Cryotherapy Benefits - Inflammation

Cryotherapy Benefits - Inflammation

Cryotherapy Benefits - Norepinephrine Reading Cryotherapy Benefits - Inflammation 6 minutes Next What is Whole Body Cryotherapy?

Physiological - Reduced Inflammation

We all use cold therapy for this aspect of the benefits. Think of a cold ice pack (another form of cold therapy) for bumps and bruises or other internal injuries. The intense cold reduces inflammation locally in the targeted part of the body. The theory is that the effect is attributed to its vasoconstrictive effect, which reduces inflammation through a decrease of the cell metabolism brought on by the cold.

Here is the great thing about whole body cryotherapy; the same thing occurs over the entire body. Not only that, but there is an internal mechanism of action as well stimulating an anti-inflammatory response from within.

Immune System to the Rescue

Below we found 5 studies (and there are many more) which show the effects of whole body cryotherapy on inflammation in the body. It seems that this is the most studied and well understood effect.

One study of 14 participants found that after the use of whole body cryotherapy, the pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-6, TNFα, resistin and visfatin, all reduced significantly compared with the control group. Anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 increased significantly as well [2].

In another study, cohorts of males were tested in different groups of various numbers of treatments. Immediately following treatments and 2 weeks after treatment, blood samples were collected. It was found that the blood concentration of IL-6 (pro-inflammatory) and IL-10 (anti-inflammatory) were found to have increased, while levels of Il-1α cytokine (pro-inflammatory) level decreased [3].

A third study again found TNFα (pro-inflammatory) significantly reduced, while IL-6 (pro-inflammatory) increased [4].

Another study, which found that the application of whole body cryotherapy increased the concentration of the anti-inflammatory cytokine interleukin (IL)-10 and decreased both the pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-2 and chemokine IL-8 [5].

Yet another study found that whole body cryotherapy significantly enhanced the concentration of the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10. It also led to a pronounced reduction in levels of the pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-1β, and reduced muscle damage [6].

WBC induces anti-inflammatory effects. In general, a single session of WBC increases IL-6 concentration, which is tied to acute inflammation, while recovering after multiple sessions. More consistently, WBC stimulates the anti-inflammatory response (reduced IL-1β and increased IL-10, IL-1Ra) [7].

Application - Post Workout / Injury Recovery

As shown above, research has shown consistently that the inflammatory response is significantly improved with the use of whole body cryotherapy [7]. This response has led to a common application in recovery post work out by using whole body cryotherapy as a strategy against exercise induced inflammation and soreness [7][8][9].

Whole body cryotherapy is effective in reducing delayed onset muscle soreness or exercise induced muscle damage [8]. The treatment has also been shown to significantly decrease creatine kinase and lactate dehydrogenase (lactic acid) levels during a regular training period in a group of professional rugby players [10]. Creatine kinase and lactic acid are both linked to muscle damage, and levels decrease as recovery occurs.

Yet another study confirms this finding, observing that whole body cryotherapy treatment is effective in reducing systemic inflammation as well as concentrations of markers for cell muscle damage. The researchers concluded that the results suggest that the treatment may improve recovery from muscle damage, pain, loss of muscle function, and inflammation [16].

One study found a preventative effect of whole body cryotherapy in basketball players [7]. Without treatment, inflammatory markers IL-1β and IL-6 increased by 60%. When whole body cryotherapy was applied prior to exercise, this increase did not occur [12].

There is evidence to suggest that the use of whole body cryotherapy could improve athletic performance [11]. This is hypothesized by alleviation of pain as well as sense of fatigue [8].

Application – Pain Reduction

As cited in many of the studies above, the anti-inflammatory properties as well as the release of norepinephrine likely contributed to the well-established effect of pain reduction from whole body cryotherapy. This has been studied both in athletes pre and post work out, chronic conditions, as well as recovery from injuries, both skeletal and muscular [7][8][9][16][35].

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Note: Information contained within this website and in all materials, communications, or presentations by High Tech Healing is for informative purposes only. Localized cryotherapy machines are neither designed nor advised for treatment or cure of any illness or disease. No cryotherapy machine has been tested or approved by the FDA. Please consult with your medical professional before beginning any cryotherapy or recovery method. 


[2] Whole-body cryostimulation as an effective method of reducing low-grade inflammation in obese men -

[3] The effect of prolonged whole-body cryostimulation treatment with different amounts of sessions on chosen pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines levels in healthy men -

[4] Five-day whole-body cryostimulation, blood inflammatory markers, and performance in high-ranking professional tennis players -

[5] Whole-body cryotherapy in athletes -

[6] Whole-body cryostimulation as an effective way of reducing exercise-induced inflammation and blood cholesterol in young men -

[7] Whole-Body Cryotherapy in Athletes: From Therapy to Stimulation. An Updated Review of the Literature -

[8] Whole-Body Cryotherapy: Potential to Enhance Athlete Preparation for Competition? -
Time-Course of Changes in Inflammatory Response after Whole-Body

[9] Cryotherapy Multi Exposures following Severe Exercise -

[10] Whole-body cryotherapy in athletes -

[11] Five-Day Whole-Body Cryostimulation, Blood Inflammatory Markers, and Performance in High-Ranking Professional Tennis Players -

[12] The Effect of Submaximal Exercise Preceded by Single Whole-Body Cryotherapy on the Markers of Oxidative Stress and Inflammation in Blood of Volleyball Players -

[16] Whole-body Cryotherapy as a Recovery Technique after Exercise: A Review of the Literature -

[35] [Whole-body cryotherapy in rehabilitation of patients with rheumatoid diseases--pilot study] -

If your business or institution is considering purchasing a whole body cryotherapy machine, please reach out to our team to understand how we can help you make the right decision.