HOW TO EFFECTIVELY MANAGE YOUR SPORTS INJURIES WITH CRYOTHERAPY
There’s a saying in sports… “Your most important ability is your availability.” You’re no use when you’re unable to play!
Despite this, injuries are part and parcel of playing competitive sports. One of the most effective tools we have for repairing and rehabilitating injury sites is whole-body cryotherapy. In this article, we’re going to look at how to effectively manage your sports injuries with cryotherapy.
We’ll explore the science and research surrounding the topic, leaving you with an actionable approach to injury management using cryotherapy.
TIP #1 - GET IN THERE EARLY
The evidence suggests that you need to seek treatment as early as possible. There are a couple of reasons for this…
The first one is to get a firm diagnosis of the problem – which will help to determine the treatment approach.
The second reason is to manage the injury site effectively. We know that early cryotherapy helps to manage the pain, so as an initial approach this will help the individual to deal with the discomfort of the injury better. This can help further down the line if a medical professional needs to manipulate a joint or injury site to provide a more accurate diagnosis.
TIP #2 - MANAGE INFLAMMATION
Inflammation is an automatic response to trauma. Whilst some inflammation is a good thing, when left to go unchecked it can become a more serious problem.
One of the cryotherapy recovery benefits is that it can control inflammation. In fact, when studied using animal models, cryotherapy goes one better – it controls inflammation without interfering with the tissue repair and remodelling that is necessary for injury recovery.
TIP #3 – USE CRYOTHERAPY INTERMITTENTLY
The temptation when you have an injury is to go all-out in search of a recovery magic bullet. That means if you find a therapy that helps, you do it more.
In the case of cryotherapy, having repeated sessions one after the other may not be the most effective way of controlling the injury. Instead, research suggests an intermittent approach may be the best way.
This could include alternating cryotherapy with a warm bath on alternate days, with contrast therapy helping to repair the damaged tissue quickly.
TIP #4 – ANTIOXIDANT STIMULATION TO HELP RECOVERY AND TISSUE HEALTH
One of the less obvious benefits of cryotherapy for rehabilitation is it helps to increase total antioxidant capacity. This increase helps to improve tissue health and reduce the impact of tissue degenerative processes on the body. Effectively, it’s like an anti-ageing process for the body.
When we are injured, the potential for further re-injury is higher thanks to the less-than-perfect replacement of new tissues in the short term. By using cryotherapy regularly in during the acute and chronic phases of rehabilitation you improve tissue health.
TIP #5 - USE CRYOTHERAPY TO HELP IMPROVE THE HEALING SPEED
During exposure to the cold, the body reacts by shrinking blood vessels and restricting circulation to protect the body. This process is known as vasoconstriction. Post-exposure to the cold, the opposite happens.
A process known as cold-induced vasodilation occurs, enabling a four-fold higher blood flow than normal. Such a situation is observed about 4 min after the contact with cryogenic temperatures. This additional blood improves mobility in the area and assists with delivering repair agents to the tissues, speeding wound healing.
HOW TO EFFECTIVELY MANAGE YOUR SPORTS INJURIES WITH CRYOTHERAPY – FINAL THOUGHTS
Nobody likes being injured, but you can significantly reduce your time out injured by introducing whole-body cryotherapy to your rehab approach. It’s a technology that will help you at every stage of the rehab journey, getting you back to competition faster and better than without.
Interested? Learn more…
RP-X are the leading provider of cutting-edge recovery technologies in the UK. We have nearly two decades in the space and offer a wide range of turnkey solutions for facilities looking to invest in this technology.
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