Cryotherapy: The ‘Cool’ New Way to Recover
The team at Symmetry takes pride in having a strong local community presence. The Symmetry Physical Therapy Team took a trip to CryoXtreme in Brickell to give whole body cryotherapy a shot. First, cryotherapy is actually used to boost recovery and help with a ton of diseases* that we see a lot in the physical therapy world.
To clarify, pain inhibits patients to decrease movement. The lack of physical activity comes reduced joint mobility and degenerative changes. Meanwhile, as the disease progresses people can experience extreme rigidity in the spine. Cryotherapy can provide an analgesic effect to help with physical therapy and get better results for these patients.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic autoimmune disease with periods of remission and inflammation of the joints of the body. Therefore, the anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects of cryo are well-received. Local cryotherapy can be used on the affected joints for decreased pain to help with an increased range of motion.
More Cryotherapy Benefits
Cryotherapy can decrease inflammatory reactions in shoulder impingement cases. In addition, it can also provide that analgesic effect. Because of these effects, the range of motion can increase. Cryotherapy can provide a short-term reduction in inflammation of gout-affected joints.
Osteoporosis is a gradual decrease in bone mass over time. Above all, it is the reduced strength and elasticity of muscles and ligaments. Painful movement patterns are the result, seriously affecting daily life. So, the cold treatment has been documented to reduce pain and relax muscles. Moreover, it improves muscle strength, and increase joint range of motion.
Certainly, chronic back pain can be absolutely debilitating in day-to-day life. Cryotherapy has been shown to decrease pain, relax muscle spasms, and decrease nerve tension. In other words, it can reduce the speed of nerve conduction.
For example, a few positive physiological effects can come from cryogenic temperatures* are below.
- Relaxation and improved well-being
- Analgesic effect
- Muscle strength increased
- Profuse blood flow
- Increased systemic immunity
- Increased endorphins, adrenaline, and testosterone
But, when we got to CryoXtreme we didn’t really know what to expect to experience cryotherapy. Next, we had to change our clothes to enter the cryo chamber.
Our Experience with Cryotherapy
We each went in for just 2 minutes. Well, at -220 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s no walk in the park. Basically, you’re in a 2-minute blizzard with just tall socks and Crocs on.
Last, while the word “cold” doesn’t even begin to cover it. That is to say we all went into CryoXtreme with some all-around soreness. But we all left with a feeling of pain relief, relaxation, and decreased muscle soreness after the cryotherapy.
Cryotherapy is an excellent tool to combine with physical therapy if you want to boost recovery, decrease soreness, feel more relaxed, and decrease pain.
Most importantly, are you dealing with body aches related to activity or exercise? At Symmetry, we will provide you with a physical therapy assessment to get to the root cause of your pain. Check out our Youtube channel for more tips and easy to follow exercises videos. Get the added benefits of pain relief and boosted recovery when you come and see us at Symmetry Physical Therapy!
* Lubkowska A. Cryotherapy: Physiological considerations and applications to physical therapy. In: Bettany-Saltikov J and Paz-Lourido B. Physical therapy perspectives in the 21st century: Challenges and possibilities. InTech: 2016.
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