Cryotherapy

Cryotherapy

It’s probably no surprise to you that we believe that chiropractic care can be extremely beneficial and have a significantly positive impact on your health. Whether you were injured in an auto accident, sports or work-related injury, are pre- or postpartum, or suffer from soreness from everyday tasks, chiropractic care works to naturally and holistically treat your pain. And even though chiropractic care and its various treatment options can be successful on their own, we still think it’s important to highlight how different supplementary treatments, such as cryotherapy, can also aid in the healing process.  

What is Cryotherapy? 

Have you ever been so sore that you’ve sunk yourself in a tub or bucket full of ice hoping the effects will be worth the initial shock and pain? Well, if you have, you’ve participated in an old-fashioned version of cryotherapy. The technical definition of cryotherapy is the use of extreme cold in medical treatment or procedures. This definition encompasses a variety of cryotherapy treatments such as cold compresses (ice packs), use of extremely cold liquid to freeze and destroy abnormal tissue (also known as cryoablation), immersion (ice baths) and ice massage.  

The type of cryotherapy we will be focusing on today though is a full body immersion type that is sometimes thought of as the modern-day ice bath. Cryotherapy involves exposing the body for 3 minutes to ultra-low temperatures ranging from -200°F and -256 °F and it is beneficial for your health in a variety of ways.  

The ultra-cold exposure during cryotherapy causes vasoconstriction and vasodilation of the blood vessels, which leads to improved blood flow within the body and brings a higher volume of blood cells to any injured area or area of soreness as well as joints and deeper muscle tissues that may normally have lower circulation. The increase in blood flow allows your cells to deliver more oxygen and nutrients to these joints and muscles promoting healing and reduced soreness.  

What Are the Benefits of Cryotherapy?  

Whole Body Cryotherapy was originally designed to be an easier way to treat Rheumatoid Arthritis and inflammatory joint diseases. After it was proven to be an effective treatment for those cases, cryotherapy quickly gained recognition for treating systemic inflammation throughout the body. Benefits of modern day cryotherapy include muscle recovery, pain management, enhanced mood & sleep and a boost in immunity. 

Chiropractic and Cryotherapy 

As you can see, there are many benefits of cryotherapy. Many of these work in perfect conjunction with chiropractic because one of the main goals, at least initially in Chiropractic treatment plans, is to reduce pain and inflammation. If you’ve been injured, your chiropractor will work with you to create a completely-individualized treatment plan aimed at healing your injury. At Kaizo Health, we use the combination of chiropractic care and rehabilitative exercises to get to the root cause of a person’s pain. Our goal is to not only correct anything that is not working correctly, but to strength the particular and surrounding muscles associated with your area to pain to help prevent further injury and allow you to get back to doing the things that you want and love to do.  

While this method has been proven extremely successful, sometimes it leaves our patients feeling a bit sore after treatment. This is where the benefits of cryotherapy come in and help relieve muscle pain, reduce inflammation and aid in pain management until your symptoms are relieved by the course of care. Many patients find cryotherapy helps maximize the benefit from chiropractic services and rehabilitative exercise.  

Don’t believe us. Take it from our very own, Dr. Sheldon Stuckart, who regularly uses cryotherapy to help ensure his body is properly recovery from workouts and regular chiropractic treatments.  

I love cryotherapy for a multitude of different ways: physically and mentally. Physically, it’s great in recovery and for decreasing inflammation! I love using it as a post-workout tool for fast recovery, quick cool-down and decreased muscle soreness. Being already warm and at a higher temperature, I can tolerate it much better. Sometimes I use it as a pre-workout to wake my body and muscles up and get some after-cryo blood flowing. I feel so much looser and energized for my workout. It’s awesome since it’s super quick and doesn’t take too long as a treatment and has great flexibility for my busy schedule. 

I recommend cryotherapy to many of my patients that are experiencing acute or chronic swelling or edema, and for athlete recovery. Patients that are dealing with pain due to inflammation benefit greatly. Some patients with chronic pain also benefit from the therapy as well.  

As you can see, chiropractic and cryotherapy in conjunction can have many benefits for those who are injured and also for those who are routinely active. One of the most important things we try to instill in our patients is the importance of recovery. If you are active, whether that be through sports, workouts, or everyday life, then recovery is just as beneficial as the activity itself. If you take the proper time to recover or heal from hard workouts or injuries, you are more likely to prevent further injury and see better results. We are excited to continue to partner with our cryotherapy partners to bring our patients the best treatment options! 

Get Treated at Kaizo Health and Capital Cryo

Our goal at Kaizo Health is to always get you back to feeling 100%. Not only will our doctors provide treatment to help you be pain-free, but we also have a dedicated team that will work with you and your insurance to make sure you get the most from your benefits so that you can experience relief for as little cost to you as possible. If you are ready to experience relief from the pain, make an appointment to see us now.  

In addition, Capital Cryo is offering a special introductory deal to Kaizo Health patients. For a limited time, Kaizo Health patients can buy 1 session and get 2 free. That’s 3 sessions for $65 (a $195 value). Just tell them Kaizo Health sent you!  

At Kaizo Health, our world-class team of chiropractors in Rockville, MD; Landover, MD; Fort Washington, MD; and Fairfax, VA, practices an evidence-based approach combining chiropractic care and guided, individualized rehabilitative exercises prescription. We provide the treatment and resources you need to recover your health and strength as best-in-class, state-of-the-art chiropractors. We are here to help! In the meantime, make sure that you check out our blog for more information on the chiropractic field, as well as our free virtual self-assessment chiropractic web app here

Cryotherapy

Here at Kaizo Health, we use several types of cryotherapy including cold packs and Biofreeze, which a topical pain reliever. Both of these modalities help to decrease pain, inflammation, and enhance the effects of the treatment. They are also key components of our home exercise programs. For years, you may have heard that you should be using ice for the first couple of days and then switch to heat after that, but read below for a recent blog as to what you should really do!

My name is Dr. Elizabeth Meliski. Often times I hear the above questions posed by new patients. Most are surprised to learn that we use ice instead of heat in our rehabilitative setting. Truthfully, I understand their perspective. To me, nothing feels better than a cozy blanket and a nice cup of coffee on a crisp autumn day. However, my understanding of the human body and current research methods may contradict feeling good at the moment with feeling better in the future. When it comes to understanding heat versus cold, we must first understand the goal of the treatment. At Kaizo Health, our goal is to reduce pain, restore function and improve quality of life to help each patient live a healthier, happier life.

When patients come in reporting pain…

We can usually surmise inflammation is occurring at the site of the affected area. Inflammation is a broadly used term in the healthcare community and by definition it really entails the immune systems protective response to a stimulus. I typically compare inflammation to a fireplace in a home. Much like the fireplace, when the signals of inflammation occur our temperature increases too. Not only will the temperature rise, but swelling, redness, loss of function and pain can also occur. So when you add a heating pad to an inflamed area, just picture adding a tub of gasoline to a controlled fireplace. Not good! With massive amount of fuel added to the fireplace, other parts of the house may become ablaze. Much like a localized inflamed tissue, the effects of inflammation can spread to surrounding areas.

So why do we use cold packs?

To put the fire out! The application of cold may help to reduce swelling and reduce the blood flow that brings the immune cells to the area causing pain and inflammation in the first place.

Does that mean all heat is bad?

Not necessarily, heat has it’s place. Much like a fireplace protecting the house from the outside cold, inflammation and heat can serve it’s purpose. Inflammation let’s us know when things aren’t right by activating the immune system. The signals of pain are telling to, PLEASE HELP! So don’t ignore them. Your body is communicating with you, just listen.

When patients are past the acute phase of pain, some heat may be beneficial but this is on a case by case basis. In addition to applying heat, I recommend patients move or stretch afterwards. Just like you would jog to warm up for a sport or lift light weights before stacking the heavy ones, you are warming up muscles. Adding heat to a muscle warms it up so it’s best to move around afterwards, instead of sitting or laying down. All the swelling and added blood flow to the area with no movement may result in more pain and stiffness later.

Ok, so when do I know to use ice or heat?

As always, consult with your trusted healthcare provider. At Kaizo Health we always use cold because it helps reduce muscles spasms, decreases inflammation and has revealed more promising results with muscle re-education when compared to heat. So the next time you’re in pain and need relief, think of the cozy fireplace. Sure the warmth may feel nice, but putting the fire out is necessary. Much like the house, our body is a structure too and a constant fire with constant fuel is a recipe for disaster. However, if after reading this article, you still feel inclined to use a heating pad – be sure to follow our heating pad safety tips.

RETHINK. REBUILD. RESTART.