Cryotherapy : Post-Workout Exposure to Extreme Cold Lacks Proven Benefits

After a hard workout many athletes subject themselves to freezing cold baths. This has been a practice that athletes have done for decades. High profile athletes enter cryotherapy chambers to hopefully recover much quicker. There is no science that proves this cold therapy has any benefits. It is not regulated strictly by the FDA, but that does not mean there are not dangers. Anyone who enters a chamber, or an ice bath has the possibility to be harmed. Athletes can lose consciousness, or blood flow from the cold temperature. These types of treatment are starting to come under strong scrutiny. It is important to make sure they are safe and effective for athletes, not need to put themselves in harms way.

Key Points:

  • 1Whole body cryotherapy sends the body into “fight or flight” mode by subjecting it to extreme cold, which gets plenty of oxygen-rich blood flowing to the body’s core.
  • 2Cryotherapy has been recommended by both doctors and professional athletes, but studies remain scarce and the FDA warns against it.
  • 3Dangers include asphyxiation, frostbite, and even heart attacks.

The user wears only gloves, socks and underwear to protect the most cold-sensitive areas of the body.

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