Cryotherapy: It’s Really Cool!

Let’s talk about Cryotherapy.  I’m a big fan and here’s why.

Running.  I love it.  I’ve pigged out on too many miles over the years and worn down the discs in my lower back.  Severe hamstring and back pain sent me seeking medical care.  I received my diagnosis.  Degenerative Discs.  But plenty of people have that and go on running right?  Right.  In moderation.

What’s that?  Exactly.  My pain let up just in time for my Mammoth trip and fresh out of the box I finished the week off with an EPIC 17 mile trail run above 10,000ft.  Like a true stupid donkey adventurer, I just kept going because it was so pretty.

In the end, I strained my right quad which set deep inflammation into the right knee.  The result?  Pain.  Lots of pain and no more running at all.  Again.

I treated the right knee with total rest, sports massage, physical therapy, chiropractor care, stretching, ice, tape, and F bombs.  Nine weeks passed with very little improvement in my knee.  I had a few hopeful jogs of twenty minutes to only find that days later I could not jog 5 minutes without pain.

MRI confirmed that structurally there was absolutely nothing wrong with my knee besides inflammation.  The Lab proposed we run an experiment: Four consecutive days of double cyrotherapy sessions at 3 minutes each to knock out inflammation.  Cortisone on ice?  We put the freezer to the test.

I will admit that double sessions wasn’t the easiest thing, but suck it up buttercup this is for science, for health, for RUNNING!

On the fourth day, (typical) I couldn’t wait and I did a little practice trot in the grass before my final two sessions.  No real improvement in the knee.  I felt a little disappointed, but because I also get a great euphoria from using cryotherapy and just feel all Zen like after, I just figured nothing magical was really gonna happen.

I cross trained through the weekend and gave a little test run (now week 10 of injury and two days post my final four day treatment) in the grass.  The result?  32 pain free minutes of running.  OH BATMAN!

On Wednesday I ran 35 minutes pain free and on Friday 40 minutes pain free.  I cross trained through the weekend.  Entering week 11 of injury and ten days post my four day cryotherapy session, I ran 45 minutes pain free.  The next day 7 miles pain free.  The next day 3 miles pain….slight pain in back, but that’s another deal.  

In other words, I have experienced no right knee pain for twelve days post my four day double cyro treatment.

I’m a believer!

Claws

I had this cat.  She was black with a white tuxedo collar and brilliant green eyes.  She would lie on top of anything that allowed a full view of her beautiful self while she demonstrated the retracting of her dagger claws.  Pride backed by power, she would sink those cutters into my jugular affectionately needing me at night.  This hurt and disrupted sleep.

I removed her claws.

She limped around the house.  She hid.  She adopted a very pathetic mew that turned to a sour hiss in the presence of strangers.  Her behavior changed dramatically from a confident feline into a, well, not that pleasant animal.  Guilt settled in.  I destroyed a piece of her.

She had been declawed.

Um, hem.  No need to pass me a nail file.  I rollerblade past runners and drool.  Their feet strike the ground and push mealy calves up into the air while sweat streams off their backs and soaks their shirts.  I watch them all- the fast, the slow, the young, the old….and I drool.

I love claws running.

I know you do too.  I rollerblade past a woman who shouts at me, “I wish I could do that.”  All the while I am watching a young man run and thinking, FUCK I want to do THAT!  Hee Hee.

Sitting at dinner, I watch the candles flicker out.  The wax burns very low and the blaze dances between alive and barely breathing.  I cradle my hands around the flame and it grows.  Sheltering something only for a moment all the while knowing it’s fleeting is very powerful.  Why?  Because we do that every day in all that we do.  We shelter ourselves, our children, our bodies, our experiences….to maximize the most out of every last moment.  To simply enjoy the flame.

SO CHEESY!  I know.  I’m eating cheese.

However……… it’s true.  We live for memories.  We live for moments.  OK, I do.  And a lot of people have been putting their hands around my flame.  I can’t thank them enough.

Maybe they are growing new claws….