Cold therapy has for long been used in treating sports-related injuries, as evident from the use of ice towels and gel packs. Whole-body cryotherapy, in particular, can be viewed as the modern implementation of the traditional ice bath.
But being a relatively new treatment method, one can’t help but wonder what the future holds for cryotherapy industries when it comes to sports medicine.
To examine its future, we should identify the things that set it apart from other kinds of treatments.
Pain Relief and Muscle Healing
Cryotherapy has been proven to be an effective pain reliever for injured athletes. During treatment, the cold stimulates your body to release endorphins which interact with the brain receptors to alleviate pain and boost your mood.
Besides relieving pain, cryotherapy also promotes healing of soft muscle tears and strains. Upon exposure to the room temperature after the treatment session, the blood vessels dilate, increasing the flow of oxygenated blood to your muscles. This accelerates the healing of strains and tears since the injured muscles are supplied with the essential nutrients they need for quick recovery.
The applications of cryotherapy in muscle healing and pain relief are thus just the start. Considering that the research is still going on, there are likely to be various other advantages discovered soon.
Cryotherapy Treatment Has Great Restorative Effects
Thanks to cryotherapy’s rejuvenating and restorative effects, athletes experience a boost in energy levels and strength. Consequently, they are likely to perform better and train harder, gaining an edge on their competitors.
What’s even better is that the increased blood circulation helps boosts athletes’ immune systems. In turn, their general well-being improves, keeping them healthy for optimum performance.
Reduces Depression and Anxiety
With the constant pressure to perform better, sustaining an injury during training or playtime is detrimental to an athlete’s mental health. It gets even worse when the recovery period takes longer than expected, causing frustration and depression.
Keeping in mind that cryotherapy speeds up the injury recovery process, an athlete’s psychological health improves significantly after undergoing the treatment process. Athletes, therefore, get back to their training regimes sooner after an injury and achieve their goals.
The calming effect that one experiences shortly after cryotherapy treatment also helps ease anxiety and stress.
The Treatment Is Great for Weight Loss
Cryotherapy alone doesn’t help in weight loss but it can complement your weight loss routine.
Exposure to cold temperatures increases cells’ metabolism rate, as your body tries to stay warm. In the process, your body ends up burning more calories, which helps keep your weight in check.
More so, since cryotherapy relieves muscle pain faster and speeds up recovery, it makes it easier to get back to your fitness routine after an injury.
Further research also shows that cryotherapy leads to activation of Brown Adipose Tissue (BAT), also known as ‘brown fat cells’. This type of fat helps burn the regular white fat, resulting in weight loss.
Cryotherapy Has Various Benefits for the Mind
For elite athletes and fitness enthusiasts, achieving peak performance requires a perfect balance of body and mind. As such, a good fitness routine should not only help stay in shape but also improve your cognitive abilities. This way, you can stay focused on your fitness goals, improving your overall productivity.
Fortunately, cryotherapy offers the best of the two worlds. As your blood flow increases after treatment, your muscles and joints get replenished with essential nutrients to help you stay physically fit. At the same time, your brain gets oxygenated through the increased blood circulation which, in turn, improves your concentration and physical performance.
When Incorporated to Workouts Routines, Cryotherapy Boosts Motivation
Lack of motivation often causes one to abandon their fitness goals. But, the case can be different if you integrate cryotherapy into your work-out routine.
The rush of endorphins in the body, especially after whole-body cryotherapy, brings about feelings of euphoria. This not only combats depression and other mental health issues but also alleviates your mood prompting you to train harder and for longer.
Cryotherapy Has a Big Space in the Near Future
Although physiotherapy is the standard injury rehabilitation method, cryotherapy is quickly finding its way in sports medicine. Its numerous benefits are attracting a growing number of elite athletes, who are using it to improve their performance. Cryotherapy industries are thus innovating quicker than ever before.
Therefore, as professional sports teams pursue excellence, it is expected that cryotherapy will become a popular injury rehabilitation add-on in addition to the regular physiotherapy modalities.