Cryotherapy and Running Recovery

Chances are you've probably heard about runners using cryotherapy. But what is it really? Does it help? Is it worth it? I've used cryotherapy plenty to help aid in my recovery and I'm here to share what I know and how it's benefited me!



We've all heard that taking an ice bath has huge benefits for runners. After a long run when our bodies have been pushed to their limits, an ice bath can help reduce inflammation and flush out all that "junk" building up in muscles.


But let's face it, many of us probably don't jump in an ice bath as often as we should. I know I sure don't. Not to mention the time it takes to set up. And don't get me started on the freezing torture associated with it! Cold and I don't get along. Haha


I'm upping my mileage these days and putting my body through quite the test. Add in teaching cycling classes... and I'm accumulating a lot of wear and tear. I know that proper recovery is crucial to reaching my goals. And while I should draw up an ice bath, sometimes I just don't have the time nor the bravery to do it.



Enter cryotherapy. An alternative to the torture of the ice bath, with all the benefits. Plus, its half the time too! Think about all those runs or tough races, when those calves are tight, our bodies achy, or we feel just downright beaten. Well cryotherapy can reduce pain from inflammation, help joint and muscle disorders, promote healing, boost metabolism, and increase muscle recovery. All with just a single 3-minute session!

So how does it work? Whole-Body Cryotherapy uses a cryo "sauna" to expose the exterior layer of skin to sub-zero blasts of air. While standing within the enclosed chamber, temperatures drop between a negative 200-300 degrees! Much the same way an ice pack works to reduce inflammation, the super cool air helps to shrink the blood vessels.


Isn't it COLD? Take it from me, a guy who's a pure wuss when it comes to cold... it's not that bad at all! To get the full benefits of an ice bath, you've got to stay in that freezing tub for roughly 20-minutes. But after a quick 3-minute cryotherapy session.. you're done. By the time you start to feel really cold.. it's over! You also tend to move around a little bit inside, not staying completely still so that also helps.



Are you.. NAKED? I actually get asked this one a lot. Short answer: no. Haha. You tend to keep your undies on, while wearing gloves and thick socks provided to you. You'll also wear a robe and hand it to your cryotherapy technician once inside to maintain your privacy.


But does it WORK? Yes! Granted, it's not a magic pill. And what works for one person may not work for someone else. And prolonged injuries and problems should always be checked out by a PT or doctor. But I can tell you this: I personally notice a difference even after just one session.

My sore muscles feel refreshed and my achy body rejuvenated. I also definitely notice an increase in energy! After a session, I feel awake, like I just had an awesome cup of coffee. Pretty sweet bonus!

When I'm having pain or something is keeping me from my training, I seek more extended physical  therapy services. But when it comes to recovering from the everyday soreness, a quick cryotherapy session is just what I need!

Photo: https://www.jaredseger.com

Where do you go? There are lots of options in many cities. Here in the Valley, I love going to Innovative Pain and Wellness in Scottsdale. My very first physical therapist, Shaun Palmer, is there and I trust him completely when it comes to my recovery and injury-prevention. He's pretty well-known around Scottsdale and rightfully so. I would most definitely recommend him to anyone and most certainly any runner in need of some quality PT work.




I also appreciate that the cryotherapy sessions at Innovative Pain and Wellness are not only affordable, but super professional. They take your blood pressure before you step in, the cryotherapy sauna is high-tech looking, and the specialists very friendly and informed. I never feel uncomfortable while there and I'm in and out in no time!

What's it cost? Prices can vary depending on where you go, but Innovative Pain and Wellness offers up a pretty good deal.

1 Session--$20
2 Sessions-$30
3 Sessions-$40
5 Sessions-$65

If you're in the area and want to to try cryotherapy, I highly recommend calling and scheduling a session! Not in the Valley? I still recommend giving cryotherapy a try... especially when you're increasing mileage or training for your next big race!

Have more questions about cryotherapy? Drop them in the comments below. In the meantime, thanks for reading and happy running!

Photo: https://www.jaredseger.com

Comments

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  3. Also known as cold therapy, cryotherapy is the application of a low temperature in the medical science for therapeutic and other medical purposes.
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  4. I really love to do this while wearing my sports face mask and so really like to get more about this kind of field. Wonderful stuff to read and I am so delighted to find this valuable article that is amazing. Appreciate it!

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