As an athlete, you know the typical scenario when you get a sports injury. When it happens, you go to the sidelines and apply an ice pack while elevating the injured area, hoping the swelling will go down quickly and that it won’t be that bad. If you’re lucky, it’s just a minor sprain and you get back to your usual routine within a couple weeks. If the injury is more serious, it might take up to six weeks to fully recover, unless you need surgery.
Regardless of the severity of the injury, you should use best practices for the recovery process. This means allowing ample time to rest so you do not risk re-injury, eating right and getting enough sleep so your body has the energy and nutrients it needs to heal, and applying cold and compression to the damaged tissues so you can accelerate the healing process.
When it comes to applying cold and compression, the best practice is no longer just an ice pack and a compression bandage. Advances in technology have led to the development of better ways to deliver therapeutic cold and active compression, which produces better results than a static bandage.
Why You Need a Cold Therapy Machine for Sports Injury Recovery
How is a cold therapy machine better than the traditional ice pack and compression bandage method? For athletes, there are many benefits to harnessing modern technology for sports injury recovery:
Although it is true that an ice pack will temporarily dull nerve endings and reduce the sensation of pain, a cold therapy machine does this much more effectively. Because the temperature stays consistently cold throughout the therapy session, the therapeutic benefits last longer than ice packs that warm during application. Simultaneously delivering active compression also makes the therapeutic cold penetrate deeper, reaching all of your damaged tissues.
Active pneumatic compression helps reduce swelling more quickly than a static compression bandage. The pumping action mimics your body’s natural processes to flush out cellular debris and replenish nutrients and freshly oxygenated blood. Reducing edema helps your body heal faster, reduces pain, and improves range of motion at the same time.
More comfort during recovery
It might not be possible to completely eliminate discomfort during injury recovery, but you can certainly make the process more pleasant with a cold therapy machine. The body-conforming wraps adjust to fit your contours and you don’t have to hold yourself in an awkward position to keep an ice pack in just the right spot. You also don’t have to worry about getting wet or damaging your skin because you have total control over the temperature.
With all of these benefits, why wouldn’t you want to replace your old ice packs with a cold therapy machine? A cryotherapy system is more accessible than you might think. If you play with a team, talk to your trainer about getting Game Ready for your athletic program or through athlete insurance. If you’re a solo athlete, find a provider near you so you know where to go for a cold therapy machine next time you get a sports injury.