Preliminary Overview: Clinical Relevance of Whole Body Cryotherapy

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Author: Alan G. Christianson, NMD


Whole Body Cryotherapy (WBC) is a hypothermic application designed to reduce musculoskeletal pain and inflammation. WBC stimulates the sympathetic nervous system via alpha-adrenergic receptors, causing dramatic peripheral vasoconstriction. This induces adaptive changes correlating with effects of analgesia, reduction of inflammation, and increases in serum markers of tissue repair.


Research conducted over the last two decades, primarily in Europe, has established therapeutic efficacy of WBC in a wide range of clinical areas. The largest focuses of research have been pain management and athletic performance. It has been shown to effectively reduce pain and swelling and improve physical performance. Due to the numerous adaptive physiological responses, WBC has also been studied as an adjunct treatment for: atopic dermatitis, cardiovascular health, depression and Multiple Sclerosis.

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