Cryotherapy Relieves Chronic Pain?

Could whole body cryotherapy relieve your pain and inflammation?  Since the days of Hippocrates, athletes, warriors and everyday people all over the world have used cold (cryo) for health benefits.

American researchers have been studying the potential health benefits of whole body cryotherapy (WBC) since its arrival to the U.S. in 2011, but WBC was developed in 1978 by a Japanese rheumatologist to treat his rheumatoid arthritis patients.  The genius of cryotherapy is it's natural and simple application: Patients are exposed to extremely cold (-175F to -202F) air for three minutes, which triggers a physiological response that activates the body's natural cardiovascular cleansing and replenishment.

Dr. Christina Lasich, M.D. wrote, "The analgesic (pain-relieving) effects of cryotherapy are related to three specific changes in the body. First, the nerve signal transmission is slowed. Reducing the amount 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. 1 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."

She continues, "Arthritic joints, frozen shoulders, muscle injuries and other types of painful conditions have all been found to benefit from cryotherapy.2, 3, 4 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 ways towards helping those with chronic pain."

Don't you think pursuing a natural therapy that takes only three minutes is worth the try?

    Sources:

    http://www.healthcentral.com/chronic-pain/c/240381/159043/cryotherapy/

    1. Scand J Clin Lab Invest. 2008;68(2):145-53
    2. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2013 Jan;94(1):9-16
    3. Sports Med. 2010 Jun 1;40(6):509-17
    4. Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2006 May-Jun;24(3):295-301