One of the most effective steps you can take is to introduce cryotherapy immediately after surgery, and to continue cold compression therapy while your body continues to have an inflammatory response.
Using Cryotherapy to Recover Faster from ACL SurgeryCryotherapy, or cold therapy, has several important effects on the body. It can help:
- Decrease pain - Unfortunately, ACL surgery comes with a certain amount of pain. Although your doctor will likely prescribe pain medication immediately following surgery, you can reduce or even eliminate the need for pain killers by using cryotherapy. Therapeutic cold numbs the damaged tissue and reduces the activity of nerve endings, which results in a decreased pain sensation.
- Decrease muscle spasms - Involuntary spasms in the muscles surrounding the knee can cause pain and disruption to the healing tissue. Cryotherapy helps prevent these muscle spasms so your body can heal without disruption.
- Reduce edema - The build-up of excess fluid in the body is a natural result of ACL surgery. However, edema can contribute to swelling and will ultimately slow down the healing process.
- Reduce swelling - Inflammation is necessary for healing, but too much can be painful. Excessive swelling also slows down ACL recovery and reduces the range of motion in the knee joint. Using cryotherapy causes the blood vessels to constrict, which reduces the amount of blood and fluid allowed to travel to the affected area, resulting in a reduction of swelling.
- Decrease metabolic activity - When tissue is injured, cells work extra hard to help it repair itself. When cells are working overtime they require more oxygen and will die more quickly while your body is in recovery mode. Cryotherapy reduces the metabolic activity of cells, which means they will need less oxygen and can continue to be effective for longer. This reduction in metabolic activity also has the effect of reducing secondary tissue.
These positive effects of cryotherapy are enhanced when combined with active compression. Game Ready's active cold compression technology allows therapeutic cold to penetrate deeper and last longer than ice alone. You also get the benefit of a natural pumping effect that actively draws excess fluid away from the knee so your ACL can recover more quickly.
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