Freeze the Pain Away
Using cold – really cold – temperatures to essentially freeze the pain away is the idea behind cryotherapy. Experts in this field believe that using localized freezing temps deaden irritated, inflamed nerves is a preferred non-invasive way to manage pain. It is known to work best when used on or around painful joints and tendons.
What is the Science Behind Cryotherapy?
In a nutshell, the freezing temperatures slow down the nerve’s “pain” signals to the brain, making the brain think the body is in less pain than it is, but the body still recognizes a problem and releases a chemical called norepinephrine which is the body’s natural painkiller. The pain still has a cause and effect, but the norephinephrine lessens the discomfort of that effect. (ie. relieves the pain) and we feel better.
Can Cryotherapy Help with Chronic Pain?
Have you ever seen an athlete take an ice bath after a game? If not, the idea is that they fill a huge tank up with ice cold water and get in. The freezing temperature soothes their regularly scheduled aches and pains, much like the localized nature of cryotherapy – just on a larger scale.
Cryotherapy is also used as a post-surgery healing agent to offer pain relief without the potential side effects of medication.