As many of us know, being injured or recovering from surgery can be a difficult and stressful time. For athletes, it can mean having to disrupt a training routine in order to recover, forcing them to lose progress in their fitness journey. But it’s not just athletes that experience the frustrations that come with injuries.
As someone who has experienced my fair share of injuries (often being told I need to wrap myself in bubble wrap!) I know just how hindering even a minor injury can be in disrupting my day-to-day life. I also know that the longer the recovery time, the longer it usually takes us to get back to our daily routines. That’s where cryotherapy can help.
What is Cryotherapy?
Cryotherapy, also known as cold therapy, is the process of exposing your body to extremely low temperatures of -120 to -140 degrees Celsius. It’s completely natural, pain-free and safe, and can be administered through a localised cryotherapy treatment or through whole body cryotherapy. When it comes to injuries and post-surgery recovery, localised cryotherapy is an effective way to minimise pain and enhance the recovery process.
How Does Localised Cryotherapy Work?
For generations, people have been using icing methods such as ice packs and ice baths to treat injuries. Localised cryotherapy is similar to this but much more advanced and effective in treating your injured area. Clinical studies have shown the positive effect cryotherapy can have on pain reduction and the recovery time of injuries.
Localised cryotherapy accelerates the healing process by sending oxygenated and enzyme-rich blood to the wounded area. This helps to reduce bruising, swelling and inflammation, ultimately reducing pain and helping you to improve your mobility and get back to doing the things you love.
How Long Does Localised Cryotherapy Take?
This all depends on the size of the affected area. For smaller areas, sessions last from 5-6 minutes, whereas a large area session generally lasts from 10-12 minutes. The longer the injured area is cooled for, the more beneficial the results will be.
Cryotherapy vs Ice Packs
Localised cryotherapy is a far more superior way to treat injuries and recover from surgery in several ways:
- There is no pain involved with cryotherapy as it keeps the skin at a consistent temperature and does not use moisture (no more of that burning feeling when you apply an ice pack for too long).
- It is completely safe, whereas icing can cause frostbite or damage when administered incorrectly.
- It is more efficient and effective as it reaches colder temperatures more quickly than an ice pack, ultimately speeding up your recovery time.
What Kind of Injuries Can Localised Cryotherapy Treat?
Localised cryotherapy has been successful in treating a number of different injuries and conditions such as:
- Tennis Elbow
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Disc inflammation
And as mentioned before, it also helps to heal wounds and incisions from surgery faster and reduces the risk of post-surgery complications.
Who Can Use Localised Cryotherapy?
Many people choose to combine whole body cryotherapy and localised cryotherapy treatments to trigger the body’s internal healing process as well as target a specific area. However, while it is completely safe, whole body cryotherapy can be restrictive for those with certain health conditions.
One of the best benefits of localised cryotherapy is that it is safe to use by anyone, at any age. So, whether you’re recovering from an operation or your child injures themselves playing sport, localised cryotherapy is a versatile and effective treatment option. Plus, don’t forget it is completely natural, pain-free and harmless.
Speed Up Your Healing Time After an Injury or Surgery
So, instead of reaching for the ice pack next time you injure yourself or if you are wanting to recover faster from an operation, why not try a localised cryotherapy session and see the difference it can make. Whether it’s getting back to your workout or simply getting back to work, localised cryotherapy will accelerate your healing and recovery process.