LOCALISED CRYO: HOW OFTEN SHOULD I GET IT?
When you’re suffering from an injury, you’ve got one motivation – to get it fixed. Whilst a lot of treatments take a ‘global’ approach to repair, localised cryotherapy delivered via a Mecotec electric cryotherapy device treats a specific area.
In this article we’re going to look at localised cryotherapy and see what the advice is around the frequency of treatment. We’ll look at both the results of different frequencies of treatment, and how different types of pain respond.
By the end of the article, we’ll have some guidelines around treatment options with localised cryotherapy.
WHAT IS LOCALISED CRYO AND WHY SHOULD I USE IT?
Localised cryo is a type of cryotherapy delivered using a electric device such as a Mecotec electric cryotherapy device. It is designed to be used to treat a specific area of pain and discomfort, rather than the whole body. It can also be used for cryo facials to accelerate and improve regeneration and collagenisation which can give a more youthful appearance for individuals.
Here’s a few examples of when it’s more appropriate than a whole-body cryotherapy approach…
If you have an injury that prevents you from standing, so you can’t stand in a whole-body chamber.
If you want to target a very small and specific area, such as an elbow.
Now we know what it is, let’s look at the thinking around treatment frequency.
TREATMENT FREQUENCY OPTIONS
When it comes to the recommended frequency of treatments, we must consider two major points…
The effectiveness – does a higher dose elicit a greater response?
The impact of the treatment – is there a recovery period afterwards?
When we understand these two variables, we’ve got more of an idea about how frequently we can administer localised cryotherapy treatment.
The Mecotec localised cryotherapy units administers air at -32 degrees. A typical treatment time lasts around 10 minutes. This is cold enough to help ease pain and discomfort, but it’s not sufficiently cold enough to cause the kind of issues that would need extended recovery time.
For the medical grade nitrogen units, there can be severe side effects. These aren’t likely with the Mecotec units though.
TREATMENT OF VARIOUS CONDITIONS
We know that the use of localised cryotherapy is an effective solution to various conditions, but does the dose of treatment relate to the conditions being treated?
A meta-analysis published in 2013 showed that localised cryotherapy administered for 3 to 30 min, across 10 to 20 applications on 1-5 joints significantly decreased pain in 68 rheumatoid arthritis patients.
A study from 2022 assessed localised cryotherapy benefits for sufferers of tennis elbow. The study found that a 3 minute treatment soothes the clinical symptoms of male office workers with tennis elbow, causing immediate relief after exposure in the form of pain reduction during resisted wrist extension and increased pain-free grip.
What’s interesting here is that there were no short- or long-term pain effects reported, suggesting there’s limited requirement for a post-treatment recovery.
What this means in practice is that localised cryotherapy could be used on a needs-must basis, with the evidence suggesting there’s only a need for a long wait between treatments if you’re feeling a lasting effect.
Assuming you’re not suffering any lasting effects from prior treatments, there’s reason to believe a daily or 2 x daily localised cryotherapy treatment is perfectly safe and effective. You can use a Mecotec electric cryotherapy device daily without issue, helping you to treat injuries and manage discomfort.
Not only can it aid recovery and rehabilitation but the technology can also be used on the face and neck as a cryo facial. One of the main benefits of a cryo facial is that it encourages collagen production which can give a more youthful appearance. Without the need for a more invasive procedure, such as botox. There are a very few treatments that can improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles immediately.
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RP-X are the leading providers of Mecotec electric localised cryotherapy units 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.