Cryotherapy & Pain Relief
Science has shown whole-body cryotherapy provides pain relief through a number of mechanisms. Individuals suffering from Fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, chronic back pain, Ankylosing Spondylitis, and other types of chronic pain have experienced significant relief through the use of cold therapy. Cryotherapy can be an effective alternative, or adjunct to current treatment, when other modalities of pain management are not sufficient, are not desired, or have not been effective.
Cryotherapy has been shown to increase anti-inflammatory cytokines while decreasing pro-inflammatory cytokines which results in reduction of harmful inflammation. This may have the most profound effect as inflammation is well known to be the most common source of pain. Studies have also shown beneficial changes in cartilage-degrading enzymes, dopamine, serotonin, and muscle relaxation which has been theorized to improve pain tolerance. Cryotherapy also has the ability to decrease nerve conductive velocity which has the effect of increasing pain threshold and pain tolerance.
Norepinephrine increases have also been shown to help manage pain. Injecting compounds into the spine that increase norepinephrine expression is a treatment used to reduce pain in human and animal trials by way of inflammatory reduction. With this in mind, the robust norepinephrine boost (up to 5 times normal levels) as a result of cold exposure can provide added pain relief.