There are many advantages to offering more than just spinal adjustments at your chiropractic practice.
KASA Practice Solutions points out some of them, which include giving your business a greater level of financial stability due to the additional revenue stream and increasing your customer base by appealing to a wider variety of patients, enabling you to grow your business faster and more effectively as a result.
Some DCs choose to expand their practice by incorporating additional services such as massage therapy, physical therapy, and nutritional counseling. However, another option to consider, and one that could really set you apart from competitors in your area, is cryotherapy.
What is cryotherapy
According to one study which assessed the evidential and theoretical perspectives of whole-body cryotherapy and was published in Open Access Journal of Sports Medicine in March of 2014, cryotherapy is defined simply as “body cooling for therapeutic purposes.”
This involves exposing the body to temperatures between -100°C (-148°F) and -140°C (-220°F) for 2-5 minutes and can range from spot-cooling, such as by applying ice packs to an affected area, or by engaging the entire body in the process via cold-water immersion baths or whole-body cryotherapy chambers.
How cryotherapy treatment helps
One of the ways cryotherapy can help in a musculoskeletal capacity is by decreasing pain. For example, an evidence-based study published in the Journal of Athletic Training in July-September 2004 looked at 22 randomized, controlled clinical trials involving subjects with a wide variety of injuries. Cryotherapy was initiated within the first three days of injury and subjects were studied for 1-4 weeks, after which researchers concluded that “based on the available evidence, cryotherapy seems to be effective in decreasing pain.”
Cryotherapy also helps improve the healing process. It does this by reducing inflammation and swelling, as well as redirecting blood flow to vital organs, thus enabling more oxygen and nutrients to be directed to the areas in which they’re most beneficial. Being exposed to extremely cold temperatures also helps remove toxins, again aiding the body in the healing process.
Some athletes use cryotherapy as a way to enhance their performance. The way this works, according to one study published in PLoS One in 2011, is by reducing the inflammatory response following severe exercise sessions. It also reduces damage to the muscle, allowing the athlete to continue to train at higher, more intense levels.
How to incorporate cryotherapy into your chiropractic practice
Should you decide to add cryotherapy to your chiropractic practice, one way to do this is by purchasing a whole body cryotherapy chamber. Simply place it in one of your open treatment rooms and begin scheduling patients for their treatment sessions.
Another option is to purchase equipment that enables you to blow extremely cold air on the impacted area, thus providing relief in a more directed way. These pieces of equipment generally take up less space and they are also more portable, which is important if you travel to any of your patients, such as is common with sports chiropractic.
Safety precautions with cryotherapy
As with any treatment modality, there are certain safety precautions to follow should you choose to expand your practice with cryotherapy. For instance, there are certain people who should not participate in cryotherapy treatment.
Cryohealthcare shares that this includes women who are pregnant, people with high blood pressure or heart issues, individuals with seizures, fever, Raynaud’s Syndrome, bleeding disorders, and urinary tract diseases, just to name a few.
Additionally, they go on to say that, while this form of treatment is generally safe as long as recommended time frames are strictly followed, there are certain risks associated with whole body cryotherapy. Among them are blood pressure fluctuations, claustrophobia, skin burns, and allergic reaction to the cold temperatures. While the latter two are rare, they are risks nonetheless.