Originally posted on https://www.cryoinnovations.com/blog/2019/7/16/cryotherapy-for-joint-pain
Movement is a function of motion inside the body, ‘proudly sponsored’ by the joints. Come to think of it, will your body move at all when your joints are stuck in a single position? The answer is no. Joints in the legs help us walk; and joints in the arms help us move our hands to bath, feed ourselves, and yes, the little joints in the neck help us shake the head, twist and turn to look in different directions. Therefore, we indeed need our joints to perform our daily duties, and be able to move from one place to the other.
However, with pain, it becomes difficult to move the same joints. Think of someone with Arthritis, they experience excruciating pain whenever they try to move their joints, especially in the affected area. When it happens like this, it affects your day in a negative way, more so, your activities are greatly affected as you get limited in your ability to complete them. Besides just Arthritis, pain in the joints can be caused by injury, for example, when you are hit by an iron rod on the knees, or the injuries that come during performing high-action sports and activities. Sometimes people just fall and hurt their knees, ankles and elbows when at home, especially children.
Speaking of pain from falling while at home, we have, in our lifetime, witnessed people popping hydrocone throughout the day in a bid to subside the pain. It works initially, but as time goes on, the body might get used to the pills and end up being resistant. Over the years, cryotherapy has been introduced as an effective way of dealing with pain in the joints. With this method, the body does not get ‘used’ to it, thus becoming resistant to the treatment, but rather continues to respond positively.
Cryotherapy describes a process where muscle and joints treatment is administered to a patient by use of liquid nitrogen. The patient is exposed to short periods of extreme cold when they step into a cryosauna, which looks like a tube, and remain in it for about two to four minutes. While they are in it, temperatures are cooled down to between -110 and -140 degrees Celsius. As a control measure, patients are given gloves and socks to help prevent frostbite.
Cryotherapy helps reduce pain symptoms in the joints through its anti-inflammatory properties. Regarding joints pain treatment, its most important function is the enhancement of Collagen production. Collagen is a protein that helps to heal the body and keep our cartilage, joints, skin, and hair strong. Therefore, when going under cryotherapy, your body produces more Collagen, which then helps to keep the joints and cartilage strong. The cartilage is white material that helps movement in the joints, when cartilage is weak or damaged, joints will be moving under so much pain.
More so, in just under three to four minutes, the extreme cold in the cryo chamber stimulates the skin’s temperate receptors to activate the nervous, immune, and endocrine systems. Essentially, all your participating systems in the fight or flight response are activated during the process resulting in pain and inflammation reduction.
Banfi G, Lombardi G, Colombini A, Melegati G. Whole-body cryotherapy in athletes. Sports Med. 2010;40:509517. doi: 10.2165/11531940-000000000-00000 [pubmed].
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