Lowering body temperature is nothing new to most people. Every parent knows that ice packs go on bumps and bruises.  Not to mention, Finnish people have been exiting saunas to jump into icy lakes for thousands of years. But therapeutic investigations into cold applications didn’t really take off until 1978 when Dr. Toshima Yamauchi started freezing medical instruments.   Since then, more and more health practitioners have prescribed Cryotherapy, which is quite literally the practice of purposefully exposing the body to cold temperatures. In this article, we will explore this method more thoroughly.

 

Treatment Options

The external use of ice or cold packs for specific injuries is the most common form of cold therapy. The counterpart to this method is the freezing of specific internal tissue, which is often done as part of a surgery or probing procedure. Moreover, cryotherapy chambers utilize evaporating liquid nitrogen. While this procedure may sound similar to an ice-bath, it is substantially different.  The cold air in a cryotherapy chamber is between -220 and -280 degrees Celsius as compared to the 45 to 60 degrees in an ice bath.  While ice-bath may take up to 20 minute, a patient never stays in a cryotherapy chamber more than 4 minutes.

 The Benefits

 Cryotherapy effectively reduces inflammation, increases antioxidants, and triggers hormones by tricking the body into a fight or flight response.  Some migraine sufferers have also found that cooling the neck area helps relieve intense pain.  That is because the blood passing through the carotid arteries cools agitated nerves like a radiator. Furthermore, inflamed or damaged nerves can be a chronic source of pain.  Cold probes inserted into neighboring tissues can numb that pain and reduce swelling to help nerves heal, which can help those with conditions like rheumatoid arthritis. 

 

Cryotherapy has also shown significant results in dealing with arthritis.  Aside from pain relief, cold treatments can help make other forms of arthritis therapy more viable. Higher levels of antioxidants and reducing inflammation improve some skin conditions such as atopic dermatitis. 

 

Finally, cryosurgery can be utilized to freeze cancer cells in minimal-risk tumors.  This includes some forms of prostate and cervical cancer.

 

 Safety Tips

 Although cryotherapy certainly boasts many benefits, you should not try it without taking some basic precautions. Also, like any treatment method, be sure to consult your doctor first. Here are some things to keep in mind:

 

  • Never apply ice to any area for more than 20 minutes; otherwise, you could damage your skin.

 

 

  • Only trained therapists should perform professional treatments. And people with medical conditions such as high blood pressure or pregnancy should not undergo procedures.

 

  • If cryotherapy causes you numbness, tingling, or red irritated skin for 24 hours after treatment, then consult your doctor.

 

From all of us at Medical Supply Depot, we wish you the best of health. Browse our extensive selection of high-quality products today.

 

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