So you’ve had this painful condition for several months or years and still haven’t found the best way to alleviate the pain. You take an in-depth search on the internet about what other people have used, but still, none of the treatments are effective because the better ones cause addiction among other effects. You come across Whole Body Cryotherapy (WBC), and it’s a whole new idea. It is a natural method used to curb pain without any adverse side effects, but the idea of submerging your body into temperatures approximately -100 F (-72 Celcius) to -274 F (-100 C), scares you to death.
You read as many testimonies and how effective it is, and at the end, you pluck up the courage to try the Whole Body Cryotherapy. However, one thing still lingers in your head “What to expect after cryotherapy procedure?” But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!
10 Facts on What to Expect After Cryotherapy
To begin with, what is Whole Body Cryotherapy? It is a pain treatment technique that uses freezing temperatures for muscle pain relief, natural knee joint pain relief, and neck and shoulder pain relief after damage to soft tissues. It is also used to treat cancer cells as well as skin conditions. So, what to expect after cryotherapy procedure?
1. Decreased Inflammation
Inflammation is the body’s natural response to cells damage and injury, and it’s the body’s protective measure to get rid of the injurious stimuli to begin the healing process. It stimulates the production of norepinephrine from the nervous system, which is an anti-inflammatory substance that helps reduce inflammation. However, extended inflammation can cause low levels of norepinephrine.
In this case, the cryotherapy procedure triggers the release of norepinephrine as well as constricts the blood vessels, which reduces the buildup of white blood cells, blood vessels dilation, warming, and swelling. As a result, inflammation is reduced.
So, if you have been less active and irritable because of debilitating inflammation, try cryotherapy. It could be your best treatment method.
2. Reduced Chronic Pain
When your body tissues and cells feel pain, the nervous system releases epinephrine also known as adrenaline; a hormone produced when the body is in pain.
However, chronic pain may inhibit the production of enough epinephrine preventing the body from responding to the pain. So, when your body is subjected to the extreme cold temperatures, it triggers the release of the hormone, thus reducing the pain.
But since people are different, the results too can vary accordingly. What to expect after cryotherapy for chronic pain? Some may experience muscle pain relief for a few hours, while others may feel relieved for days. Consistency is key so regular cryo sessions will ensure that your pain continues getting reduced.
3. Performance Enhancement
Since the introduction of cryotherapy in the 1970s, amateur and professional sportsmen and athletes have been using this method to recover from sports injuries and to improve performance. This is because cryo decreases recovery time, boosts the rate of metabolism, enhances the flow of oxygen to the muscles, reduces strain to the circulatory system, and intensifies the speed of body functions.
Also, unlike cold baths that require about 15-20 minutes to work, Whole Body Cryotherapy only takes up to 3 minutes. Further, it is not recommended to exercise after a cold bath for at least 12-24 hours, but you can after cryotherapy.
4. Reduced Stress
If you are depressed, instead of using antidepressants, you can opt for cryotherapy. The procedure stimulates the release of endorphins to the blood, which works together with pain receptors (neurotransmitters) to reduce pain. It also arouses a positive feeling in the body also known as euphoric similar to the effect of morphine, which makes you feel good and happier.
Luckily, endorphins don’t lead to addictions like the morphine. What to expect after cryotherapy as an added bonus? You will sleep better!
5. Increased Metabolism
During the three minute cryotherapy, your body is cooled to 50 degrees F (10 Celcius). Once you step out of the cryogenic chamber or cryosauna, your body requires a vast amount of energy to reheat the entire body. Hence, your body rapidly combines nutrients and oxygen to release enough energy, also known as metabolism.
6. Increased Collagen Production
The freezing temperature during the Whole Body Cryotherapy triggers vasoconstriction whereby your blood vessels become narrow. After the session, the blood vessels return to normal, which increases blood flow through the capillaries and vessels. As a result, it triggers production of collagen.
So what to expect after cryotherapy for your skin? Collagen is produced under the skin, and it’s the chemical that gives you smooth skin, elasticity and supports skin padding. The stimulated collagen fines out wrinkles and prevents new ones from forming.
Also, the tiny blood vessels are connected to face blemishes, so the increased blood flow can help clear or heal various skin imperfections.
7. Muscle Recovery
If you are an athlete or bodybuilder, then you can’t ignore the fact that recovery plays a huge role in training to maintain peak performance. Excising with sore muscles and knee ligament injury can inhibit performance.
And what to expect after cryotherapy for athletes? Here are some muscle-related benefits:
- Numbs pain instantly
- Helps remove cellular waste from muscles faster
- Triggers formation of new cells
- Reduces joint inflammation
For the above reasons, most training facilities have cryotherapy for muscle recovery to ensure NFL players and Olympians maintain optimal performance.
8. Reduced Fatigue and Anxiety
All body organs are connected to the vagus nerve, and that’s why stimulation of the vagus nerve can help relieve, anxiety, fatigue among others.
Cryotherapy is one method you can use to trigger the nerve, whereby it sends a message to the entire body that it’s ready to rest and that the organs can go into relaxation mode.
9. Natural Knee Joint Pain Relief
Do you always resort to the Ibuprofen whenever the joint pain flares up? If so, then you may consider cryotherapy, especially if you’re scared about the side effects of medical treatments.
10. Weight Loss
During the cryotherapy session, your body is subjected to a sudden drop in temperature. As a result, your body increases metabolism rate to burn more calories and to keep warm, which leads to weight loss. For more info on weight loss benefits of cryo, check out this article.
If you are scared of undergoing cryotherapy maybe because you don’t know what to expect after cryotherapy, then you can go through the above facts before you visit your sports injury clinic to ensure you know the effects of what you’re getting into.