The Summit offers alternative treatment for pain

A type of pain relieving therapy, popular around the world, is now offered right here in Wichita Falls.

Cryotherapy is said to also reduce inflammation in the body. But, with some skeptics saying there's not enough research, is it really worth it?

Angela Payne was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in 2008. She said the treatments have given her the ability to be the mother to her children that she's always wanted to be, but couldn't because her disorder caused her pain and fatigue.

"Misery," she said. "I literally hurt from my head, like my scalp, all the way down to my toes."

Payne said medicine and other treatments weren't working until she stumbled across cryotherapy.

"Of course I was just coming in more so just to like, hey I've got to try something and you don't stop until you find something."

The therapy involves stripping down and stepping into the cryo chamber, which uses liquid nitrogen to bring the temperature inside down to around 250 degrees Fahrenheit below zero. 100 percent dry air, the three-minute treatment is said to treat pain and inflammation.

Payne said she cleans houses. And Thursday, she took her 10th treatment.

"There's some people that know what I have and deal with. They know that sometimes I have to lay down and take a 15-20 minute nap at their house, so I can keep going. And, last week I did not take a nap at all."

And she said she is able to do more with her children, something she said she owes to cryotherapy. Also, something Jerry Hughes, the owner of the Summit Cryocare, said makes it worth it to him.

"If you can't be passionate about helping people and watch things that are absolutely changing the way that someone is able to live their life," Hughes said.

But for some, cryotherapy comes with a skeptical side as well, especially after a worker died getting treatment at a facility in Las Vegas in 2015. The investigation showed that worker was using the chamber after hours and suffocated. Newer facilities have safety features to avoid that kind of an issue.

There are also reports and studies that show no scientific proof the claims of cryotherapy are true or the therapy has any real benefit. In fact, the current lack of scientific proof is why the USDA has not yet approved the method as a medical treatment.
But, as for Angela, the results in her case are all the evidence she needs.

Director of media relations with the Texas Dept. of State Health services said it's not something they regulate.


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