How to Treat and Prevent Sports-Related Injuries in Young Athletes (and their parents!)
by Chill Cryotherapy
The above article was published May 2 2016 after the NJSIAA (New Jersey Interscholastic Athletic Association) announced sweeping recommendations to address prescription drug issues on the state’s high school sports level. The NJSIAA recommends that the first option should be such non-narcotic alternatives as acetaminophen, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, salicylates, and non-medication treatments like cryotherapy and transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation.
We all love playing sports—especially kids. As parents we encourage our kids to reach their full athletic potential. Unfortunately, sports related injuries in kids are on the rise: high school athletes account for an estimated 2 million injuries and more than 3.5 million kids under age 14 receive medical treatment for sports injuries annually. Overuse injuries are responsible for nearly half of all sports injuries to middle and high school students.
Fortunately, there is a non-invasive, safe and drug-free treatment for sports-related injuries in young and older athletes: whole body and local cryotherapy!
Cryotherapy is the brief application of cold temperature to the skin. We are all familiar with the concept of “icing” and athletes often use ice baths to recover from exertion and injuries. Research has shown that cold therapy reduces pain and inflammation and significantly accelerates healing.
Whole body and local cryotherapy provides the same benefits as ice—but much more efficiently, safely and effectively. Here’s why: the temperature of ice hovers around 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Ice feels very cold on the skin because water is more conductive of cold than air. There is nothing colder than a 32 degree wet day in winter. Cryotherapy applies extremely dry air to the skin which makes for a very superficial, non-penetrating cold sensation; treatments are not painful. Best of all, the temperature of the air vapor in cryotherapy is in the range of -200 to -240 degrees Fahrenheit—making cryotherapy much more effective than ice.
Cryotherapy is much more efficient than traditional icing, which can require 30 to 45 minutes to be effective. Ice can also be very damaging to skin tissue. Cryotherapy sessions last a maximum of 3 minutes and the air vapor is extremely dry—so the risk of skin damage is virtually non-existent.
Cryotherapy can significantly reduce the pain and inflammation associated with injuries and health conditions like fibromyalgia, arthritis and many auto-immune disorders. Cryotherapy accelerates healing by enriching your blood with nutrients and oxygen and improving blood circulation. Cryotherapy is also an excellent treatment for migraines, hormonal imbalances and skin conditions.
Young (and older) athletes use cryotherapy to reduce their recovery time from pain and injuries, which allows them to train more consistently and strenuously. Bruising and muscle soreness is minimized after cryotherapy and doctors often recommend cryotherapy post-surgery to accelerate healing. Research has also shown that local cryotherapy to the head and neck can help treat and prevent concussions.
Cryotherapy also enhances athletic performance by increasing energy and improving focus, awareness and positivity. The mental game is just as important as the physical—and cryotherapy provides an incredible mental edge! Because of the physiological and mental benefits of cryotherapy, most athletes report “personal bests” following treatment.
Cryotherapy is also an excellent injury-prevention tool: by reducing systemic and local inflammation in muscles and joints—stamina, mobility, flexibility, and stability are all improved. Cryotherapy also has important weight-loss and metabolic benefits: a single session burns 500 to 800 calories, boosts metabolism and suppresses appetite.
Many professional athletes use cryotherapy to enhance their performance and reduce their pain and recovery time from exertion and injuries: Cristiano Rinaldi, Michael Phelps, LeBron James, Usain Bolt and most of the New York Giants use whole body and local cryotherapy. Nearly all NFL, NBA and NHL teams are providing cryotherapy to their players.
Chill Cryotherapy is committed to treating and preventing injuries in young (and older) athletes. We will be offering a 10 percent discount to all middle school and high school athletes (and their parents) as spring training approaches. We are located on South Avenue in Westfield, across from the train station. We are open 7 days a week with morning, day and evening hours available. You can reach us at 908-228-5711