Cryotherapy is any treatment involving freezing or near freezing temperatures. Although the potential benefits are not yet proven, it may be a safe alternative and preventative treatment for many injuries. The most common form of cryotherapy involves sitting or standing in the cryotherapy booth for 3-5 minutes. Pregnant women, children and patients with any heart conditions should not try cryotherapy due to possible negative outcomes and having cryotherapy for any longer than a few minutes can be fatal.
Research shows that it can help decrease muscle and joint pain, such as arthritis and can possibly promote faster healing of athletic injuries. There have been multiple benefits for relieving muscle pain and speeding up the healing process which is why this treatment is used throughout professional sports. However, other studies found that cold water immersion has more of an effect than whole body cryotherapy which can negate the benefits in certain research. It has also been proven to decrease inflammation which can be helpful with chronic inflammation such as cancer, diabetes, depression dementia, and arthritis. Further research must be done to fully understand the pros and cons of this treatment.