Benefits of Cryotherapy
Cryotherapy, or cold therapy as some call, is a simple technique where parts of your body are exposed to cold temperatures. In this day and age, we can have cryotherapy done on specific parts of our body or we could have our entire body subject to it.
The idea behind all of these processes is that by subjecting yourself to extreme cold for several minutes (two to four minutes), one gets a variety of benefits to their health. While you can perks from one session, you’ll start to be seeing more of these benefits if you visit on a regular basis.
Here’s what you can expect from cryotherapy.
Cryotherapy isn’t just for aches and pains, it can also treat migraines. Cryotherapy can do that by numbing and cooling nerves that are around the neck. This theory is supported by a study that found when we are applying as little as two frozen ice packs on the neck, the carotid arteries that are in the neck reduce pain you’d experience from migraines. The study believes this works because the ice packs are cooling the blood that is passing through those vessels. Furthermore because they are near the skin’s surface they are accessible easily.
Numbs nerve irritation
When athletes discovered this, they used cryotherapy to treat all of their injuries. They’ve been doing this for years now because they know that cryotherapy can numb pain. In fact the cold serves as a numbing agent against irritated nerves. In most cases, doctors will use a small probe which they insert into the tissue near the injuries. This probe will help in treating any pinched nerves, chronic pain, or acute injuries the patient may have.
Treats mood disorders
Not only can cold therapy help in reducing pain, it can also cause physiological hormonal responses. In short, cold therapy can force our body to release adrenaline, noradrenaline, or endorphins. This can help us, particularly when one has a mood disorder like depression or anxiety. In fact in cases of anxiety and depression, using cryotherapy does quite a number of perks on the short term for those patients.
Reduces arthritic pain
Much like nerves, even if you are suffering from arthritis, cryotherapy can help significantly in reducing pain. One study found that when patients were subject to whole body cryotherapy that people with arthritis could not only tolerate it, but could take more aggressive physiotherapy along with occupational therapy. These days it’s part of the rehabilitation programs due to it’s effectiveness.
Prevents dementia and Alzheimer’s
While it’s no guarantee at this moment, there is still plenty of theories around that cryotherapy could help in those particular diseases. The big reason this theory is buzzing about is due to the treatment providing anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory effects when used. This is key because Alzheimer’s effects have inflammatory and oxidative stress responses.
Treats atopic dermatitis amongst other skin problems
Again, because cryotherapy can help in improving antioxidant levels in blood while reducing inflammation, it’s plausible for this treatment to help with skin diseases. Particularly ones that create dry or itchy skin such as atopic dermatitis amongst others. There’s also been some tests on mice that examined how cryotherapy holds up against acne.
While these benefits are great, do keep in mind that this isn’t a perfect and flawless treatment. There are side effects from numbness, tingling sensations, irritation of the skin, and redness. These side effects are pretty short lived, however this therapy isn’t for you if you have conditions that directly impact your nerves such as diabetes. The reason being that cryotherapy can cause further damage to those nerves