Cryotherapy vs Ice Bath – Comparing The two worlds of cold treatments

Cryotherapy vs Ice Bath, which one is better? 

What are the downsides of both? 

Often, athletes have used either cold air exposure, which is body cryotherapy, or immersion into cold water, which is ice baths, for their muscle rejuvenation. 

And, both of them have proved to be effective in the treatment of strained muscles. 

But how different are they? 

Let’s look at how cryotherapy stacks up against ice baths.  

Body Cryotherapy VS Ice Bath : The difference between the two

body cryotherapy vs ice bath the difference between the two

In this segment, we look at what the two are and what exactly they entail (1). 

  • First, cryotherapy involves exposure to frigid air, which is usually around -184 degrees Fahrenheit. Some wellness centers have cryotherapy chambers that would go as low as -200 to -240° F.  On the other hand, an ice bath just gets to around 50-degrees. From this, you see cryotherapy temperatures are extreme. 
  •  Secondly, body cryotherapy lasts two to five minutes. On the other hand, an ice bath lasts 15 to 20 minutes. 
  • Thirdly, cryotherapy uses dry cold air for muscle recovery. The dry cold air lowers the skin temperatures, which then initiates the recovery process. On the contrary, ice baths use wet cold to congeal muscle tissue, making them immobile. 

Cryotherapy vs Ice Bath : What Exactly Happens During A Whole Body Cryotherapy?

During the 2-3 minutes of your cryotherapy session, your brain will stimulate different body processes, and hence resulting to:

  • Energy increase
  • Cell upgrade
  • Immune system boost
  • Increased adrenaline and endorphins
  • Self healing

This sounds like a fantastic way to get your body back on track after a vigorous workout.

Cryotherapy vs Ice Bath : What Exactly Happens During Ice Bath?

The cold water in the ice baths makes the body warm the blood. The warm blood is then transported to the dilated vessels in the tissues. The cold water immersion process triggers the body to go beyond its ordinary in preventing the skin surface from freezing. 

The body mechanisms go out of their way to keep you from freezing, and therefore making the blood transportation even more rapid. The process is usually a little extreme for newcomers, but your body mechanism adapts to it as you frequent it. 

Above all, your body will have to undergo some strain to achieve the desired results. 

Cryotherapy vs Ice Bath : How Is Cryotherapy Better Than Ice Baths?

cryotherapy vs ice bath how is cryotherapy better than ice baths

The benefits of cryotherapy and the use of ice baths may be the same. Of course, cryotherapy is more effective (2), as you have seen on the head-on above.

We further look at how cryotherapy fairs above ice baths below.  

Recovery Period

First things first, cryotherapy does not require you to take some recovery time off. After using an ice bath, your muscles will be pretty much immobile. You will have to take some moments off to get them back to normal. Cryotherapy is more self healing; you don’t need some time off to get back to normal.  

Treatment Time

For cold water treatment, athletes need to schedule their session after a workout or exercise. This is when the muscles’ soreness is high, so the treatment is much needed.

 However, you can have a cryotherapy session before or after a workout. This makes it pretty much flexible. Book your appointment before a workout to enhance performance or relieve the strain in your muscles after the session. 

During Treatment and After-risks

cryotherapy vs ice bath what exactly happens during ice bath

The cold air used in cryotherapy is not as penetrative as the ice water used in ice baths. The cold air in whole body cryotherapy triggers the cold sensors on the skin surface and does not penetrate deep into the body. The ice water penetrates deep into the body; you will feel like you are freezing, literally. 

 The cold cryotherapy air tricks the body into applying the healing mechanisms. This is a sure way to enjoy the benefits of cold treatment without putting your body at risk of hypothermia ( decreased body temperature)

 Benefits

The benefits you enjoy from whole body cryotherapy are generally more tangible than those you will get from ice baths. Some of the benefits cryotherapy has over ice baths include:

  • Increased collagen production
  • Stronger joints and cartilage
  • Enriched blood

Cryotherapy vs Ice Bath Price 

cryotherapy vs ice bath price

An ice bath is an old form of cold treatment. It has been used for decades to treat strained muscles. You can have ice water without using any specialized equipment. 

 Cryotherapy is quickly taking over, however. It is becoming a top biohacking Los Angeles trick, despite being pricier. For whole body cryotherapy, you need specialized equipment such as the cryotherapy chambers.

Despite being effective in treating injured muscles and strained joints, it still needs some embracing to do.

It may take some years for cryotherapy to replace ice baths because of the price difference. A single session may typically cost you something around $60 to $100. The cost may vary in the market depending on the locality.

 Final Thoughts on Cryotherapy vs Ice bath

That was Cryotherapy vs Ice Bath analysis. No doubt, cryotherapy gives ice water a run for its money. It’s straightforward; the only reason you can choose ice baths as your ideal cold therapy is when you want to save some money. But, if you would love a gentler cold treatment that has more tangible benefits, whole body cryotherapy it is! So which side do you pick in Cryotherapy vs Ice Bath battle?

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Sources:

1 https://medicalxpress.com/news/2017-11-cryotherapy-ice-bathsit.html

2 https://medium.com/@cryobath035/cryotherapy-vs-ice-bath-c0e9ca6a0221

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