Cryotherapy is full body immersion from the neck down into extremely cold temperatures. Listed below are a few of the claims made by cryotherapy providers. We will examine what the research says about these claims and if there is sufficient evidence to support each statement.
What are the CLAIMS of cryotherapy?
What the RESEARCH SAYS:
Length of treatment and sessions
Comparison between research & “claims or believed benefits”
For most of these claims there is not sufficient evidence. While it does provide some pain relief, it requires an ABUNDANCE of sessions to actually achieve any type of therapeutic benefit. While going through the research, I found one article that suggested “an icepack is a much cheaper option”.
Douzi, Wafa, et al. "3-min whole body cryotherapy/cryostimulation after training in the evening improves sleep quality in physically active men." European Journal of Sport Science 19.6 (2019): 860-867.
Lombardi, Giovanni, Ewa Ziemann, and Giuseppe Banfi. "Whole-body cryotherapy in athletes: from therapy to stimulation. An updated review of the literature." Frontiers in physiology 8 (2017): 258.
Rose, Catriona, et al. "Whole-body cryotherapy as a recovery technique after exercise: a review of the literature." International journal of sports medicine 38.14 (2017): 1049-1060.
Patel, Karan MD; Bakshi, Neil MD; Freehill, Michael T. MD; Awan, Tariq M. DO. Whole-Body Cryotherapy in Sports Medicine. Current Sports Medicine Reports 18(4):p 136-140, April 2019. | DOI: 10.1249/JSR.0000000000000584