Cryotherapy, Magnesium & CBD. The Three Weapons You May Want in Your Pain Management Arsenal
By Joy Stephenson-Laws, JD, Founder
At 61-years-old, pop music icon Madonna is still touring. But unfortunately, she recently had to cancel the last North American show of her Madame X Tour due to what she described as “indescribable pain” that brought her to tears.
If you are a Madonna fan, you know that her live performances are physically demanding and likely more grueling than most Americans’ average workouts.
“I consider myself a warrior...I never quit, I never give in, I never give up!! However this time I have to listen to my body...And accept that my pain is a warning,” she wrote in an Instagram post.
(Doctors warned her she needed to rest or else risk having irreparable damage to her body).
According to multiple reports such as this one, the exact cause of Madonna’s pain is unknown. This report claims her pain is due to a “bad knee” and a “torn ligament.” And if you look at this Instagram video, you can see the singer taking an ice bath.
“[W]ith my usual Ice Bath for multiple injuries,” she captioned.
Although you can clearly see from the video that Madonna is taking an ice bath, she is reportedly a big fan of cryotherapy (which is usually more effective than an old school ice bath) and even travels with a cryogenic chamber.
Cryotherapy and ice therapy are both forms of cold therapy, but they are very different from one another. Ice baths, a method of cold therapy, are usually what people usually compare cryotherapy to. But ice baths usually last longer (15 to 20 minutes) than a standard cryotherapy session which is two to three minutes.
‘Cryo-’ means ‘cold’ and using a cold compress or ice bath to treat painful injuries and trauma such as muscle tears, inflammation, surgical swelling, bumps and bruises are still the go-to methods for getting some relief from this pain. In fact, one of the first things people run for after a fall is an ice pack. Now take that same concept, but envelope the entire body in sub-zero temperatures (usually below negative 200 degrees fahrenheit) with the help of liquid nitrogen, and you’ve got whole body cryotherapy.
My guess is that right after a show, maybe it’s easier and more accessible for Madonna to do an ice bath. But if you are someone who suffers with chronic pain, whole body cryotherapy is definitely worth trying.
(To learn about additional benefits of cryotherapy, read here).
In addition to whole body cryotherapy, specialized massages called t-shock therapeutic massages are extremely helpful to relieve inflammation and pain. This massage utilizes a cryo and thermal wand. There are benefits to using both cold and hot therapy to treat pain, which you can read about here. Furthermore, the wand size can be adjusted to deliver the therapy to both small or large body parts such as the face, neck, elbows, eye area, back, arms, thighs, joints, etc.
Additional things to keep in your pain management arsenal?
Magnesium actually has antinociceptive effects, meaning it can keep the nociceptor (a sensory receptor for pain) from overreacting when it talks to your brain about the pain you are experiencing. In a study of hip replacement patients, magnesium plus morphine was more effective than morphine used alone for pain.
There are so many delicious, healthy foods that contain magnesium including leafy green vegetables, whole grains, nuts, salmon, avocados and bananas.
(Click here to educate yourself about several different types of magnesium supplements).
CBD (cannabidiol, a chemical found in cannabis plants).
CBD products are everywhere right now. You can find it in lotions, oils, tinctures, sprays, candy, dog treats and more. Many scientists and medical professionals believe that the cannabinoid CBD may help fight inflammation and manage a wide variety of health issues such as chronic pain, sleep disorders, anxiety and even seizure disorders.
To be clear, CBD will not get you high like the better known cannabis molecule delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) - the one that gets you high when you smoke or ingest marijuana.
The worst thing about pain is that it can prevent us from doing the things that we love - as it did with Madonna. But by being proactive and using these tools, along with eating healthily and avoiding nutrient deficiencies, we are more likely able to keep the pain away.
Enjoy your healthy life!
The pH professional health care team includes recognized experts from a variety of health care and related disciplines, including physicians, attorneys, nutritionists, nurses and certified fitness instructors. This team also includes the members of the pH Medical Advisory Board, which constantly monitors all pH programs, products and services. To learn more about the pH Medical Advisory Board, click here.