Cryotherapy

Cryotherapy (cold therapy) is defined as the use of extreme cold (i.e. -200 degrees F) in surgery or other medical treatments. It can be used on just one area of the body or the entire body.

There are cryotherapy booths, like a large bathtub, that one might sit in for a few minutes, in which the temperature is achieved by use of liquid nitrogen. A practitioner may apply cold to the face or use a cryotherapy wand to administer the cold to a specific area. These procedures are not considered medical treatments and are likely to take place in a spa. Medical doctors might use cryotherapy to freeze warts or to freeze cancer cells inside the body in a surgical procedure.

Proponents of cryotherapy claim the following benefits:

  • Ease muscle and joint pain and promote healing
  • Freeze cancer cells
  • May support weight loss (increase metabolism)
  • Prevent migraine pain
  • Reduced inflammation (which would positively affect or guard against a plethora of diseases)
  • Relief from arthritis pain
  • Treat eczema
  • Skin tightening and reduced cellulite

CAUTIONS

Whole-body cryotherapy should be approached with caution. It can be fatal if you are exposed to very low temperatures for longer than a few minutes. Frostbite/damaged tissue is a possible side effect.

CONTRAINDICATIONS

  • Acute respiratory system disorcers
  • Blood flow disorders cachexia
  • Childhood
  • Claustrophobia
  • Cold intolerance
  • Cryoglobulinaemia
  • Diabetic nerve pain
  • Heart conditions
  • High blood pressure
  • Hypothermia
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Pregnancy
  • Raynaud disease

Whole-body cryotherapy is not approved by the FDA.

For research papers, search for “cryotherapy NCBI.”

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