Cryotherapy and Chiropractic: A Winning Combination
Updated: Jul 22
Cryotherapy has become an increasingly popular alternative treatment. Celebrities and sports
figures have brought the benefits of alternative methods of healing, such as Cryotherapy, to the masses. Stars including Jennifer Anniston, Kevin Hart, Will Smith and Daniel Craig are just a few of the celebrities who have been vocal about their personal experience and benefits of cryotherapy. Sports celebrities including Lebron James, Kobe Bryant, Steph curry and Floyd Mayweather have all credited cryotherapy for helping them recover faster from training and for decreasing their inflammation, thereby reducing their pain. Even Tony Robbins, the inspirational speaker, uses cryotherapy after his workouts and as a part of his daily routine.
How does Cryotherapy work?
Cryotherapy is fairly new, especially to the United States, so the research on the benefits is a whole new frontier. The term cryotherapy literally means “cold therapy”. Whole Body cryotherapy involves exposure to extremely cold temperatures that range between -175 F and -256 F for 2-3 minutes. Whole Body Cryotherapy is accomplished by using compressed nitrogen within a device known as a cryochamber or a cryosauna. Nitrogen is a safe non-toxic gas that actually makes up 78% of the air that we breathe. There is whole body cryotherapy as well as spot treatment cryotherapy with a wand that can target specific areas.
Whole body cryotherapy stimulates your body’s sympathetic nervous system during the 2-3 minute treatment. This sympathetic reaction causes your blood vessels to constrict during the session. This is followed by a parasympathetic reaction that occurs post-treatment causing the blood vessels to dilate and flush out toxins thereby reducing inflammation (1.)
Athletes in Europe have been utilizing cryotherapy for years for recovery. Exercise-induced muscle damage (EIMD) has become a top priority for athletes to overcome. One small study performed in Europe compared Whole Body Cryotherapy (WBC), Far Infrared (FIR) and passive recovery (PAS) after runners completed a simulated trail running race designed to induce muscle damage. “Maximal musclenstrength and perceived sensations were recovered after the first WBC session (post 1 h), while recovery took 24 hours with FIR, and was not attained through the PAS recovery modality” (2.). Cryotherapy is not just for high performance athletes. Cryotherapy can help with muscle soreness, arthritic pain, migraine relief, inflammation, reducing anxiety and depression and other issues (3.)
How does chiropractic work?
Everything in your body is controlled by your nervous system. It tells your heart to beat, your lungs to breathe and your stomach to digest that meal you just ate. These nerve signals all begin in the control center of your body, the brain. Nerve signals then travel down through your brainstem and spinal cord before going out through the peripheral nerves to every tissue, organ, and system of your body. Your brainstem, spinal cord, and the nerve roots that form into the peripheral nerves are all protected by your spine. Sometimes, due to injuries, repetitive stresses, or even poor posture, the bones in your spine can become misaligned and get stuck. This is known as a subluxation. This can then pinch, stretch, or otherwise irritate those delicate nerve tissues that your spine is designed to protect.
Chiropractic restores the normal motion and position of the bones in your spine and relieves the irritation to the nerves. This is accomplished with chiropractic adjustments. After determining which bone needs to be adjusted, a specific force is applied to the bone to correct the misalignment. Adjustments can by done by hand or with chiropractic adjusting instruments, which are specifically designed for this purpose. Our office, Trinity Chiropractic, uses a method that does not involve any twisting, popping, or cracking. We use the only FDA-approved instrument to correct a spinal misalignment. This gentle and specific neurologically based adjustment technique is the newest technique available in chiropractic.
How does cryotherapy compliment chiropractic?
Spinal subluxations are often accompanied by joint pain, muscle soreness and inflammation. Using chiropractic care to correct these subluxations, along with cryotherapy to help decrease the current pain level, muscle soreness and tissue inflammation is a winning combination. It typically takes time to end up in the shape you are in, so healing takes time as well. Cryotherapy along with chiropractic can help accelerate the healing process.
Dr. David Iszler