Using Cryotherapy to Treat Muscle Spasms

When you hear the word “cryotherapy”, you may have an image of a Dr. Frankenstein-type laboratory with a mad scientist performing questionable medical tests on unsuspecting patients.  Cryotherapy is not that.  Quite simply, cryotherapy is the use of ice or freezing temperatures to relieve pain.  

When Cryotherapy Is Used

When we get an injury, the body sends more blood and fluids to the injured area which is what causes swelling so we stop using the injured area and causing further damage. When ice is applied to a swollen area, it constricts blood vessels to slow the blood flow so swelling goes down.  It is most effective in the early hours after an injury.  

Cryotherapy is also effective in reducing inflammation.  The body uses inflammation as a way to fight off infection but sometimes other outside forces cause inflammation like a diet that is high in sugar and unhealthy fats or sometimes autoimmune diseases cause the immune system to attack healthy cells.           

Back spasms are often the result of injuries to the muscles, tendons, or ligaments in the back.  If you’ve ever had one, you know how debilitating and immobilizing they can be.  Cryotherapy can help ease those muscles and calm things down so your body can better heal itself as well as provide cooling relief from pain.  It may even help speed up recovery time.  It can also be used to treat muscle and joint pain and can bring relief to patients who suffer from arthritis.    

What is Whole-Body Cryotherapy?

Clinics have been popping up all over the place that offer a form of cryotherapy that involves the patient sitting in a full-cryotherapy chamber for several minutes at temperatures from -148° to -220°F.  It brings down the body temperature, causing the body to react.  While whole-body cryo-chambers may be the latest passing medical fad with mixed results, the use of ice to treat pain has been long recommended in the treatment of back spasms and other soft tissue injuries.  

A Targeted Approach 

At North County Pain Relief, we use non-invasive targeted cryotherapy using ice packs that are placed in the area where the pain or spasm originates.  This allows us to focus on the injury itself rather than treat the entire body.  It is a great tool in the treatment of back pain and other injuries and may be used in your complete treatment plan to improve your chances of a successful recovery.  

We take a holistic approach to your health. Upon your initial consultation and exam, we’ll come up with a plan to treat your pain and ailments to improve your whole health that may include spinal manipulations, cryotherapy, electric muscle stimulation, hydrotherapy, moist heat therapy, or moist heat therapy, all in the relaxed atmosphere of our office.  We’ll find you the treatment options that will give you the best chances for complete recovery.  

If you’re from the St. Louis area, call North County Pain Relief at (314) 731-4201 to schedule a free initial consultation.