One of the hottest new forms of treatment in recent years has, ironically, been one of the coldest. Cryotherapy has plenty of applications for a wide variety of conditions. It may seem bizarre, but sometimes cooling down can help everything from muscle and joint pain to mental health problems. Here are just a few of the unexpected ways cryotherapy can help treat people everywhere with this cool new technology.
- Depression, anxiety, and mood disorders: Because the ultra-cold temperatures of cryotherapy can induce physiological hormonal responses, people undergoing cryotherapy typically produce additional adrenaline and endorphins. The result? A small study in 2008 showed that cryotherapy reduced symptoms of depression or anxiety by at least 50% in one-third of study subjects.
- Migraine headaches: While cryotherapy can’t entirely eliminate chronic migraine headaches, it’s possible that it can help manage the symptoms. A 2013 study showed that cryotherapy applied to the neck helped alleviate migraine pain, though it did not fully eliminate migraines.
- Arthritis and joint pain: Both targeted and whole-body cryotherapy can be used for treating this issue. Cryotherapy has been shown to reduce pain and joint inflammation in patients with arthritis, allowing them to make better use of physical and occupational therapy.
- Eczema and skin conditions: Dry or itchy skin? Cryotherapy could help. Because cryotherapy can improve antioxidant levels in the blood while also reducing inflammation, it can reduce the symptoms of eczema and other skin conditions. It could possibly also help treat acne, but this has yet to be properly tested in humans.
Of course, as with any treatment, cryotherapy is not without its side effects. If you give cryotherapy a try, pay attention for any sort of numbness, redness, tingling, or skin irritation. If any of these last for more than one day, talk to a doctor. If you have any sort of condition that affects the nerves, or if you have diabetes, avoid cryotherapy treatments; for anyone with these conditions, cryotherapy could potentially lead to nerve damage.
Cryotherapy is an interesting treatment option for a wide variety of conditions. If you’re wondering if it’s right for you, talk to your doctor about cryotherapy treatment today.