Sports injuries can occur anytime, anyplace and during almost any activity. In a milder sense, these types of injuries can include muscle sprains and strains, swollen muscles and other soft tissue injury, shin splints and minor tendon damage. In more severe cases, fractures and dislocations may occur. Sports injuries can be chronic or acute, and may occur from accidents, poor physical fitness, a lack of stretching, or overworking a particular body part or muscle group. Most commonly, the R.I.C.E. (rest, ice, compress, elevate) method of alleviating discomfort for athletic related injuries is employed. However, cold treatment has taken on a whole new meaning with regards to sports physiotherapy. And more and more athletes are amplifying the power of the ice bath to heal their post performance wounds by turning to whole body cryotherapy for sports injuries sessions.
What is cryotherapy? If it sounds like a space aged deep freeze, that’s because essentially it is. The process involves a few minute session in a cryotherapy chamber (a.k.a. cryosauna) where the skin is significantly cooled, prompting a flurry of activity from the immune system. In turn, the body’s natural defenses kick in to repair and heal internal injuries and wounds. It’s because of this function that cryotherapy for athletes has become wildly popular in Europe and is gaining a following in the United States and now Canada (Toronto) as well. The process also has been found useful for lower and upper back pain relief, joint and bone pain relief, and hip pain relief. However, as evidenced by the presence of cryotherapy chambers adorning the locker rooms of some professional sporting teams, cryotherapy sports injuries uses in terms of relief and recuperation are amongst the most popular uses for the treatment.
Still not convinced that a quick deep freeze cryotherapy sports injuries pain relief session can be beneficial to you? Well, these 10 facts about the athletic related benefits of cryotherapy may just change your mind:
1. Cryotherapy chambers were initially produced to treat medical conditions with symptoms similar to the discomfort related to sports related injuries such as arthritis.
2. Aside from its use for sports injuries, cryotherapy is also thought to be incredibly beneficial in terms of reducing the recovery time from strenuous physical activity.
3. The cold temperatures produced in the cryo chamber or cryosauna can cause the body to hijack as much blood as possible to its core as a preservation method. It’s thought that while there, the blood picks up a boatload of beneficial nutrients and enzymes. When this super supplemented blood makes its way back to the muscles, it’s thought to help ease fatigue.
4. Although little literature about the process is available, it’s been observed that cryotherapy for athletes and average folks, too, may have some metabolism boosting effects.
5. With the exception of some individuals who should not consider cryotherapy because of existing health conditions, it’s thought that there are almost no cryotherapy side effects to be concerned about. However, it’s worth noting that following instructions is imperative. One man forgot that his socks were damp with perspiration before entering the chamber, resulting in external tissue damage!
6. Whether an ankle injury, neck and shoulder pain, or a long standing problem with an achy hip, Whole Body Cryotherapy results are not necessarily instant. Its benefit in recovery time has been praised, however multiple sessions are often needed for long lasting relief. Typically, between ten and twelve cryotherapy sessions are needed for successful pain relief from sports injuries or long standing joint pain. That’s why we at Cryotherapy Health And Wellness Inc. recommend purchasing a 10 to 15 session treatment package as opposed to pay-as-you-go per session option.
7. In tests where runners were asked to perform on a treadmill in order to incur muscle damage and soreness, blood tests taken throughout the study found that those that also used cryotherapy chambers had fewer inflammation markers in their blood. Read more info here.
8. Early studies suggest that Whole Body Cryotherapy sports injuries treatments may reduce recovery time by up to two to three days in some athletes.
9. It’s thought that cryotherapy also promotes the release of endorphins which can also greatly contribute to relief from sports injuries and other physical discomforts.
10.Those with poor circulation and blood pressure problems cannot use cryotherapy chambers. But, for individuals lacking these ailments, cryotherapy can boost circulation and ramp up the body’s detoxification processes throughout the muscles.