What is the technique?
The term cryotherapy is derived from a Greek word ‘cryo’ that means cold and therapy as we all know is cure. It mainly uses low temperatures to treat pains and injuries. For the very first time, it was used in Germany in the year 1980 to treat some sort of arthritic pain. The results were shown, and the pain was cured too so the people from all over the world started getting it done. It is performed by a trained professional in the medical clinics. The main element that was traditionally used is liquid nitrogen that makes temperature drop down rapidly. Further details about it can be found on https://www.advancedcryonyc.com/health-and-wellness-local-application-cryotherapy
Different types of treatments are available under the process which use different materials in the treatment-
- Cryosurgery– Ultra cold liquid is used in it to destroy the abnormal tissues or the ones that cause the pain.
- Ice pack therapy– It involves the placing of an ice pack over the affected area for some time that absorbs the heat and provides relief.
- Anesthetics using cold sprays– They are usually sprayed over the skin or the affected area to make it numb and provide short term relief.
Whole body vs. partial body cyrotherapy
The whole or complete body cryotherapy is an alternative that can be used in place of the ice packs and immersions in cold water. The treatment is performed by subjecting the complete body of the patient to cold and dry air that is below -100 degrees for about two or four minutes. It can be performed either by using liquid nitrogen or by refrigerated air. This is mainly used when the complete body requires treatment.
Partial body cryotherapy is done on some parts of the body or the ones that are affected by pain. Specially designed chambers are used in it which makes the head of the patient to remain outside. While nitrogen gas inhalation is always the risk, but if performed properly under the supervision of a trained expert it can be harmless.
Applications and uses
The treatment is widely used in cases of sports injury, chronic pains and also sometimes when surgical recovery is needed. Body pains can be worst at times and cause difficulty in movement. The suffering person may not be able to perform his daily activities too. Treating them is necessary as they become unbearable with time. Some common areas where this therapy can be used are-
- Lower and upper backs
How it works
The localized cryotherapy is used along with the whole body cryotherapy that provides healing to certain body parts. The rapid cooling of the body parts or the application area causes the blood vessels to become narrower. These vessels now response by delivering more amount of blood to the area where the therapy is being performed. The oxygen, nutrients and enzymes present in the blood help in quick healing by providing relief.