The 2 most common sports injuries that cryotherapy can help heal.
Anyone who’s ever taken part in any sport will no doubt have come across cold therapy in some form or another as a treatment for sporting injuries. While an ice pack has long been the go-to treatment to offer immediate relief from rolled ankles and twisted joints, it’s effectiveness is these days, in dispute.
Yes, it can provide immediate relief from pain by numbing the afflicted area. And, yes, it can potentially reduce swelling, but an ice-pack is a short-term solution for an athlete suffering from injury. For cold to be used effectively in sporting injuries so the athlete can get back to training to remain at their peak athletic performance, a more sophisticated solution is required.
Why do you need to heal faster?
Depending on the nature of your injury, your body can potentially heal in its own time. Bodies are designed to repair and restore and with adequate rest and nutrition, there’s no reason that some time away from the field won’t mean that your injury will heal itself of its own accord. If you want to get back into training faster to reduce pain, discomfort, and inconvenience though; it’s in your interests to help the healing process along.
Cryotherapy is that more sophisticated cold solution that you’ve been looking for! It can help you treat more complex sporting injuries and if you suffer from the following, read on to find out why you should give it a go!
Chronic back pain
Chronic back pain is one of the most common sporting injuries we treat. You don’t need to have a diagram of a skeleton in front of you to know how complex a back injury can be and how much it can impact the overall health and well-being of the rest of your body.
The back is made up of approximately 700 different muscles which are each made up of muscle tissue, tendons, nerves and blood vessels. From a simple pulled muscle to much more serious broken bones and discs, there are many conditions that can cause pain in your back both directly and indirectly.
There are millions of pain receptor nerves all over your back which means you’re likely to feel a lot more pain from an injury to that area. Treatments such as prescribed medication and massage claim to ease back pain but they’re not always effective of curing chronic pain completely, and if they do, it’s not without impacting other healthy areas of the body. This makes healing back pain a challenge.
How does cryotherapy heal chronic back pain?
Regardless of how your back became injured and whether you’re suffering from a recent injury or a historic injury that you’ve never shaken off, cryotherapy can help heal chronic back pain in the following ways:
It slows down the pain receptors sent from the nerves.
Rapid cooling of the body slows down the signals that tell the body to feel pain. This reduces the amount of pain the sufferer feels so while cryotherapy doesn’t necessarily fix the injury, your brain acts on the strict instructions it receives to no longer feel anything immediately reducing the physical pain you feel.
It puts the body into a stressful state.
You’ll feel positively elated after a three-minute cryotherapy session but that’s because your body is responding to the stressful situation it thinks it’s in. The extreme cold tricks your body into a fight or flight response which promotes the release of norepinephrine. This is a chemical released in response to stress which takes away the sensation of pain and helps your body to keep going when it’s under threat. Exactly the same response is triggered during cryotherapy.
Most chronic back pain stems from inflammation in a specific area. Cryotherapy regulates the blood flow which causes the inflammation and after the treatment, the oxygenated blood is pumped to the affected areas to reduce those inflammation levels which in turn, helps to heal the injury.
Osteo and Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Sporting injuries can lead to arthritis which in severe cases is impossible to cure. Arthritis is the inflammation of joints and the best that some sufferers can hope for is to manage the chronic pain to lessen the disruption on their quality of life. If you’re suffering from arthritis, regular cryotherapy can help in the following ways:
Promotes natural anti-inflammatory responses.
When your body falls to extreme temperatures of cold it goes into survival mode. The numbness you feel (or don’t feel!) in your hands and feet occurs because the blood is pumped to your vital organs to protect them. Once you warm up, fresh, oxygenated blood is pumped quickly throughout your system directly to the areas affected by arthritis. The fresh blood contains anti-inflammatory properties which cause a fast surge of natural healing throughout the body.
Releases endorphins to lift mood.
Endorphins help your body heal naturally. For the three minutes you’re in the cryotherapy chamber, you’ll feel like you can climb a mountain. As soon as you leave, your body surges with endorphins which not only helps you heal but also elevates your mood to enhance your pain management.
The benefits of regular cryotherapy to manage chronic back pain and pain from arthritis are hard to argue with.
The treatment is completely safe, natural, and you can have ongoing treatments without affecting any other area of your body, unlike pain relieving medications.