Cryotherapy used by professional athletes now becoming popular with the everyday athlete

Health
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DENVER --  Whole body cryotherapy is something plenty of professional athletes do to recover from -- and prepare for -- a big game. But more everyday athletes are trying it as well.

At 5280 Cryo & Recovery Clinic in Denver, the walls are covered with pictures of professional athletes in the cryo chamber. But many of the clinic’s clients are just normal people, dealing with pain and inflammation, who aren’t scared off by the crazy cold temperatures.

Tony Omran in one of those people. He steps right into the cryo chamber where he is blasted with air that is about 200 degrees below zero.

The session lasts just 2 ½ minutes. Omran says it’s not really that uncomfortable and it offers him instant relief from the nagging pain of old injuries.

“For me, I feel like my joints stop aching as much. Any tendinitis that I might have bothering me at the time severely lessens and my muscles stay loose,” Omran said.

Scott Sheil-Brown and Ryan Tuchscherer are co-owners at 5280 Cryo & Recovery Clinic. They say the frigid temperatures create a "flight or fight" response in the body.

“It’s an ice bath on steroids without that pain,” Tuchscherer.

“So when you get in, vasoconstriction. When you get out, vasodilation. Essentially that reduces swelling, inflammation, helps reduce muscle soreness and joint pain,” Sheil-Brown said.

Patients include high school and college athletes, weekend warriors and even people with desk jobs dealing with pain.

One whole body cryotherapy session can cost around $35. The FDA says it lacks evidence that whole body cryotherapy works, but Tony Omran swears by it. He routinely does it, along with other therapies.

“Now I’m back to being able to throw a football, and swim and be active,” he said.

There are risks. In 2019, football player Antonio Brown reportedly suffered from frostbite on his feet after a cryotherapy session. But experts say that could have been prevented with basic safety precautions.

For more information, visit 5280 Cyro's website.

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