Cryo Chambers: Everything You Need to Know
There’s no denying that dedicated athletes play hard and train harder. Part of the training process is recovery time, which allows your body to heal and generate new muscle growth. For many athletes, a shorter recovery time means you can train harder and more frequently. However, quick recovery isn’t always an easy process. Luckily, with rising popularity of whole-body cryotherapy, recovery time can be as little as a few minutes in cryo chambers.
How Do Cryo Chambers Work?
Cryotherapy is an athletic treatment used to shorten recovery time between training and workouts. In each session, athletes enter a cryotherapy chamber, where cold air is blown over their body for approximately two to three minutes.
Nitrogen gas cools the air, lowering the body’s skin surface temperature by 30-50 degrees fahrenheit. The cold air and change in skin surface temperature stimulates the body’s sympathetic nervous system, initiates the release of anti-inflammatory molecules and helps to regulate bodily functions.
The Goal is to Reduce Inflammation
One of the most influential factors on an athlete’s training schedule is inflammation. As one of the biggest challenges for athletes, inflammation and soreness can dictate the frequency between workouts, and training without recovery time to treat inflammation can greatly increase the likelihood of injury.
When the body reacts to cell and tissue damage, the brain signals the area to start recovery, which generally causes inflammation and pain. Cryo chambers work to reduce inflammation by initiating vasoconstriction and vasodilation to minimize the amount of inflammation and pain. With minimized inflammation and pain, the body heals faster and you can return to training sooner.
Reduced Recovery Time
Unlike a traditional ice bath treatment, cryo chambers are able to cool the skin’s surface to lower temperatures. A typical cryo session, which lasts approximately three minutes, reduces treatment time by 10-20 minutes. Traditional ice baths require athletes to submerge themselves between 15-20 minutes.
Not to mention, for almost all athletes, ice baths are uncomfortable and sometimes, even painful. Cryotherapy treatments, on the other hand, generally create less discomfort because of their shortened treatment times. Athletes usually don’t feel any pain during a cryo session.
Finally, cryo chamber sessions aren’t just for professional athletes. While many professional athletes, such as players for the Denver Broncos, frequently use cryotherapy to recover after games and practices (watch Von Miller in a cryo session here), anyone can benefit from a session. In fact, cryotherapy can be used to treat a variety of ailments, including injury as well as general muscle or joint aches.
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