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.
The muscles and joints in your lower extremities are important for daily living, but many people take this for granted until they experience pain or swelling. A swollen knee is not only uncomfortable, it can also prevent you from going up and down stairs and limit your desire or ability to walk. This can be very disruptive to daily life and should be addressed as soon as possible to help prevent further damage and allow you to quickly get back to normal. Knee swelling can be caused by a range of factors including:
Wrist sprains are not only painful, they can be extremely inconvenient because we use our hands and wrists so much for daily activities and work. For athletes, a wrist sprain can be even more devastating, which is why it is so important to heal as quickly as possible from this unfortunate injury.
Tennis elbow results from overuse of muscles in the forearm and hand. Although the injury is common in tennis players, it is not exclusive to them. Anybody can get tennis elbow when the muscles and tendons surrounding the joint become torn or ruptured.
Upper extremity injuries can happen to anybody, but they are most commonly related to falling onto an outstretched hand. Athletes and professionals who do repetitive motions with their hands and wrists are also at higher risk of these types of injuries.Read More >
Why Does Swelling Occur After ACL Surgery?The human body is a remarkable system that uses many different mechanisms to keep you healthy. One of the more important mechanisms is the inflammatory response. Whenever your body suffers some trauma, whether it is an insect bite or a surgical incision, your body responds with inflammation.
Why does it do this? Inflammation occurs to help protect your healthy tissues from further damage, and to help the injured tissue repair itself. The inflammatory response includes five tell-tale symptoms:
- Loss of function
Depending on the severity of the injury, you will experience each of the symptoms to varying degrees. Although it is necessary to repair the torn tissues in the knee, ACL surgery is essentially a trauma to your body, so its natural response will be inflammation, which almost always includes swelling.
Although modern medicine has come a long way, complications during or after surgery are not uncommon. However, even the most minor complications should be addressed to ensure that you heal properly and completely.
If you are planning an upper extremity surgery to the hand, wrist, arm, or shoulder, a speedy recovery is probably one of your top priorities. Not being able to use an upper extremity can be very inconvenient, especially if you live alone or if your work requires the use of your injured arm.
Why to Use Cryotherapy After ACL SurgeryCryotherapy 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 SurgeryOne 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 ColdOne 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 CompressionAdding 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?