Cryochambers: A breakthrough for chronic pain relief

3-minutes in cryochambers can dramatically improve health
Updated: May. 9, 2023 at 8:00 AM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - It’s a type of cold therapy that’s changing the game for those with chronic pain. What started a century ago as general ice packs are now full body temperature-controlled chambers for those looking for additional pain management.

At first glance, it could be mistaken for a Medieval time capsule but it’s the newest state-of-the-art cold therapy technology. Whole-body cryotherapy is the latest technology for those dealing with chronic pain. It involves standing in a small, enclosed chamber also known as a cryo chamber that is cooled with liquid nitrogen. Experts like Rapid City Chiropractor Aaron Madson, M.D. of Heartland Health & Wellness say these chambers reduce swelling in the body, therefore, reducing pain.

Dr. Aaron Madson says, “Cryotherapy lowers the body temperature to stop the inflammatory processes that are happening like the old adage when you have a sprained ankle R.I.C.E., that’s rest ice compression and elevation, the essence of that is to prevent inflammation from setting into that joint, cryotherapy is that on another level.”

Madson says it’s the “I” in R.I.C.E. that matters and that those high-tech liquid nitrogen vapor cryo chambers create a re-circulation of enriched blood. Madson says, “You are using extremely cold temperatures negative 150 negative 180 degrees Fahrenheit to lower the body’s temperature to drop inflammation levels systemically instead of it being in one area.” He also says those nitro cryo chambers are more effective because the icing isn’t cold enough or fast enough to dilate blood vessels, “what the nitric-oxide does is it enters through the bodies skin to help dilate blood vessels, helps to take out inflammation that much faster,” says Madson.

The Body Spa & Cryo in Rapid City says it’s a simple procedure that takes less than 5 minutes. Mykelti Tater, CryotherapyTechnician at the Body Spa says, “You are only in there for 3 minutes but you get colder slowly so I run a precool that takes the machine down to negative 40 and it goes down 1 to 2 degrees every second.” And if cold cryotherapy is not your thing there are warmer options for more targeted approaches to stubborn pain.

The Body Spa’s licensed therapist, Jesi Hellekson Herren, says, “If you got a little extra pain, arthritis or you twisted your knee and you have extra pain then you can come to me, I use a localized cryotherapy and I can target certain spots.”

Alyssa Tanner was in a car accident just 4 weeks ago, and says cryotherapy helped her, “It significantly helped reduce the pain I was experiencing from a rear-ending accident.”

Madson recommends that people who suffer from chronic pain try cryotherapy because it could save more than just their pain in the long run, “Individuals who don’t want to be taking Tylenol, Ibuprofen, or painkillers, for the rest of their lives and if they want to save their liver, save their kidneys, should use alternatives for pain.”

As a reminder, you may want to avoid cold therapy if you have certain sensory medical conditions. And for dog lovers, they do have cryotherapy options for dogs at the Body Spa & Cryo.

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