. During the treatment, patients wear minimal clothing, such as a robe. Gloves, ear muffs, a nose and mouth mask, as well as slippers, are also commonly worn to reduce the risk of frostbite. Patients say the time goes quick, and you’re able to open the door at any time to get out if you don’t feel comfortable.

Local Cryotherapy

Partial Body Cryotherapy to Speed Muscle RecoveryLocal cryotherapy, or Partial Body Cryotherapy (PBC), is a treatment that is designed to focus on and treat one area of your body. After a sports injury, icing the area is common and effective, but this takes it up a notch to a much lower temperature. An isolated treatment takes around eight to ten minutes, while you sit or lie comfortably on a table wearing a robe. Many places will recommend a combination of WBC, PBC and compression cryotherapy for optimal results.

Compression Cryotherapy

Compression cryotherapy sets a new standard in injury and post-op treatment, integrating compression and cryotherapy into one treatment. The system progressively increases and releases pressure while also rapidly circulating ice water through separate wrap chambers. Patients will sit comfortably in a chair while receiving this treatment.

Although cryotherapy has been around for decades, it’s just now breaking out as the next big thing for muscle injuries. Ask your doctor if this is right for you to help accelerate and enhance recovery.

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