Cryotherapy freezes out debilitating migraines

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When a friend suggested to Sasha that being blasted with -160 degree freezing cold nitrogen might help him with the persistent migraines he’s suffered since the age of nine he was sceptical. However, with the debilitating migraines a near-weekly occurrence and seriously impacting his quality of life, Sasha was willing to try anything, and he’s glad he did.

Since first suffering migraines as a young boy, Sasha has tried anything he could to rid himself of the familiar throbbing headaches which have become an all too frequent occurrence in his life. He’s seen numerous doctors, had countless scans and been prescribed cocktails of drugs. Nothing has been able to offer him the long-term relief he has been hoping for.

So when a close friend suggested cryotherapy to him, having heard that it had helped other people, Sasha was keen to give it a go, despite thinking it could well end up as yet another failed cure. “I was definitely sceptical about this at the beginning, but I thought I might as well give it a chance,” he said.

The idea behind cryotherapy is that the cold (typically between -120 and -160 degrees) triggers a physiological response in the body. While often thought of as a whole-body treatment, the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo are known to use walk-in cryotherapy chambers to boos their recovery; it can also be used as a localised treatment. Here it causes blood vessels to constrict, reduces blood flow and slows down the transmission of pain signals to the brain.

Sasha booked in at Active Clinics in Birmingham, who talked him through the treatment. Owner and Cryotherapy expert Tammy Takkar said, “When Sasha came in, he suffered from a very nasty migraine. We gave him a localised treatment which involved applying extreme cold therapy to the back of his neck and head using our cryotherapy machine. It’s a bit cold, but perfectly painless.

“In fact, straight after the first session, he experienced a massive reduction in pain, and it’s continued to get even better. He used to come in twice a week for treatments, which dropped to once a week, then every two weeks, now it’s once every three weeks because he doesn’t need any more than that.”

Sasha confirmed he is experiencing longer-term benefits saying, “After five sessions, I noticed that after getting migraines probably once a week, I’d get migraines probably once or twice a month, which is such a significant change from what I was experiencing in the past.”

He added that the improvements are giving his quality of life a significant boost. Where frequent migraines used to mean he used to miss out on meeting up with friends or had to forego his favourite foods knowing they would leave him suffering, now his life is returning to normal and missing out is becoming the rarity rather than the norm.

“Migraines are very debilitating in the sense that it does affect your quality of life,” Sasha said, “I really wanted to try and find a solution that would really help, and that was really helpful over the long term”.

Sasha said of the Cryotherapy team at Active Clinic: “I’d like to thank them for all of the hard work that they do, and for providing a solution to something that has definitely affected my quality of life because this has really improved it. This is definitely something that I’m going to carry on and has helped me quite a lot in resolving my migraines.”

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