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complete guide to upper extremity injury and surgery recovery

knee surgery recovery, cryotherapy for sports injuries

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How a Cold Therapy Machine Helps You Quickly Recover from Injury


How a Cold Therapy Machine Helps You Quickly Recover from Injury

Most people know that applying traditional RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation) therapy after an injury helps reduce pain and swelling, but do you know why? Understanding the science behind it can help you understand why a cold therapy machine works even better to help you recover quickly from an injury.

Why Cold Therapy Promotes Healing

Therapeutic cold has long been known to help reduce the pain and swelling associated with an injury. The three primary mechanisms that contribute to this are the:

  • Numbing of nerve endings - Cold reduces the sensitivity of nerve endings, which slows down the communication between your body and your brain, causing you to feel less pain in the injured area.

  • Slowing of cellular metabolism - Therapeutic cold also reduces the activity of cells, which means that the cycle of cell death is slowed down. This reduction in the metabolic rate of damaged cells helps more of the tissues in your muscles, tendons, and ligaments survive the injury, reducing the amount of repair required.

  • Promotion of the hunting response - When your body is exposed to cold, one of the natural reactions is the hunting response, which is the alternating constriction and dilation of the blood vessels. In the context of injury recovery, the hunting response helps reduce cellular metabolism during vasoconstriction and increases delivery of freshly oxygenated blood and nutrients during vasodilation.

Why Compression Enhances Injury Recovery

Applying pressure to an injury helps speed up healing in a few important ways:

  • Reduction of swelling - External pressure on damaged tissues helps prevent and reduce swelling. The traditional use of static compression bandages serves this purpose, but the active compression provided by a cold therapy machine provides even more benefits.

  • Prevention of edema - Edema, or the build-up of excess fluid, can slow down the recovery process. Active compression helps prevent edema by applying pressure to the area and actively removing any fluid that does appear.

  • Promotion of fluid circulation - During the healing process, damaged tissues need a lot of oxygen and nutrients to repair themselves. Active compression effectively pumps lymph fluid, cellular debris, and other unwanted fluids away from injury, while simultaneously supplying fresh blood and nutrients.

Why a Cold Therapy Machine Accelerates Healing

The therapeutic cold and active compression supplied by a cold therapy machine work together to help you recover from injuries even faster than ice packs or static compression alone.

Because cold therapy machines constantly circulate cold water through an ice reservoir, the temperature remains consistent throughout the therapy session. Adding active compression allows therapeutic cold to penetrate deeper and last longer. This means that all of the benefits described above are enhanced, contributing to faster tissue repair and an accelerated injury recovery for you.

Game Ready offers patented wraps for virtually any type of injury. Whether you need a boot that fully encloses an ankle sprain, a lumbar wrap to recover from a back injury, or an articulated knee wrap so you can use a CPM machine while cooling the injury at the same time, Game Ready has a cold therapy machine with active compression and the right wrap  for you. Find a clinic near you to get started today.

guide to new cryotherapy techniques

Why Your Rehabilitation Plan Needs a Cryotherapy Machine


Why Your Rehabilitation Plan Needs a Cryotherapy MachineSuccessful rehabilitation from an injury or surgery requires time and patience, but with a solid physical therapy plan and a little help from a cryotherapy machine, you can help speed up the healing process and be more comfortable at the same time. If you have recovered from an injury before, you know that in addition to ample rest, your doctor will recommend ice and compression to help reduce pain and swelling. These recommendations remain valid, but modern technology has made it possible to get even more benefit from the application of cold and compression.

A cryotherapy machine allows you to simultaneously apply therapeutic cold and active compression with the convenience of an easy-to-apply wrap that has integrated chambers for air and cold water. The water continually circulates from the wrap through an ice reservoir, so the temperature remains constant. At the same time, air is pneumatically pumped through the chambers in the wrap to deliver active compression that mimics the body’s natural pumping action.

Why to Include a Cryotherapy Machine in Your Rehabilitation Plan

Although it might seem like ice packs and compression bandages are sufficient, a cryotherapy machine is proven to provide the following advantages:

  • Better delivery of therapeutic cold - Traditional ice packs get warmer the longer they are on your body because heat transfers from your skin to the pack. While this might feel more comfortable on your skin, it reduces the therapeutic effect. A cryotherapy machine delivers consistent, controllable cold that penetrates deeper into damaged tissue with the help of active compression. The result is more effective cooling that lasts longer.

  • Better than static compression - Static compression is used to control swelling, but cryotherapy machines do so much more. Active compression helps remove excess fluid, or edema, from the injured area while bringing fresh blood and nutrients at the same time. Freshly oxygenated blood and the flushing of cellular waste helps improve healing, so you can get back to normal activity more quickly. 

  • Faster healing - The combination of deeply-penetrating, long-lasting cold and active compression is proven to help accelerate healing in damaged tissues. A cryotherapy and compression machine is simply more effective than ice packs and compression bandages, so if a fast recovery is a priority for you, why wouldn’t you use one?

  • More comfortable recovery - Injury rehabilitation is no fun for anybody. You are definitely going to experience some pain, swelling, and general discomfort, but a cryotherapy machine can make the journey more comfortable. The specialized wraps are fully adjustable and easy to apply, so you don’t have to worry about holding an ice pack or getting the right pressure with a static compression bandage. Just set up the system, apply the wrap, and sit back and relax while the cryotherapy machine does all the work.

It’s true that ice packs and compression bandages still work, but if you want the fastest, most comfortable rehabilitation from an injury or surgery, a cryotherapy machine is the best way to go.

Ask your doctor or physical therapist about getting a Game Ready cryotherapy and compression machine for your recovery. You can either find a provider near you that offers the system in their clinic, or you can rent a unit to use at home. After just one use, you’ll see why professional athletic trainers, orthopedic surgeons, and physical therapists recommend Game Ready for rehabilitation from injuries and surgery.

guide to new cryotherapy techniques

Top 5 Cryotherapy and Compression Benefits for Post-Operative Patient Care


Top 5 Cryotherapy and Compression Benefits for Post Operative Patient Care

Some surgeries are scheduled to relieve recurring problems or lingering sports injuries, while others are in response to acute trauma. Regardless of the reason for surgery, the post-operative recovery process is generally similar because the body responds with inflammation.

One of the classic treatments for inflammation is cryotherapy and compression.

Benefits of Cryotherapy and Compression Treatment After Surgery

The application of therapeutic cold works by cooling down body tissue and slowing cellular metabolism, which reduces secondary tissue damage and also contributes to less swelling.

Some of the benefits of employing cryotherapy and compression for post-operative care include:

  1. Less pain medication - Unfortunately, pain is a natural part of the inflammatory response that occurs after surgery. Although you might need some medication immediately after surgery, cryotherapy can help you minimize the amount required by naturally reducing pain. Less pain medication allows you to appropriately respond to your healing progress because you can better feel when you approach your activity limit.
  2. Faster wound healing - The incisions from surgery heal faster with the application of therapeutic cold. Faster wound healing means lower risk of infection and less scarring.
  3. Less risk of post-operative complications - Cryotherapy and compression help reduce edema, swelling, and muscle spasms, which can contribute to post-operative complications such as blood clots, immobility, and sudden movements that can impact tissue repair.
  4. Less time in the hospital - Nobody wants to stay in the hospital longer than absolutely necessary. Cryotherapy and active compression have been shown to reduce the amount of time required in the hospital after surgery.
  5. Faster recovery - All of the above benefits combine to contribute to an overall faster recovery after virtually every type of surgery.

By simultaneously pumping cold water and actively compressing the area of the body enclosed by a specialized wrap, Game Ready cryo-compression provides the post-operative care you need in one system.

If you are planning to have surgery or are currently recovering from an operation, consider including Game Ready as part of your post-operative recovery. You can rent a system to use at home, or find a provider near you to include intermittent pneumatic compression and cryotherapy in your recovery plan.

As a safe, easy-to-apply treatment that can help you return to normal activity more quickly, why wouldn't you try cryotherapy and compression for post-operative recovery?


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?


Is Cryotherapy Treatment Alone Sufficient Treatment for Your Patients and Clinic resized 600

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.

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