Benefits and Risks to Using Cryogenic Chamber

The practice of cryotherapy (using cryogenic chamber) involves using very low temperatures to treat a variety of conditions from injuries to weight loss. There are several different ways that this type of therapy can be done. One common method is where a probe is inserted in the tissue of a specific area of the body. Then, the temperature of the probe is quickly lowered, which results in this area to become frozen. One other common cryotherapy is approach is where you use a “cryogenic chamber” or “cryo-spa,” where the temperature has been decreased through the use of refrigerated air in combination with liquid nitrogen. The patient then removes their clothes and steps inside of the chamber, wearing as little as possible. They stand around for a few minutes and then emerge.

Using Cryogenic Chambers

How does cryotherapy work? Cryotherapy makes you extremely cold. That is, it makes you so cold that your nerve endings are numbed, tissue is frozen at the cellular level, and cells are destroyed. You are so cold that you have convinced your body that it’s dying. While this may sound awful, the truth is that the results are often very clear pain relief and health benefits.
  1. Health benefits You’ve been told, probably most of your life, that the effects of the cold can be detrimental to your body. However, the precise application/timing of cryotherapy can produce several health benefits that you can put to great use. Of course, as with any other method of treatment, you are going to want to speak with your physician before using cryotherapy for your condition. If your physician agrees that this type of treatment is appropriate for you, you can expect to go through the following:
  2. Relief from pain When it comes to nerve pain, it is typically quite intense, and can often be resistant to other techniques often used for pain relief. However, a cryotherapy probe can be used to freeze a nerve, making it numb. Of course, cryotherapy probes are most effective for conditions that stem from a single nerve ending. This typically indicates benign growths in the nerve, or neuromas, or entrapment of the nerve. Whole-body cryotherapy is best for easing the pain and discomfort of arthritis. While the cold is not exactly precise enough to freeze a single nerve, it can relieve the pain that is a result of inflammation. This is what appeals to athletes who want to relieve the soreness of their muscles/joints that typically set in, especially after a hard practice. The vasoconstrictive properties that are the result of the colder temperatures have been proven to last for some time, which is the reason why ice packs are typically used for relief of inflammation. Plus, whole-body cryotherapy is much more comfortable than an ice bath.
  3. Prevention/treatment of some cancers Did you know that cryotherapy is effective for freezing cells, even cancer cells, which kills them? While this form of treatment has typically been used for cancers such as skin or cervical, and some precancerous conditions, cryotherapy can also be used to treat other conditions such as prostate, kidney, and lung cancers. When a physician is using cryotherapy to treat precancerous/cancerous conditions, they place cryotherapy probes when the site is deep in the body. However, if the area that is affected by the cancer is more accessible, such as on the skin, the physician may use a cotton swab to apply liquid nitrogen. No matter what application is used, the results end up being the same; the area is frozen and the cancerous cells are killed. Of course, as with any other condition, some individuals may need multiple treatments for the cryotherapy to be completely effective.
  4. Weight loss When you are undergoing cryotherapy, your body is undergoing an extreme, sudden change in temperature. Your natural metabolic rate will go into overdrive to try to keep you warm, which causes you to burn more calories. Of course, the effectiveness of this therapy being used for weight loss has not yet been proven through scientific research, so it’s based solely on personal experiences.
Cryotherapy side effects Of course, before you jump to cryotherapy to treat your condition, you must understand that, as with anything else, it does have side effects. After all, your body doesn’t really like being subjected to such cold temperatures, and will respond to show that. The most serious side effects occur in the methods of treatment where a probe is inserted. While physicians do everything they can to avoid problems, the tissue around the area is also exposed to the extreme cold. The side effects that you experience depend upon where the probe is inserted. However, generally all internal uses of cryotherapy will cause you to experience pain for a few days. Below are some of the side effects which you may experience. Skin If cryotherapy is done on your skin, a scab will form over the area that was treated. The scab will fall off. It is not uncommon for individuals to also experience temporary irritation/redness, tingling, and numbness. The numbness/tingling and irritation typically occur when a probe is used to relieve pain associated with nerves. Cervix When cryotherapy is used for cervical cancer, the individual is likely to have a watery discharge for up to a few weeks as the body eliminates the dead cells. The discharge is likely to be quite heavy and there might be some blood in it. During this healing period, the cervix is typically quite sensitive and it’s best to avoid intercourse to keep from straining the area and minimizing the risk of developing an infection. Lungs For the first few days following cryotherapy treatment, you are likely to be coughing up dead tissue. While this can be quite unpleasant, it’s not harmful. Some of the other possible side effects include coughing up blood, chest infection, or difficulty breathing. These side effects, while troubling, are typically short-lived, and will resolve within about a week of first appearing. Kidneys When cryotherapy is used to treat the kidneys, the area around the site could possibly bleed enough that a transfusion is required. In addition, individuals often experience temporary weakness as well as have trouble retaining urine. Finally, individuals are at risk for injuring the ureter (the tube that links the bladder to the kidney) during this process. Prostate Some of the common side effects of using cryotherapy on the prostate are blood in the urine and constipation. However, these should resolve within a few weeks. Keep in mind that the nerves controlling your ability to achieve and maintain an erection are near the prostate; there is a slight risk that they may become damaged in the process of cryotherapy.