The dominant mechanism by which cold water immersion facilitates short term recovery is via ameliorating hyperthermia and consequently central nervous system mediated fatigue and by reducing cardiovascular strain.
There is limited evidence to support that cold-water immersion might improve acute recovery by facilitating the removal of muscle metabolites.
While cold water immersion mediated parasympathetic reactivation seems detrimental to high-intensity exercise performance when performed shortly after, it is associated with improved longer-term physiological recovery and day to day training performances.
Cold water immersion demonstrates limited recovery benefits when exercise-induced muscle damage is induced by single-joint eccentrically biased contractions. In contrast, cold water immersion seems more effective after whole body prolonged endurance/intermittent based exercise modalities.
By combining a healthy lifestyle choices, sleep and regular use, evidence of recovery can be produced over time.
Cold water immersion or ice baths, help reduce tissue swelling due to muscle breakdown and micro tears that occur during intense or lengthy physical activity and, also, help to control inflammation.
Some inflammation is a good thing but too much can result in secondary damage or hypoxic injury.
The mechanisms include aiding normalisation of body temperature, flushing out muscles through the combination of hydrostatic pressure and cold induced blood vessel constriction, a decrease in metabolic activity, balancing of the sympathetic & parasympathethic systems and a reduction in muscle damage.
CET have many clients charging sporting & non-sporting members of the public for CryoSpa therapy on a pay-per-use basis.
These clients are typically sports therapy & physical therapy clinics, health clubs, gyms, recovery & wellness facilities and hotels.
A single CET CryoSpa unit can generate over £40,000 / $50,000 / €45,000 per annum while improving athlete outcomes and growing your existing business.
Cryotherapy is the application of cold to produce a cold induced therapeutic effect.
Any temperature below the temperature of the skin, typically around 30°C / 86°F, can be considered to be cryotherapy though temperatures above 15° or 20°C / 60°F or 70°F will only have a mild effect.
Low temperature hydrotherapy is typically between 5°C / 40°F and 12°C / 55°F
Air temperatures can go as low -150°C / -200°F as air has a very low thermal conductivity (air is an insulator) but at these extreme temperatures cooling is solely by conduction to avoid severe frostbite.
Sports recovery i.e. post-exercise recovery is a non-medical application for CryoSpa therapy.
However, treatment of soft tissue injuries such as tendon & ligament sprains is considered to be medical use.
In the USA, the FDA, which approves devices & medicines for medical use, have exempted hydrotherapy, such as CryoSpa therapy, from Medical Device Approval requirements due to the low risk to patients and the non-invasive nature of the therapy. Consequently, CryoSpa therapy is available for medical use throughout the USA.
In other countries that adopt FDA guidelines this rule will also apply.
In the EU hydrotherapy is not exempt from medical device approval so a manufacturer cannot make medical claims for such devices.