Cryotherapy – Fact vs. Myth

Cryotherapy, or cold therapy, is an effective non-invasive procedure that’s been increasing in popularity. It’s been used in different applications, from accelerating healing from injury or surgery to helping with weight loss. Whole-body cryotherapy treatments expose the body to extremely cold temperatures for a very short time to create a full-body anti-inflammatory reaction.  In addition, there is a post-treatment increase in blood flow that aids in the recovery process.

As this innovative treatment has grown in popularity and become more well-known, like many other popularized treatments, it hasn’t been immune to picking up some common misconceptions.  Below, we’ll go over some common myths about cryotherapy, as well as the important facts, for you to better understand the effectiveness and benefits of this treatment.

Myth: Cryotherapy is Painful

It’s common for many people to worry that the extremely cold temperatures the body is exposed to during cryotherapy will make the process painful.  Even though the treatment only lasts 2-3 minutes, many are worried that it will be painfully cold.  However, this isn’t true. 

The therapy can be uncomfortable at first for those who aren’t used to being exposed to freezing temperatures, but it’s more frequently experienced as an exhilarating feeling or rush, not pain.  Since the procedure itself is quick, the cold temperatures aren’t able to penetrate deeply enough to cause pain. 

If you still have concerns about potential discomfort, you can consult with a licensed professional to discuss your concerns and options to ensure you have the most comfortable treatment experience possible. 

Myth: Cryotherapy is Only for Professionally Trained Athletes

While many top-performing and professional athletes do use cryotherapy for healing and optimizing performance, it’s merely a myth that it is limited to them.  The truth is that cryotherapy can help speed up recovery after any type of strenuous exercise.  Since this treatment speeds up athletic recovery through the healing of tissues, it’s beneficial for recovery at any fitness level.

The therapy is also a great treatment option for those that don’t regularly exercise.  Because of its effectiveness in reducing inflammation and symptoms of many health conditions, cryotherapy can be used to help with migraines, nerve irritation, fibromyalgia, anxiety and depression, multiple sclerosis, arthritis, and more.

Myth: It is Dangerous

Some may think that it may be unsafe and harmful because cryotherapy exposes the body to freezing cold temperatures. However, when properly performed by a licensed professional, it is a very safe and effective treatment. 

Before you undergo your first cryotherapy treatment, a staff member will consult with you on any health conditions you may have to ensure that it’s safe for you to undergo the treatment. For those that have diabetes, peripheral neuropathy, heart or vascular conditions, or severe hypertension, should consult with their physician before undergoing cryotherapy.  Women who are pregnant should not undergo cryotherapy, simply because we do not know what that type of cold exposure would do to an unborn fetus.

Myth: Cryotherapy Doesn’t Work

Because cryotherapy is still a newer treatment and there are only a handful of studies done about its effectiveness, it’s common for people to be skeptical about if it really works or if it’s just another fad. However, the studies that have been done about cryotherapy demonstrate its effectiveness for athletic recovery, muscle soreness, inflammation, and more. Plus, the sheer number of facilities offering the therapy and its wide use in the sports and medical industry indicate its effectiveness.

The Bottom Line

Cryotherapy is a very safe and effective non-invasive procedure that’s beneficial for treating numerous conditions and symptoms. The best way to determine if it is right for you is to have a consultation at a facility. CORR offers whole-body cryotherapy treatments, and our expert team is here to answer all of your questions and guide you through the process. To learn more, reach out to our team today.