Cryotherapy has recently enjoyed an increase in popularity amongst top athletes, but what exactly is it?
Cryotherapy is basically a fancy word for treatments involving cold temperatures.
Applications can range from ice packs, to an ice bath, and more recently a full body cold chamber.
Ice is well known in rehab settings for its use following an acute injury (although this has recently come under question).
It has often been used as an aid to decrease both pain and inflammation (Lombardi, Ziemann & Banfi, 2017).
However, Cryotherapy has recently enjoyed an increase in popularity as a preventative measure, with a proposed effect of enhancing recovery and decreasing exercise related soreness (Lombardi et al., 2017).
To this point there have been some studies that support this effect, and others that have shown no positive change (Lombardi et al., 2017).
Based upon this, it appears that more research is needed surrounding cryotherapy and its proposed effects.
Before taking part in any form of cryotherapy it is always important to check with your health care provider before hand. As there are several situations and conditions in which can be made worse by exposure to cold temperatures (Lombardi et al., 2017)
If you want to learn more, contact us at the clinic and ask for Curtis, our physiotherapist!
Lombardi, G., Ziemann, E., & Banfi, G. (2017) Whole-Body Cryotherapy in Athletes: From Therapy to Stimulation. An Updated Review of the Literature. Frontiers in Physiology, 8, 1-16