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Kicking Arthritis to the Curb with Cryotherapy

If you suffer from arthritis, you are definitely aware of the chronic joint pain and limited mobility that can accompany the debilitating condition. Between taking anti-inflammatory and over-the-counter pain medications, braces, hot and cold therapy, exercise or other more alternative therapies, striving to find maximum relief can be both time and energy consuming.

In general, Arthritis is defined as an acute disease caused by inflammation and swelling around the joints of the body, resulting in constant discomfort and localized pain. Daily activity can cause arthritis to be prolonged and worsened, and combined with muscle and tendon strains can result in a very painful condition with limited treatment options.

Although some turn to surgery for relief of arthritis pain, invasive procedures to help reduce the inflammation at the joints can be risky and unfortunately not as effective as many would like.

For some, surgery may be the most feasible option for helping to treat arthritis, but many of the 60 arthritis sufferers worldwide have begun to explore modern alternative treatment options to reduce pain levels.

Whole body Cryotherapy, which found it’s beginnings in Japan when it was utilized by Dr. T. Yamauchi to treat pain, inflammation and joint immobility from Rheumatoid Arthritis, is an alternative treatment method that many arthritis sufferers are now turning to for pain relief. The treatment process involves bringing the body’s surface temperature to below sub-zero temperatures in order to activate the body natural autonomic response to dangerous environments which results in the body releasing natural anti-inflammatory and pain relieving chemicals throughout the body.

In a study conducted by Metzger D1, Zwingmann C, Protz W, Jäckel WH in April of 2000, the crew tested the effects of cryotherapy on patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis. The group found that after application of cryotherapy to individuals with moderate to severe RA, subjects reported a significant decrease in pain with one to three sessions.

Results also included reduction in inflammation and swelling around joint regions, improved immune system levels, increase in energy and improved moods.

Because a single session of Whole Body Cryotherapy only lasts 2 to 5 minutes, many people have found the alternative treatment method easy to fit into an arthritis treatment regimens — many have reported significant reduction in pain when coupling with mobilization therapy as well as heat therapy.

Although surgery may seem like one of the only remaining options in relieving severe pain from cryotherapy, exploring and combining alternative pain treatment treatments such as Whole Body Cryotherapy may be more practical and can have lasting effects on pain relief and quality of life.

Cryotherapy helps workaholics to Relax and Recover [Source: New York Times]

Cryotherapy for workaholics new york times columbus ohio cryotherapy ohiocryo

Its not a recent discovery that works causes stress, which in turn causes physical, mental and emotional deterioration. Typically, the first noticeable sign that stress is negatively affecting your body comes from either a decreased energy level or small symptoms such as decreased skin health. For workaholics around the world, these effects are more than well known.

 

In the article titled Getting Workaholics to Stop and Recharge, the New York Times explores a new alternative treatment that workaholics are using to treat the physical, mental and emotional stress that accompanies those super demanding positions held in the workplace.

You can read the New York Times article here

Source: New York Times

 

Cryotherapy helps young woman treat Acne [Cosmopolitan Magazine]

The Doctors experience Cryotherapy

BuzzFeed: People try Cryotherapy for the First Time

Dr. Oz explains the process and benefits of Whole Body Cryotherapy

Cleveland Cavaliers bring Cryotherapy Treatment to Lebron James & Co

Is Whole Body Cryotherapy Better than an Ice Bath?

cryotherapy vs ice bath icing

 

Ice baths have been used for decades as a mechanism to rehabilitate and recover injuries for athletes, professionals and anyone suffering from pain, inflammation and damage to muscles, tendons, ligaments or soft tissue. But, Ice baths have very different effects on the body than cryotherapy does. Cryotherapy has been put in a large spotlight recently for its backing by celebrities and professional athletes (Lebron James, Floyd Mayweather Jr, Lindsay Lohan to name a few). So, what really are the differences between Whole Body Cryotherapy and Ice Baths? Which is more effective?

The first and most prominent difference between cryotherapy and ice baths are that during the first 20 minutes of using an ice bath, soft tissue and muscle  located fairly deep in the body begin to freeze and in return lose their capacity. Muscle is unique in its function in that it needs a specific amount of time to recover back to 100% capacity after strenuous use. Not only that but, after an ice bath, the individual must continue to rest and cannot return to activity until the next day at the earliest.

Cryotherapy is very different in this regard. Treatment in a cryosauna does not actually freeze the muscle tissue — it actually is simply the perception of freezing by the body’s nervous system. A process that would take multiple sessions of 30 minutes or more to achieve in an ice bath takes only 3 to 5 minutes in a Cryotherapy treatment. Not only that, an athlete can return to activity the same day after receiving cryotherapy with more energy and ability than prior to the treatment.

The next difference between cryotherapy treatment and ice bath usage can be noted on a physiological level. The body’s reaction to the ultra-cool temperatures during cryotherapy is a completely different physiological reaction compared to that of an ice bath. The biggest difference is that, during submersion in an ice bath, the body is faced with the unrelenting process of warming the blood in the body’s core back to normal temperature. This feat takes an immense amount of energy that the body struggles with. And, once the body is no longer able to warm the blood, the muscles begin to congeal and freeze, which can eventually cause hypothermia and even death, as it is difficult to stop the process once started.

On the other hand, cryotherapy which uses ultra-cooled nitrogen gas application all over the body creates the sensation that the body is in a sub-zero potentially dangerous environment that signals an entire brain and central nervous system response. When thermo-receptors in the dermis of the skin receive the signaling from the cooled environment, the brain and central nervous system send out a system wide message telling the body to vasoconstrict, which in turn sends all the blood from the periphery of the body to the vital organs in the core of the body. This blood undergoes a process that increases the oxygen and nutrients within the blood and also detoxifies and breaks down harmful byproducts within the blood in an attempt to supply the vital organs with the most oxygen and nutrient-rich environment to survive. Once the cryotherapy treatment is completed after 3 to 5 minutes, the individual exits the cryosauna and the body immediately senses the return to normal temperature. The brain then sends a system-wide message to return this ultra-nutricious blood back out to its peripheral systems, which then in turn supplies the entire body with blood that is high in oxygen, nutrients, collagen, enderophins, etc.

The last difference between ice baths and cryotherapy is the amount of oxygen that is provided to the skin’s surface during treatment. In an ice bath, oxygen supply to the skin and surface tissue is halted which can trigger skin damage that can promote skin disease if the procedure if repeated.

This finding is the exact opposite with cryotherapy treatment. Collagen, which is an important protein in skin, hair and nails, is produced at an accelerated rate during treatment, which improves skin, hair and nail health drastically.