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A Legionnaires Disease Outbreak, An Ebola “Game-changer” and more from Doctor Kevin Most
Doctor Kevin Most joined the show this morning to discuss a plethora of medical headlines from around the country, including a potential “game-changer” to combat the Ebola outbreak. We also talked about a spray Steve claims keeps all gnats away. So while we try to figure out if Steve is crazy or not, you can read additional material from the Doctor below.
The pitcher comes off the mound after 8 innings, the running back comes to the sidelines after a few big hits. We all have seen the photo of the athlete sitting in the big tub of ice water after the games. We all see athletes sitting on the sidelines or in the dugout with bags of ice on their knees or shoulders. Why do they do this? We have known since the time of Hippocrates that Ice and cold will decrease inflammation and speed recovery from injuries.
We all know that with any trauma or overuse the body will cause swelling to occur. This swelling and inflammation are what causes pain, tightness and decreased range of motion. Ice helps minimize the swelling, which allows for a quicker return to activity and decreased pain. For the average individual the ice if used at all is used for a short time and in one single area.
For the weekend warrior, the marathon trainer, the weekend runner or the individual who injures themselves doing an activity, the answer is usually a bag of ice if they have it and a couple of Advil. The professional athlete will sit in the tub of ice water for 20 mins to get the full effect. Each of these athletes will wake up the next morning sore. That soreness and discomfort is caused by inflammation that often occurs after we finish exercising.
There is a new technology that is starting to get a lot of attention, it is Whole Body Cryotherapy. This therapy cools the entire body in minutes vs sitting in the ice bath for 20-30 mins. This technology is really gaining a lot of attention. It has been studied widely in Europe and is now making headway in the United States.
This has been available since 1978, where it was developed to treat arthritis patients in Japan. During this time they noted the impact it had not only on the patients with arthritis but also on athletes. Here in the US, it is used by many athletes , professional, collegiate and amateur. Both Zach Johnson and Jordan Spieth use Whole Body Cryotherapy regularly. The golf performance center at Sea Island, Ga have one and they have over 20 PGA tour players who practice and live there. It is being used by Georgia Tech, University of Georgia, and a few major league baseball teams.
So how does it work? The individual is placed in a chamber with their head exposed. The chamber is then filled with liquid nitrogen vapor and the temperature in the chamber goes to –100 C to –150 C. They stay in the chamber for up to 3 minutes. During this time the top layers of the skin are noted to have much lower temperatures. The bodies core temperature is not affected and the body immediately reheats after coming out of the chamber.
The main use for this therapy has been for athletes, it has been shown to significantly decrease inflammation after exercise. The therapy has been shown to accelerate recovery and reduce exercise induced muscle damage. The concept is similar to the ice bath except on steroids, this technology allows for greater and quicker cooling that the standard ice bath does. The control of the inflammatory repsonse appears to be enhanced. So now you can control inflammation overall instead of just the one joint with the bag of ice. Other illnesses that have been studied using Whole Body Cryotherapy include Rheumatoid Arthritis , MS Multiple sclerosis, Depression, Anxiety. Some regular users also tout its impact on weight loss, estimates are that many calories are burned during the 3 minute session.
It also has shown that the need for oral medication is down after this therapy. Many tout this as the body controlling the inflammation not medication. It eliminates or minimizes the need for NSAID’s which are the medications like Advil, which can cause stomach irritation.
Overall it appears to be very safe, it has been used millions of times and studies have shown that blood pressure is not affected, or is cardiac function. Chemicals reduced in the body after exercise and associated with inflammation are decreased following the therapy currently being made in the United States by Impact Cryotherapy.