Research into cold therapy has occurred as recently as within the past few years. It sheds more light on the idea that this pain management method is worthwhile. Still, many people are not aware of its existence or how one could use it to help with pain relief.
So, what is cryotherapy, and how can people use cryotherapy for pain management in their daily lives? Below, we elaborate on this unique method of managing pain so you can learn whether it is the right path for you. By the end of the article, you should have a much better understanding of if you want to try out this way to help prevent your injury from flaring up.
What Is Cold Therapy?
Cold therapy is a method of providing people with pain management treatment. It does this without needing medication, instead relying on the body’s natural response to cold temperatures.
There are many different types of cold therapy. Of these, one of the most popular ways of administering treatment is through the use of electric cryo chambers.
These chambers cool the whole body down to around -110 Celsius, including the patient’s head. This can have the benefit of reducing inflammation in the body’s tissues and promoting the release of endorphins. This can also increase circulation around the body, increasing its natural ability to heal.
These treatments are of different lengths depending on who you receive them from, but they can be as short as only three to six minutes. Despite this short time, your body will still go through several different responses, encouraging it to lower your pain levels.
On top of this, other methods of cold therapy or cryotherapy exist. These use extreme cold to provide support or healing in specific areas of the body after surgery. This goes to show cold therapy as a whole can have an important place in a person’s recovery process.
Cold Therapy Benefits
There are many different benefits to engaging with cold therapy. We have listed some of the studies that discuss the possibilities for cold therapy below:
One of the most famous uses for cryotherapy treatments is to help with various pains throughout the body. These might be muscle pain, but might also be joint and muscle issues. Many of these relate to inflammation in the skin, which cryotherapy often reduces.
This mirrors how pain relief has existed throughout history. The application of cold compresses is a historically common therapy method. These days, though, advancements in technology allow specialists to apply this benefit across the body.
Anxiety and Depression Symptom Relief
Cryotherapy cannot affect a person’s mental health in any direct way. Still, sometimes someone’s mental health has links to issues related to inflammation. If this is the case, cold therapy can provide relief from the underlying cause of any anxiety or depression.
Small studies have found this bears true insomuch that it also releases endorphins into the body. These hormones improve the mood of the individual when they release. Also, as one feels the cold, the endorphins which traverse the body can start to interact with nerve receptors and reduce one’s feelings of pain.
Some people, such as those in specific studies in the early 21st Century, saw a drastic reduction in eczema they suffered from. This prevented their skin from drying up, although they did note they suffered a small amount of frostbite on the eczema-laden skin area.
Inflammation is often a good thing in the body. The human immune system activates this reaction when it senses there is an infection that needs combatting. Sadly, the body can also often overreact, causing issues such as allergies or chronic inflammation.
Cold therapy attempts to reduce inflammation across the body using low temperatures. This is a well-known method of reducing such reactions and can have a real impact on someone’s comfort levels.
There is some evidence cold therapy can have an impact on migraines when the colder area is a person’s neck. Targeted cryotherapy such as this can alter the blood flow to an area, and studies show this can reduce the pain one feels in the area.
Cold therapy has no direct impact on the body’s ability to keep or lose weight. Still, it can help people who have trouble losing weight due to muscle pain.
By reducing the muscle tension and pain people have, they can have more freedom to engage in aerobic activities. This allows them to exercise in a way that makes them more likely to lose weight.
Cold Therapy Isn’t New
If you feel cryotherapy is a new fad, you could not be further from the truth. Using cold temperatures to affect the body and encourage healing is thousands of years old.
One old example includes the Ancient Greeks, who would use snow and ice to help reduce feelings of pain in soldiers. While their use was drastic and surgical, it still bears true in other ways.
In the modern world, cold therapy still sees use in treating sports injuries. When athletes develop muscle issues or pull a muscle, they are often told to take four steps (“RICE”): Rest, ice, compression, and elevation.
As seen from the “Ice” part of this acronym, using cold to treat inflammation and reduce ongoing issues is a major part of modern athletics.
Since these popular healing methods developed, clinics have taken on the mantle of providing this therapy to clients. These days, you can often see cryotherapy in the form of full-body or partial-body submersion or more targeted methods.
Cold Therapy Can Help You
Now you understand more about cold therapy, you might think it is the very thing you need to improve your life. If this is the case, we are ready to talk to you about your options.
Our cryotherapy experts can discuss your ailments and let you know what they think you might need. So give us a call, and let us help you on your path to a better life.