How Does Cryotherapy Decrease Inflammation?
- Health & Recovery • October 12, 2019
Chronic inflammation is at the core of many diseases such as diabetes, cancer, depression, cardiovascular disease, obesity, T cell dysfunction, and even IBS.
Inflammation, if untreated can be deadly! Medical experts now credit inflammation for being directly involved in all sorts of known disease. Even Alzheimer’s disease has been linked to inflammation in the brain.
Have you ever had a splinter in your finger?
What is Inflammation
Well if you’ve ever had a splinter in your finger you know that your finger turns red and gets swollen and it may even bleed a little. The hot and painful sensation that you feel is the classic sign of inflammation. The purpose of inflammation is to help kill bacteria, parasites, and viruses that constantly try to invade us. Inflammation is our body’s way of protecting itself. This type of inflammation is healthy and it usually shows a 100-fold increase in immune system markers, such as white blood cells and cytokines such as IL-6, TNF alpha or C-reactive protein (PCR).
What Dr. Barry Sears calls “silent inflammation” (or chronic inflammation), is a type of inflammation that does not cause pain, swelling, redness or heat, and will only show a 4-5 fold increase in markers of the immune system. Chronic inflammation is not healthy and often very dangerous. This low-grade inflammation often lingers for months or even years throughout the body. There can be many causes of chronic inflammation, including autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis or multiple sclerosis, or physical stress.
Common Causes of Silent Inflammation
- Lack of nutrition
- Excess alcohol
- Poor diet
- Poor dream
- Stress / depression
- Drug use
“Inflammasomes are at the heart of a wide range of diseases and disorders.”
Dr. Wajahat Mehal • Scientific American
If you suffer from inflamed joints, you may have tried combating the pain with medications that often do not work. You may have even changed your diet to stick to certain types of food but still don’t see any significant results. Well, what now?
Fighting Inflammation with Cryotherapy
Have you heard of the acronym RICE (rest, ice, compression, and elevation)? Cryotherapy (or cold therapy) is like Ice 2.0. It helps treat injuries such as muscle sprains, strains, bumps, bruises, and in this case, even inflammation!
Cold therapy, ice therapy, cold compress, or especially cryotherapy should be applied within 72 hours after any acute injuries.
- Cryotherapy can also help treat injuries caused by excessive use
- Cryotherapy can help stop bleeding in the muscle, inflammation, and reduce pain
- Extreme cold also causes the contraction of the involuntary muscles of the skin, creating a healthier blood flow
- Cryotherapy helps relieve pain after exercise or other strenuous activity
- Cryotherapy can flush out toxins, helping the body heal itself faster
A general rule is to do cryo soon after an injury (so our body can prevent further injuries and heal faster).
Cryotherapy not only reduces inflammation, it also does not interfere with our body’s regeneration process. This is key to a healthy and speedy recovery.