What is Localised Cryotherapy and How Does it Work?
By now, we are all fairly familiar with whole body cryotherapy and the use of extreme cold, via nitrogen gas, applied to the entire body for the relief of inflammation.
But what is localised cryo and how does it work?
Localised Cryotherapy uses the same nitrogen gas but focuses only on a specific area of your body rather than the Whole Body Cryotherapy (WBC). This specialised approach is used to target almost any area which is painful, inflamed, stiff or sore. Targeted areas are measured for temperature prior to treatment and then monitored throughout the session to make sure we are taking the inflamed area down to the proper therapeutic temperature. Once the proper temperature is reached on the skin surface we hold it there for 30-45 seconds to insure maximum benefit. This process can take 5-12 minutes depending on the amount of inflammation (higher temperature) and the surface area being treated.
The effect of local cryo on the body is different than that of WBC in a number of ways. While WBC sends the body into vasoconstriction providing nutrients and oxygenation to the blood, localised cryo will send the blood away from the injured or inflamed area and at the proper therapeutic temperature the blood will then find nutrients to bring back to the problem area expediting recovery.
Localised Cryo vs. the Ice Pack Many people wonder why not just use an ice pack, what’s the difference? There are several benefits with local cryo you can’t get with ice.
Local cryo allows us to get the skin to a consistent, therapeutic temperature without the use of moisture so there is NO pain.
Icing is not cold enough or fast enough to create vasodilation, and the brain feels the slow freezing effect of the ice then wants to send blood to the area to warm it up. This warming attempt can slow the inflammatory process and also slows the removal of lactic acid in the tissue which is the cause of delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS).
With ice there is no way to sustain a constant, beneficial temperature.
Another benefit of local cryo over icing is once the cryo process is complete you can move and engage the area immediately whereas icing leaves you numb and stiff until the treated area warms up.
So, what can Localised Cryotherapy be used for exactly? Of course it can be used to relieve pain and reduce inflammation, but that’s only the start. This form of cryo is also used to speed athletic recovery for specific problem areas, aids in surgical recovery, relieves sprains, strains and soreness and even helps relieve headaches. But one of the best benefits are the amazing affects local cryo has for many who suffer migraines. Because we are able to treat the occipital nerve area and parietal nerve area we can, in many cases, alleviate migraine pain almost immediately. Many of our customers report significant relief from pain or swelling with just a single treatment.
Come try it for yourself!