Using cold therapy to speed recovery and treat soft tissue injuries is nothing new. Athletes have been taking ice baths for decades, and “Ice” is a key element of the first-aid acronym “PRICE”—(Protect, Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation), standard protocol for treating injuries to muscles and connective tissues. And almost everybody knows that applying ice packs and frozen vegetables to sore and swollen body parts helps to numb pain and reduce inflammation.
How Cryotherapy Differs from Icing
Cryotherapy is a new form of cold therapy that uses liquid nitrogen vapor to decrease superficial body temperatures in a way similar to traditional icing.
The vapor is either applied locally to an injured area using a wand-like device, or released into a cryochamber that exposes the entire body to cold.
Benefits of cryotherapy include:
- Speeds recovery from strenuous sports and exercise
- Deadens nerve endings to relieve pain
- Reduces inflammation in superficial tissues
- Promotes healing by decreasing tissue damage
- Improves nutrient and oxygen delivery to injured tissues
Cryotherapy vs Traditional Icing
A cryotherapy session takes just minutes, with much less discomfort than traditional icing, since the body does not come in direct contact with ice or water. Still, with ice being quite inexpensive and readily available, you may wonder why anyone would pay for a cryotherapy session.
As it turns out, cryotherapy treatment is superior to traditional icing methods in a number of ways:
- When taken from the freezer, ice is about 32° F, and then it begins to melt and get warmer. Nitrogen vapor maintains its temperature of lower than -240° F through the duration of a cryotherapy session.
- Ice baths are even warmer than ice packs, running about 46° F. In order for muscles to benefit, your body must be submerged for an extremely uncomfortable 10 minutes or longer. A whole body cryotherapy lasts a quick 3 minutes, with minimal discomfort.
- Because ice comes in contact with the skin, it can only remain for a few minutes or you run the risk frostbite. Liquid nitrogen cools the superficial layers of the skin without direct contact, with zero risk of frostbite.
- Physiological responses to cryotherapy are more intense, and occur more rapidly compared to traditional icing, bringing rapid relief and accelerated healing.
Whole Body and Localized Cryotherapy in NYC
Whether you are nursing an injury or want quick recovery from a strenuous workout, Advanced Cryo NYC offers both localized cold therapy and whole body cryotherapy.
Relief is just a quick trip away at our spa-like clinic in fashionable SoHo. Schedule your next cryotherapy session at Advanced Cryo NYC today, and be sure to ask about our growing menu of other treatments to promote recovery, rejuvenation and beauty.