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complete guide to upper extremity injury and surgery recovery

knee surgery recovery, cryotherapy for sports injuries

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The Disadvantages of Traditional Cryotherapy Systems

 

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Cryotherapy is not a new approach to reducing pain and inflammation after an injury or surgery. However, new technologies are emerging to provide the same (and often better) benefits while eliminating the drawbacks of traditional approaches at the same time.

Every individual who has been injured is likely familiar with the bag full of ice that first feels too cold on the skin, but then rapidly melts into an awkward wet mess. Not only is this uncomfortable and inconvenient, it is also doesn’t help to maximize the many benefits of cryotherapy.

5 Drawbacks of Traditional Cryotherapy Systems

Some of the disadvantages of traditional cryotherapy methods such as cold packs, ice baths, and cryogenic chambers include:

  1. Too messy - Your patients don’t want to deal with a cold pack dripping down their body and onto the furniture. Even the traditional bag of frozen peas gets condensation on the surface. Ice baths for athletes take messy to another level because of submersion in a tub of ice water.

  2. Too cold - Although cold therapy has many benefits, too much cold is not safe for skin and other tissues. Many cold packs are too cold to be safely applied to bare skin, at least initially. Cryogenic chambers also pose the risk of too much cold exposure if the session lasts too long.

  3. Too warm - The cold pack that goes on too cold quickly becomes too warm from body heat that draws the cold away from it. Although this might feel more comfortable, the benefits of cryotherapy decrease as the temperature of the cold pack increases.

  4. Too awkward - Most people find that holding an ice pack on an injury is just too boring or inconvenient, which is why you recommend securing it on with a compression bandage. The fact is that ice packs are difficult to thoroughly and effectively apply to many parts of the human body and, not to mention, awkward for the patient.

  5. Not enough coverage -  Even when patients do comply by holding a cold pack in the same spot for a long period of time, that cold pack only provides so much coverage. Applying cold to the entire area surrounding the injury can help achieve optimal coverage, but this isn’t achievable with a single ice pack.

The solution to overcoming these disadvantages is Game Ready. The patented cold therapy and active compression system delivers constant, safe cold and simultaneous controlled compression through specialized wraps that adjust to conform to any body. If you are interested in learning more about Game Ready, get in touch with us today.

guide to new cryotherapy techniques

6 Reasons Athletic Programs Should Invest in Cryotherapy Systems for Athletes

 

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With highly intense activity and a lot of physical impact, athletes incur more injuries than the general public. Most athletic programs are prepared for this with a broad range of treatment options including first aid solutions such as ice packs and compression wraps. Many programs also take a pro-active approach to injury prevention with post-practice cold application and physical therapy.

Adding a cryotherapy machine to the injury treatment and prevention strategy is a good move for any athletic program that is committed to injury treatment and prevention.

Why Athletic Programs Should Use Cryotherapy Machines

Some of the reasons athletic programs benefit from investing in cryotherapy machines include:

  1. Fewer injuries - The key to fewer athletic injuries is prevention. Using a cryotherapy machine after games and intense practices will help reduce inflammation and protect muscles and connective tissues from injury.

  2. Faster injury recovery - When injuries do happen, you want to get players back on the field as fast as possible without risking re-injury. Cryotherapy machines are proven to deliver faster recovery times than ice packs alone.

  3. Portable treatment - Cryotherapy machines can be used on the field, rinkside, in the medical center, or virtually anywhere. Bring your system to games so you can quickly treat injuries that occur or help athletes recover more quickly immediately after the game.

  4. Safer cold therapy system - Unlike ice baths or cold packs, some cryotherapy machines allow you to control the temperature to prevent skin damage or other tissues associated with too much cold. You can also set a timer for treatment sessions and control the pressure of the active compression system.

  5. More effective treatment - The ability to simultaneously deliver consistent cold with active compression enhances all of the benefits of cold therapy. Specialized wraps are designed to enclose the entire injured area to help deliver cold from every angle, not just from a single ice pack.

  6. Better patient compliance - Every athlete is familiar with RICE - rest, ice, compression, and elevation. Unfortunately, not all athletes take the time to participate fully in their injury recovery program. Holding an ice pack on your knee several times a day is a simple task, but that doesn't mean a college football player is going to do it. A cryotherapy machine does all the work for them. All they have to do is put on the wrap, push a few buttons, and sit back during the treatment session. The easier it is for athletes to apply cold and compression, the more likely they are to comply.

If you would like to learn more about the many benefits of purchasing a Game Ready cryotherapy and compression machine for your athletic program, contact us today.

guide to new cryotherapy techniques

3 Benefits of Having a Cryotherapy Machine in Your Practice

 

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Any investment in new equipment requires serious consideration. In addition to the upfront and potentially on-going costs, you must consider how much space you have for storage and use, how often the equipment will be operated, and of course, whether the technology is right for your patients and practice.

Cryotherapy has a long history of use for a broad range of medical conditions and injuries. With clinical data to back it up, the application of cold therapy is not going change any time soon, if ever. However, what has changed is the technology for delivering cold.

New cryotherapy machines have been developed to deliver therapeutic cold and active compression at the same time. These devices use an ice reservoir and patented dual-chamber technology to circulate cooled water and pneumatically pumped air through a wrap that encloses the affected part of the body.

3 Benefits of a Cryotherapy Machine in Your Practice

Although you might already have an effective system for applying cold therapy to your patients, there are several benefits to upgrading to a cryotherapy machine:

  1. Patients save money - Active compression and cold can help reduce patient costs in a number of ways. In many cases, they don't need to take as much pain medication, or they can eliminate it entirely. A faster recovery also means a quicker return to work and fewer lost wages.

  2. Patients comply with treatment - Patient compliance plays a major role in the success of any physical therapy approach. If patients come to your clinic and have to sit through a cryotherapy treatment that is uncomfortable or potentially harmful to their skin, they are less likely to complete the entire course of treatment. A cryotherapy machine with soft, flexible, ergonomically designed wraps that conform to their body is much more comfortable than an ice bath that requires them to get wet, or a gel pack that they have keep in one position for a long period of time.

  3. Treat two patients at once - Your practice is a business, which means that you need to get the most from your equipment investments. A cryotherapy machine allows you to connect two active compression and cold wraps to a single control unit so you can maximize your resources and schedule two patients for cold therapy at the same time.

Game Ready provides active compression and cold systems for clinics and practices. With wraps that are designed to address virtually any injury area, you can offer a better solution to your patients. Game Ready is proven to be more effective than ice alone, and patients will love the more comfortable treatment alternative.

If you want to learn more about how Game Ready can benefit both you and your patients, contact us today with questions or place your order now.

guide to new cryotherapy techniques

Why a Cryotherapy Treatment System Is a Value-Add for Physical Therapy Clinics

 

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When doctors and patients seek physical therapy clinics for injury rehabilitation, they take a number of factors into consideration. In addition to practical matters, like location and insurance, they also want to know whether a clinic uses the latest technology and techniques. In fact, they often look for specific equipment that they know and trust.

One of the treatments that is commonly used in almost every type of injury recovery is cryotherapy. This traditionally takes the form of cold packs or ice baths, but modern technology has finally offered a better way with patented technology t that keeps patients both safe and dry while delivering effective cold and compression therapy

Active compression and cold systems provide uniform cooling and give you control of the time, temperature and pressure settings. They also provide more coverage than ice packs, so the cold is able to penetrate deeper and last longer. Simultaneous active compression further enhances the therapeutic benefits of cold and removes edema at the same time. These are all great benefits for the patient, but what does that mean for your clinic?

Why Cryotherapy Treatment Adds Value to Your Clinic

Combining cryotherapy with active compression gives doctors and patients several reasons to select your clinic over the competition:

  • Less medication - The application of therapeutic cold helps reduce pain. With a cryotherapy machine, this effect lasts longer and many patients find that they need little or no pain medication. Doctors like this benefit because their patients can be weaned off of medication more quickly, and patients appreciate the cost savings.

  • Less risk - Traditional cold therapies can potentially cause skin damage if the temperature is too low. Cryotherapy machines give you complete control so you don't have worry about negative side effects.

  • More comfortable - Nobody likes to sit in an ice bath, even if it will help them recover more quickly. With cryotherapy machines, patients don't have to deal with that discomfort. Instead, they can sit comfortably while an adjustable wrap encloses the injured area and applies consistent compression and cold.

  • More effective - The combination of active compression and cold has been proven to be more effective than traditional ice packs. If you can demonstrate to doctors and patients that your physical therapy clinic can help increase recovery times, you'll get more referrals.

  • More efficient - A cryotherapy system allows you to treat two patients at once, so you can maximize your time and equipment.


Game Ready is increasingly becoming a known brand among all medical professionals. Increase referrals to your clinic by offering Game Ready, and give yourself a competitive edge when patients are researching their options. If you're ready to take your physical therapy clinic to the next level in injury rehabilitation, contact us today to get started.

guide to new cryotherapy techniques

Is Cryotherapy Treatment Alone Sufficient Treatment for Your Patients and Clinic?

 

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Cryotherapy is a common treatment approach for many patients recovering from injuries or surgery. Although it has been used successfully for hundreds of years, it is important for healthcare professionals to know that developments have been made to improve the traditional methods for applying cold therapy.

Ice baths and cold packs are still effective means to achieve the many benefits of cryotherapy, but new technologies have enabled better application systems that are cleaner, safer and produce better results.

Why Cryotherapy Treatment Alone is Not Enough

Physicians and physical therapists always strive to provide the best care for their patients. Staying on top of scientific advancements is one of the best ways to reach this goal. The addition of active compression to cryotherapy is an excellent example of how new technologies can improve traditional treatment methods.

Some of the reasons the combination of cryotherapy and active compression should be adopted in your practice include:

  • Enhanced benefits - All of the same therapeutic benefits you get with traditional RICE therapy are enhanced with the addition of active cold and compression. Pain and swelling are effectively reduced for a longer period of time and metabolic activity is slowed more rapidly.

  • Better edema removal - The build-up of excess fluid around an injury is both uncomfortable for the patient and it slows down the healing process. Active compression helps remove edema by pumping fluid away from the area.

  • Better lymphatic drainage - As waste products build up while cells are repairing themselves, active compression helps flush them away with improved lymphatic drainage.

  • Better blood flow - The natural pumping action contributes to the vasoconstriction effects of cryotherapy and increases blood flow, which helps bring fresh oxygen and nutrients to healing tissues.

  • Better coverage - Active compression wraps are designed to conform to the contours of the body, so unlike an ice pack that can only deliver cold to a limited area, you achieve more coverage. This contributes to faster, deeper cooling that lasts longer so your patients get more out of each treatment session.

In addition, cold and compression wraps are safer for patients because, unlike an ice bath, you can control the temperature and avoid unwanted damage to skin. Patients also don't have to deal with getting wet, which makes each treatment session faster and easier for everybody.

If you want to learn more about how active cold and compression can improve the treatment offering at your clinic, get in touch with Game Ready today. The system is clinically-proven, used by thousands of physical therapists and trainers, and will help you bring more customers to your clinic.

guide to new cryotherapy techniques

3 Reasons Cryotherapy Systems Should Be Added to Your Clinic

 

3 Reasons Cryotherapy Systems Should Be Added to Your Clinic

The benefits of cold therapy are widely known among athletic trainers, physical therapists and physicians, but the traditional application methods leave something to be desired. Ice packs provide only localized cryotherapy and have the potential to damage skin if they are too cold. Ice baths provide more coverage, but they are uncomfortable and messy for patients.

Fortunately, new developments in cryotherapy systems have made it safer, easier, and more effective to deliver therapeutic cold to your clients.

3 Reasons to Add Cryotherapy Systems to Your Clinic

Cryotherapy systems use patented technology to deliver cold at a consistent temperature throughout the therapy session. They do this by using wraps with integrated chambers to circulate water that flows through an ice reservoir to maintain a constant level of cold.

Some of the reasons you should consider adding a cryotherapy system to your clinic include:

  1. Safety - Eliminate the risk of potential skin damage from ice packs that are too cold. Although clients might understand that there is a chance of this happening, if you can provide an alternative that removes this undesirable side effect, they may be more willing to follow your therapeutic recommendations.

  2. Comfort - Keeping an ice pack in the same spot on the body or submerging injured joints and limbs in an ice bath is uncomfortable for anybody. Giving your clients a better, more comfortable option will keep them coming back for treatments and give your clinic an edge over the competition.

  3. Therapeutic benefit - Cryotherapy systems, especially those that combine the delivery of therapeutic cold with active compression, are proven to be more effective than ice packs alone. If you offer a solution that will help athletes and physical therapy patients recover more quickly, you will have satisfied customers. This means more referrals and more traffic to your clinic.

Game Ready provides cryotherapy systems with integrated active compression for even faster healing. In combination with therapeutic cold, active compression helps reduce swelling, remove edema, and decrease pain in a non-narcotic application. A collection of wraps enables you to safely provide cold and compression therapy to virtually any area of the body - ankles, knees, hips, the back, hands, wrists, neck, and shoulders. No matter what types of injuries you handle at your clinic, Game Ready can help you deliver therapeutic cold without the discomfort and mess of cold packs and ice baths.

If you're interested in adding Game Ready to the treatment options at your clinic, contact us today to learn more.

guide to new cryotherapy techniques

4 Ways Cryotherapy Accelerates Healing for Athletes

 

Cryotherapy Accelerates Healing for Athletes

Athletes can suffer a broad range of injuries throughout their careers including sprains, strains, ACL tears, rotator cuff damage, and more. At the extreme end of the spectrum, an injury might require surgery and can potentially end a career if not treated properly. On the other hand, minor injuries happen all the time and might keep an athlete off the practice field for a few weeks or months.

Regardless of the extent of the injury, the top priority is always to get the athlete back in the game as quickly as possible without risking further damage or re-injury. This goal can be achieved through a number of approaches including rest, physical therapy, medication, and others. No matter what the treatment protocol, one way to ensure that the injury heals as fast as possible is by using cryotherapy systems.

4 Ways Cryotherapy Systems Accelerate Healing

The benefits of cold therapy are not new to athletic trainers, but new cryotherapy systems with active compression can make the healing process go even faster. This is good news for the medical professionals that regularly work in the sports industry, and great news for the athletes who want to get back in the game.

Cryotherapy systems with active compression help accelerate healing in the following ways:

  1. Better cold delivery - Traditional ice packs draw heat away from the body. Although this is the objective, the unintended consequence is that the ice pack gets warmer, and therefore less effective, over time. Cryotherapy systems use patented technology to continually circulate cold water through a wrap that surrounds the injured area. This means that heat is constantly drawn away from the injury, but the temperature of the cold delivery mechanism never changes.

  2. Less metabolic activity - The application of cold reduces the metabolism of cells, which means that damaged tissues have a better chance to repair themselves.

  3. Better blood flow - Cryotherapy systems that use active compression help promote lymphatic drainage and promote better blood flow. This means that more freshly oxygenated and nutrient-rich blood is delivered to the damaged areas to promote faster healing.

  4. Long-lasting benefits - All of the above effects, in combination with cold that penetrates deeper than it can with traditional ice packs, provide therapeutic benefits that last longer than traditional cold therapy application methods.

Athletic trainers and clinics that treat athletes need to stay on the cutting edge of injury treatment if they want to stay competitive. Adding new technologies like Game Ready can help athletes heal faster, which means they are back on their feet and back in the game more quickly. Contact us today to learn more about how you can get Game Ready in your clinic or athletic department today.

guide to new cryotherapy techniques

4 Recovery Options for Elbow, Hand, or Shoulder Surgery

 

how to recover from wrist surgeryUpper extremity injuries and surgery will inevitably cause disruption in your lifestyle. When surgery is required, either because of a fracture or an acute reccurring injury that does not subside, active participation in your recovery is the best way to return to normal function as quickly as possible.  

Your doctor will prescribe a recovery plan that should be closely followed to ensure that the healing process goes smoothly. 

 

Pain Medication

Pain immediately after surgery is often treated with medication that is tapered off as soon as it is practical. If you have lingering pain in the weeks after surgery your doctor might recommend non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) to help relieve it. Always talk to your healthcare provider before taking any pain medication and communicate openly about any discomfort you feel.

RICE

The combination of rest, ice, compression, and elevation is a standard approach for many injuries, including recovery from surgery.   

Getting ample rest is necessary for your body to heal itself. Your body will consume more energy than usual as it repairs tissues and copes with the trauma of surgery.  

Using ice or other cold therapy methods is proven to help reduce the swelling and pain that you will experience after surgery.  

Compression is used to help remove edema, or excess fluid, and also contributes to the reduction of swelling.  

Elevation helps limit swelling by making it more difficult for excess fluids to travel to the affected area. Controlling swelling is important for speeding up the healing process. Although some swelling is normal (and in fact beneficial), too much swelling impedes cellular and tissue repair. 

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy after surgery is essential for restoring strength and flexibility to your injured muscles and other tissues. Some activities that might be included in your therapy include: 

  • Muscle strengthening exercises to help you return to normal function
  • Stretches to increase flexibility and improve mobility
  • Activities to help reduce scar tissue on your skin 

Always follow the directions from your physical therapist to ensure optimal recovery. Although you may be encouraged to start using your hand or wrist shortly after surgery, too much activity can slow down the healing process. Work closely with your therapist to strike the right balance of activity.

Cold Compression Therapy

Cold compression therapy is recommended for surgery recovery for all the same reasons it is used to treat reoccurring acute injuries. It is more effective than ice packs and static compression bandages, and there is no risk of tissue damage from temperatures that are too cold.  

This type of therapy is particularly beneficial for surgery recovery because it helps accelerate the healing process in the following ways: 

  • Cold reduces cellular metabolism, which reduces cell death and secondary tissue damage
  • Active compression removes edema, which can contribute to slower healing
  • Active compression increases blood flow, which brings more oxygen for tissue repair 

The faster your muscles, ligaments, and tendons can heal after surgery, the more quickly you will be able to return to normal activity. Adding cold compression therapy to your recovery program is the best way to ensure the fastest rehabilitation.  

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7 Stretches to Do Post MCL Knee Surgery

 
acl stretchesAfter MCL surgery it is important to strengthen and stretch the muscles surrounding the knee joint. Doing the exercises prescribed by your physical therapist will help you recover more quickly and help prevent future injury to the knee.

Whether you are strengthening or stretching, it is important to follow your therapist's instructions carefully as introducing too much activity too quickly can hinder the MCL recovery process.

7 Stretching Exercises for After MCL Surgery

Some of the stretching exercises your physical therapist might recommend include:
  1. Heel prop - Knee hyperextension is one component of proper full range of motion. The heel prop and the next two exercises are designed to improve knee hyperextension. The heel prop is a passive stretching exercise in which your leg rests on a bolster placed at the ankle. Because your foot is slightly elevated, your knee is allowed to be slightly hyperextended. Work with your physical therapist to ensure that you select a correctly sized bolster for this exercise.

  2. Towel stretch - Using a towel or other static strap wrapped loosely around the ball of your foot, gently pull your toes toward you and allow the knee to hyperextend.

  3. Active hyperextension - The goal of this exercise is to achieve the same effect as the towel stretch without using a device. With both legs flat while sitting up, using the strength in your quadriceps muscles, lift your heels off the floor.

  4. Heel slide - Knee flexion is just as important as extension. While lying flat on your back with your knees bent, use a towel or other device to gently pull your heels toward your body.

  5. Quadriceps stretch - Lay on your side and slightly bend both knees to find a stable position. Deepen the bend in the top leg and bring your heel toward your thigh, gently stretching your  muscles in the front of the thigh.

  6. Hamstring stretch - Lay on your back and bend both knees with your feet flat on the floor. Straighten one leg and use a towel or strap to slowly bring it closer to your body until you feel a stretch in the back of your thigh.

  7. Calf stretch - Stand facing a wall and bring one foot in front of the other as if you were going to do a lunge. Bend the front leg while keeping the back knee straight and push against the wall while keeping your back heel on the floor.

All of these stretches can be done in combination with other activities that will help you recover more quickly, including active cold and compression therapy. After a physical therapy session, using cryotherapy and compression can help reduce the pain and swelling that you are likely to experience after MCL surgery.

For  information about how the Game Ready system provides active cold and compression therapy, ask your doctor or find a provider near you. Having Game Ready lined up before your MCL surgery will help make recovery easier and faster.

What other stretches do you plan to do after MCL surgery?

Cost of Cryotherapy

How Does Cryotherapy Improve ACL Surgery Recovery?

 
acl surgery recoveryOne of the best ways to ensure that you make a speedy and full recovery after ACL surgery is to include cryotherapy as part of your rehabilitation plan. Cryotherapy is simply defined as the application of therapeutic cold to an injury. The effects of this therapeutic cold are many, and like other types of therapy, there are techniques you can employ to ensure that you get the most from your efforts.

Why to Use Cryotherapy After ACL Surgery

Cryotherapy is proven to have the following benefits:
  • Pain reduction - When you apply cold to any part of your body, the nerve fibers in the area reduce their activity, which lessens your perception of pain, providing an analgesic effect. Cryotherapy also has the effect of reducing muscular activity, which also contributes to a reduction in pain.

  • Swelling control - Swelling is a natural part of the inflammatory response that your body will go through after ACL surgery. Although a little swelling is normal, and in fact beneficial, too much swelling can impede the healing process and be uncomfortable for you. Cryotherapy reduces swelling by causing your blood vessels to alternate between dilation and constriction, removing the excess waste and fluid that contributes to swelling.

  • Edema reduction - Vasoconstriction and vasodilation also contribute to edema reduction with the same pumping effect that helps control swelling.

  • Faster healing - All of these factors combine to contribute to an overall faster healing process. Being in less pain will allow you to comfortably perform the exercises that your physical therapist recommends, and the healing effects of cryotherapy will help you get back on your feet faster.

Enhancing Cryotherapy After ACL Surgery

One way to employ cryotherapy is with the use of ice packs. Although this has been an effective method for decades, modern technology has made major strides that allow you to enhance the benefits of cryotherapy.

Consistent Cold

One of the drawbacks of ice packs is that they heat up over time and become gradually less effective. New cryotherapy systems use an ice reservoir and a constantly circulating flow of cold water to provide a consistent application of therapeutic cold. In combination with specialized wraps that cover the entire area around the knee joint, you benefit from deeper-penetrating, longer-lasting cryotherapy.

Active Compression

Adding active compression to cryotherapy enhances all of its benefits. Active pumping helps remove excess fluid while bringing even more fresh blood and fluid to the damaged tissues to stimulate faster healing.

Game Ready uses patented technology to provide simultaneous active compression with the application of consistent therapeutic cold. Ask your doctor about using Game Ready after ACL surgery or find a provider near you.

Have you tried cryotherapy for other injuries?

Cost of Cryotherapy
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