Cryotherapy started in Japan and uses a device called a cryosauna. For the procedure, a patient stands in a chamber with their head sticking out the top, and they wear socks and gloves. Volunteers are exposed to extremely cold (-110c -140c) air for up to three minutes. The delicate body parts like the hands and feet are protected while the rest of the body experiences a sudden drop in temperature. After a few sessions, the body experiences measurable changes that can help to relieve pain.
The analgesic (pain-relieving) effects of cryotherapy are related to three specific changes in the body. First, the nerve signal transmission is slowed. Reducing a number of nerve signals getting through to the brain might relieve pain in some individuals. Second, nor-epinephrine levels increase after cold immersion. This stress-induced chemical reduces pain sensitivity as a protective mechanism in times of life-or-death situations. And lastly, cryotherapy can reduce pain intensity and frequency by reducing inflammation. All of these potential benefits can be measured in the lab, but how does cryotherapy measure up in the real world?
Fibromyalgia Treating feels that the use of whole-body cryotherapy to treat fibromyalgia seems to have a promising outlook. Since the treatment is not an approved medical treatment by the FDA, the treatments are not covered by most insurance. Cryotherapy facilities usually charge between £20 per treatment, and most offer reduced rates when you sign up for several at a time or sign up for a membership that offers unlimited treatments. It is important to discuss adding whole body cryotherapy to your treatment plan with your doctor before trying it.
Arthritic joints, frozen shoulders, muscle injuries and other types of painful conditions have all been found to benefit from cryotherapy. People with these conditions experience less pain and are able to return to normal activities sooner. How much cold is necessary and for how long are still questions being worked out. Not everyone has access to expensive cold air chambers, but a little cold could go a long way towards helping those with chronic pain.
Cryozone state that Studies have shown that regular whole body cryotherapy can significantly improve the symptoms of fibromyalgia, especially when combined with other therapies. Whole body cryotherapy has been successfully applied in the treatment of the condition for some time now, and has been shown to have a positive effect on the following symptoms of fibromyalgia.
Fibromyalgia News Today also thinks cryotherapy exposure to extreme cold can help improve the quality of life in fibromyalgia patients. Results of the trial suggest that whole body cold-based therapy, called cryotherapy, should be considered as a treatment for fibromyalgia.
I’m shivering just thinking about this, but it does sound very beneficial. Treatwell has a list of the top 20 places to have a cryotherapy treatment in the U.K.