What is Cryotherapy?
Cryotherapy, sometimes known as cold therapy, is the local or general use of low temperatures in medical therapy. Cryotherapy is used to treat a variety of tissue lesions. The most prominent use of the term refers to the surgical treatment, specifically known as cryosurgery or cryoablation. Cryosurgery is the application of extreme cold to destroy abnormal or diseased tissue and is used most commonly to treat skin conditions.
Cryotherapy is used in an effort to relieve muscle pain, sprains and swelling after soft tissue damage or surgery. It can be a range of treatments from the very low technology application of ice packs or immersion in ice baths (generally known as cold therapy) to the use of cold chambers.
Cryotherapy speeds up muscle recovery and relieves pain from any part of the body. It helps with weight loss and enhances general health and wellness. Cryotherapy is also used to treat aging and various skin symptoms.
Safety and what to expect
The most popular form of cryotherapy involves sitting in a cryotherapy booth for 3–5 minutes.
Some people undergo cryotherapy facials, which apply cold to the face only. Others use a cryotherapy wand to target specific areas, such as a painful joint.
Most people use the term cryotherapy to refer to whole-body cryotherapy.
This is non-medical treatment in a spa or similar setting.
Doctors, however, also use cryotherapy. For instance, very cold temperatures can be used to freeze off warts or cancerous cells.
Though unpleasant to begin with, cryotherapy tends to get better with each treatment, as the body adjusts to the low temperature.
It is generally safe, but it is important to talk to a doctor before trying cryotherapy.
Pregnant women, children, people with severe high blood pressure, and people with heart conditions should not try cryotherapy.