In 1978 Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and cryotherapy connected when Dr. Toshiro Yamauchi invented the first process. Dr. Yamauchi began using freezing-cold temperatures to treat RA in small areas of the body (e.g., hands), and the pain relief became well known. Fast forward 42 years later: patients can now use cryotherapy chambers for treating their entire body. RA is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation when the body mistakes normal synovial fluid and tissue as a foreign invader.
Treating Rheumatoid Arthritis with Cryotherapy
Whole Body Cryotherapy can help treat the symptoms of RA through its ability to reduce the inflammation response. Researchers believe this is “in part due to the action on the production, release, or degradation of histamine.”(1). Histamine is found in nearly every tissue in our body. Upon release it causes a contraction of smooth muscle tissue and a dilation of blood vessels, often observed as a reddened swelling. As a result people with RA suffer horrible pain by simply doing basic daily routines such as opening containers or tying shoes.
Is it a cure?
No, cryotherapy is not a cure for RA or for any disease. However, cold therapies can reduce pain significantly, and whole body cryotherapy treats the entire person quickly. Cryotherapy works by chilling the body surface down 30-40 degrees to cause a vasoconstriction of the skeletal muscle blood vessels. This pushes the blood to the body’s core to keep the internal organs warm. Because of the sudden and lasting cold the body interprets the situation as a potential threat. The brain releases endorphins and inflammation-reducing enzymes to repair any potential injury. Once the cryotherapy session is over the oxygen rich and nutrient dense blood returns to the surface areas and helps to reduce inflammation naturally. Less inflammation can mean less pain, and increased endorphins in the body add to a more pleasant feeling throughout the day.
Cryotherapy as Routine Treatment
People suffering from RA often develop treatment routines to help them cope with the pain. Many are beginning to use cryotherapy as a part of their treatment regimen three times per week and are reporting significant pain relief. I have personally witnessed RA patients in my practice report decreased pain and (surprisingly) better sleep from not waking up in pain. This improves quality of life and as a drug-free treatment it is easy to add without conflicting with medications.
NOTICE: Information contained within this website and on all materials, communications, or presentations by Cryo Innovations and Cryo Recovery Lounge is for informational purposes only. Whole Body Cryotherapy, infrared sauna, hyperbaric chamber, and any and all recovery methods described and/or offered by Cryo Recovery Lounge or Cryo Innovations are neither designed nor advised for treatment or cure of any illness or disease. No cryotherapy chambers (including the XR) have been tested or approved by the FDA. Please consult with your medical professional before beginning any cryotherapy or recovery method. All material contained within this site is copyrighted and may not be reproduced in any form without prior written permission. All rights reserved. For permissions contact Cryo Innovations.
- Wojtecka-Lukasik, E., Ksiezopolska-Orlowska, K., Gaszewska, E. et al. Cryotherapy decreases histamine levels in the blood of patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Inflamm. Res.59, 253–255 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00011-009-0144-1