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Cryotherapy for pain relief and healing

After several months of annoying back pain, I decided to try out cryotherapy.  This extreme cold treatment is used by professional athletes to activate the central nervous system, release endorphins, improve circulation, and decrease inflammation.  I’ve read a few articles about it and I even saw the Kardashians try it out.  Guilty pleasure, please don’t judge.  Using cold to decrease inflammation makes sense to me so I play guinea pig.  I sign all the necessary paperwork and away we go.

The store is clean and professional.  I change into the robe, clean socks and crocks they provide.  You also get two layers of gloves to protect your fingers from the sub-zero temperature.  As you would expect, you cannot wear jewelry or underwires.   The high tech looking metal tank billows with frosty smoke from the liquid nitrogen.  When the temperature has reached the desired negative 180-292 degrees Fahrenheit, its time to step inside.  The inside is padded and elevated so your head sticks out.  When the technician closes the door, you hand off your robe and wait as the temperature quickly drops.  The tech stays with you to monitor you for safety and to talk you through the 3-minute deep freeze.  It definitely helps to keep you focused and to help countdown to the end.  The last 45 seconds or so were extremely cold on my calves.  That was as uncomfortable as it got.  I was surprised that my arms were not as cold as my calves.  The tech explained that since the bone is so close to the skin it cools making the skin feel colder.

I definitely felt energetic when it was over.  It didn’t take long at all to warm up. My pain hasn’t gone away but I’m hopeful that this will help over time.  I will be going back for a follow-up cryotherapy treatment as recommended in a few days.

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