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Cryotherapy: What Is It and What Is It Used For?

Max. D Gray
By Max. D Gray. Updated: March 16, 2023
Cryotherapy: What Is It and What Is It Used For?

Cryotherapy or cold therapy consists of the local or general use of very low temperatures to treat injuries, regenerate tissues and relieve muscular pain. In principle it can be applied to any part of the body, adapting the intensity to the area, the type of injury and the type of skin.

During cryotherapy, liquid nitrogen or argon gas is flowed at high pressure into a needle-like applicator (a cryoprobe), creating an intense cold. This probe is brought into contact with the tissue to be regenerated.

The benefits of cryotherapy have been known for a long time and its use is mainly aimed at treating sports injuries or in surgical techniques. However, in recent years, other possible new applications related to wellness and aesthetics have been studied, using therapeutic techniques with low temperatures in a cryotherapy machine.

You may also be interested in: What is Hypothermia and How to Treat It

What is a cryotherapy machine?

In cryotherapy machines, liquid nitrogen is applied to the entire interior of the cabin, so that a controlled environment with very low temperatures is achieved.

These machines or cryotherapy cabins expose the whole body to temperatures of up to -196ºC, carrying out a global therapy and affecting both damaged tissues and healthy areas that need to be protected. In addition, they allow you to regulate the time of exposure to cold and modify other parameters, creating therapeutic cycles.

What are the benefits of cryotherapy?

Performing a treatment in a cryotherapy machine can be very useful for people with circulation problems, chronic pain, fatigue or sports recovery, but it also has many other lesser-known benefits. Let's look at them all.

Sports cryotherapy

Professional sport requires a high level of physical fitness. Cryotherapy is a decisive tool in injury recovery, but also to increase physical performance. Cryotherapy for athletes is carried out in cabins that allow very low temperatures of -110°C to -196°C to be reached for a short period of time. This also has an impact on the mental and emotional level, with positive consequences for the athlete's rest and motivation.

For health

As we have seen, one of the main benefits of cryotherapy is to promote recovery from injuries. But also many of the most common chronic diseases can benefit from the effects of cabin cryotherapy. Continuous exposure to cold cycles favours the appearance of certain positive physiological reactions, reducing pain and improving the pathology as a whole.

Aesthetic cryotherapy

Cryotherapy can be very helpful in aesthetic processes thanks to its anti-inflammatory, vasoconstrictive and analgesic effect. On a dermatological level, it improves the appearance of the skin and reduces scars, blemishes and wrinkles. In general, it helps to rejuvenate the skin and improve its elasticity.

On the other hand, cryotherapy globally activates the metabolism, oxygenating the cells and helping to eliminate toxins. This can promote the burning of calories, helping to control excess weight. For people who are undergoing a weight loss process, cryotherapy may be the best complement.

Emotional well-being

Cryotherapy has been shown to help with stress and other mental health issues. It works by promoting the release of endorphins, which increase the energy level in the body and reduce stress; it has a long-term relaxing effect and improves insomnia, stress, anxiety and depression. The release of these endorphins makes cryotherapy a pleasant experience despite the cold and produces a feeling of well-being that accompanies the patient even during the days following the session.

This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to Cryotherapy: What Is It and What Is It Used For?, we recommend you visit our Diseases & secondary effects category.

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Cryotherapy: What Is It and What Is It Used For?