There is nothing new about using the power of cold to help relieve pain and discomfort. It’s numbing effects can provide immediate and soothing relief which has made ice packs and ice baths one of the most common types of treatment for various discomfort associated with joint and muscle pain in the arms and the legs.
But before we review how cold therapy may be helpful, consider the following list of health conditions that are known to cause severe pain in arms and legs. We do not consider injuries here; only medical conditions and diseases.
20 Conditions That Can Cause Severe Joint and Muscle Pain in Arms and Legs
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Polymyalgia rheumatica
- Lyme disease
- Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS)
- Psoriatic arthritis
- Ankylosing spondylitis
- Behcet’s disease
- Myasthenia gravis
- Sjogren’s syndrome
- Raynaud’s disease
These conditions can cause pain, stiffness, and inflammation in the joints and muscles of the arms and legs, and may require medical treatment or pain management techniques to alleviate symptoms. It’s important to consult with a healthcare professional if you are experiencing severe joint and muscle pain or other symptoms.
But, there is another way to successfully harness the pain relieving and healing benefits of cold therapy that is much more comfortable than an ice bath and lasts much longer than the often temporary relief afforded regular ice pack users. The technology is commonly called cryogenic chamber therapy, whole body cryotherapy or (WBC).
Whole Body Cryotherapy For Severe Joint and Muscle Pain in Arms and Legs:
The Cryo Procedure:
It involves the use of either a completely enclosed chamber or one that allows for the head to remain outside the unit that is often referred to as a cryotherapy cold sauna. These devices involve circulating supercooled gases that have been chilled with liquid nitrogen around a body for a controlled period of just a few minutes. The procedure is said to have numerous benefits both responsible for immediate relief and longer lasting relief for joint and muscle pain as well as a wide variety of other conditions.
How Cryo Works to Alleviate Pain:
Instantly, a physiological response from the body that triggers endorphin release provides almost immediate relief from joint pain and inflammation. This is from analgesia as a response to the numbing effects of the cold initially. Interestingly enough, what may seem like a pleasant but temporary reaction is often not the case when cryotherapy is used for joint and muscle pain. Some studies have shown that a lasting effect remains, providing much longer term pain relief, and this is evidenced with blood tests taken over periods of time. It’s specifically for joint inflammation and that found throughout the body in fact that well known celebrity Tony Robbins notes in a recent podcast that he uses the cold therapy method regularly, stepping into a cryo chamber about three times a week. He also points out the feelings of well being and rejuvenation that make him a big fan of the cold treatment.
Why Do Many Athletes Choose Cryo Over Ice Baths for Severe Joint and Muscle Pain?
Many famous people use cryosaunas regularly, and many of them are athletes like LeBron James, Steven Lopez, Usain Bolt, Floyd Mayweather Jr among others. As a tool used for post-performance to help speed up recovery time in terms of joint and muscle pain that can be associated with extreme exertion, many athletes prefer the cryosauna to traditional ice baths and find it more effective and more comfortable than alternative methods.
As a result, runners find leg muscle pain diminishing more rapidly, and pitchers find joint and muscle pain in their arms and shoulders dissipating more quickly when cryosaunas are used following games and practices. The result has been an increase in the prevalence of clinics offering the technology, which has helped to make it more affordable and accessible as well. More usage has made other uses for cryosaunas become more apparent, such as their potential uses for various types of soft tissue injury. It’s thought that because immune responses can be triggered by cold therapy, damage repair physiological processes may go into overdrive, speeding injury and damage repair more quickly than traditional methods alone.
What Conditions Were Originally Targeted By Whole Body Cryotherapy?
But, there is little need for additional hype to support the use of cryosaunas for joint and muscle pain. After all, these primary uses were the purpose behind the invention of the devices and procedure in the first place. Sufferers of rheumatoid arthritis, characterized by inflammation of joints chronically leading to long term pain and discomfort often in the hands and feet and arms and legs, were the original target market of whole body cryotherapy.
The method was found to be quite effective, and has been used continually for over thirty years in many parts of Europe and Asia for the condition. Created to help reduce joint and muscle pain in persons with the autoimmune disorder, increased use and more research has now allowed many people who are not suffering from rheumatoid arthritis benefit from the same pain relieving properties for a wide range of conditions, injuries and purposes, especially those involving the joints and muscles of the body.
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