We Tried It: Cryotherapy Chambers for Rider Recovery

Riders consistently deal with aches and pains, knowing it’s just part of being an athlete. They also know that icing is an important part of athletic recovery. But is there a way to ice your sore joints and tender muscles without plunging into a miserable ice bath?

Cryotherapy chambers are becoming an increasingly popular option. In under five minutes, cryotherapy chambers can allegedly deliver physiological benefits like reduced inflammation and pain, increased energy and endorphin release, and are even said to provide anti-aging benefits.

Cryotherapy chambers can get down as low as -256 degrees Farenheit in temperature. “Extreme cold can stimulate temperature receptors in the skin to activate the nervous, immune and endocrine systems, resulting in reduction of pain and inflammation, and improvement in mood, improvements to physique, and the overall health of the body generally enhancing your overall health, wellness, and being,” according to the KryoX website.

The pros? It’s fast (my session was 3 minutes), not terribly uncomfortable (it’s a dry cold), and I did feel great afterwards. I simultaneously felt like I had just woken up from a nap and finished a workout – that calm, happy, endorphin-fueled feeling was certainly a worthy reward for three minutes of discomfort. I was very thirsty later in the day and slept very well that night. The sore feet I had from walking around all day were instantly refreshed, so it definitely knocked some soreness out.

The cons? It’s pricey. At the facility we used in New York City, a single session is $75 a pop. A yearly membership is $5600. But judging from the constant flow of customers into the facility while we were there, the price hasn’t deterred the folks that believes it works for them. But I’m not sure I know many riders who would fork out that kind of money on themselves regularly. Their horses? Sure. But if you’ve got an acute injury that you need to treat for a few weeks (talk to your doctor), or you live near a facility that is more reasonably priced than one in NYC, I’d recommend giving it a shot. It’s a fun experience and a bit of a bravery challenge, so you can test your mental game while you get rejuvenated.

Thank you to KryoLife for welcoming us. Visit them at kryox.com.

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