Recovery from a workout is essential regardless of your sport or activity. Whether you’re a weekend warrior or a professional athlete, you must allow your body to heal and rebuild so that you can return stronger the next time.
So which is better for you: cryotherapy or ice baths? Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of each.
What Is Cryotherapy and How Does It Work
Cryotherapy is a therapy that uses extremely cold temperatures to treat various conditions. The most common form of cryotherapy uses liquid nitrogen, which can cool the skin to -110 degrees Celsius in just a few seconds.
This freezing temperature causes the blood vessels to constrict, which reduces inflammation and pain.
Cryotherapy has been used to treat conditions such as migraines, muscle pain, arthritis, and even some types of cancer. In recent years, cryotherapy sessions have also become popular as a beauty treatment, as they can help to improve skin tone and reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
Despite its many benefits, cryotherapy is not without its risks. The most common side effect is frostbite, which can occur if the skin is exposed to cold temperatures for too long. Therefore, it is important to consult with a medical professional before undergoing cryotherapy to ensure that it is right for you.
What Are Ice Baths and How Do They Work?
Ice baths, or cold water immersion therapy, is a treatment that can be used to reduce inflammation and pain.
The therapy involves immersing the body in cold water, typically between 50 and 59 degrees Fahrenheit, for some time. The duration of the ice bath varies depending on the condition being treated, but it is usually between eleven and 15 minutes. Some people may find the ice baths to be uncomfortable, but they are generally well tolerated.
Ice baths work by stimulating the body’s natural cooling system. When the body is exposed to cold temperatures, the blood vessels constrict to conserve heat. This constriction causes the blood to move away from the extremities and towards the body’s core.
As a result, the affected area becomes less inflamed and painful. Ice baths are often used to treat injuries such as sprains and strains. You can also use them to relieve pain from conditions such as arthritis.
Factors to Consider When Choosing Between Cryotherapy and Ice Baths
There are a few factors to consider when choosing between cryotherapy and ice baths. The first is the condition you are trying to treat.
Cryotherapy is more effective for conditions that cause inflammation, such as arthritis and migraines. Ice baths are more effective for treating injuries, such as strains and sprains.
The second factor to consider is your tolerance for cold temperatures. If you have a low tolerance for colds, cryotherapy may not be your best option. The third factor is time. Cryotherapy sessions are typically shorter than ice baths, so if you’re short on time, cryotherapy may be the better option.
Which Is Better for You: Cryotherapy or Ice Baths?
Most of the time, the choice between cryotherapy and ice baths comes down to personal preference.
If you have a condition that you can treat with either method, you may want to try both and see which one works better for you. Mostly, cryotherapy is more expensive than ice baths and may not be covered by insurance.
However, many people find that the benefits of cryotherapy outweigh the cost. If you are looking for a quick and convenient treatment, cryotherapy may be your best option. On the other hand, ice baths may be the way to go if you are on a budget or prefer a more natural approach.
How To Get the Most Out of Your Cryotherapy Session
Maybe you’ve decided that cryotherapy is the right choice for you. If so, you can do a few things to make sure you get the most out of your session:
- Be sure to consult with a medical professional before starting cryotherapy. Doctors can assess whether or not it is safe for you to undergo the treatment.
- Be sure to follow the instructions of the cryotherapy provider. It will help to ensure that you do not experience any adverse effects from the treatment.
- Drink plenty of water before and after your session. It will help prevent dehydration, a common side effect of cryotherapy.
You can decide which treatment is right by understanding the benefits and risks of cryotherapy and ice baths. If you have a condition that you can treat with either method, be sure to consult with a medical professional before starting any new treatment.
What are your thoughts on cryotherapy vs ice baths? Have you tried either of these treatments? Let us know in the comments below.