Cryotherapy for Sports Recovery
As athletes, we are always looking for our edge. How do we run faster? Hit the ball with great accuracy? Improve our stroke? Jump higher? Prevent injury? Return from injury quicker? It's an increasingly competitive world and there is greater pressure to use sports medicine gain our edge.
Recovery From Injury
Sports Medicine Sydney with Cryotherapy: research
A recent study found that elite tennis players that engaged in whole body cryotherapy for five days had a 2.5 fold decrease in the potent proinflammatory cytokine TNFalpha and a 23% increase in the cytokine IL6, which has both pro and anti-inflammatory properties and plays a role in muscle repair. These professional tennis players also experienced a 4% increase in "stroke effectiveness".
Elite runners who used cryotherapy post hill sprints running had a 20% increase in speed and power up to two days later. This 20% performance enhancement post cryotherapy may be due to the reduction in inflammation. Too high of levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines post exercise can result in acute performance deterioration and muscle damage. This can be detrimental for training, as there may be a greater risk of injury due to residual soreness and changes in body mechanics. In fact, it has been shown that elite runners who engaged in whole body cryotherapy for 3 min at −110°C performed 1 hour post exercise and 24 hours post exercise enhanced muscle recovery by decreasing the inflammatory process (IL1β and Creactive protein) and increasing the anti inflammatory process (IL1ra) at both time points.