Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries are among the most common injuries, especially for athletes. One study found an ACL injury rate of 6.5 per 100,000 athletic encounters.1 If you injure your ACL and have to have surgery, you’ll want to get your life back as fast as possible. To do that, you want to ensure you have a comprehensive rehabilitation program.
Many athletes experience a condition known as exercise-induced edema after working out. You might not be familiar with this term, but chances are you will recognize the symptoms. Have you ever had trouble taking off a ring after going for a run? Do your feet and ankles swell after athletic activity? These might be symptoms of exercise-induced edema.Read More >
If you are recovering from an injury or surgery, your doctor has probably recommended working with a physical therapist to help you regain strength, flexibility, and normal range of motion. In addition to stretches and strength training exercises, your physician might also prescribe the use of a cold and compression machine to help speed up the healing process and reduce pain and swelling.
Many physical therapy clinics have cold compression systems that you can use during your treatment sessions, but what if you want the many benefits of cryotherapy and active compression in your own home? Will insurance reimburse for the cost of purchasing a cold and compression unit? The answer is: it depends.
Successful 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.
These simple steps can make the back surgery recovery process go much more smoothly.
Four Tips to Improve Back Surgery Recovery
- Manage pain with medication - A certain amount of pain is inevitable with any type of surgery. Talk to your physician about how they intend to help you manage pain and what types of medications you can expect to be taking. They might prescribe narcotics, NSAIDs, or other pain management medications immediately following the surgery. The medications you should take will depend on the type of surgery you have, so be sure to ask your doctor before taking any over-the-counter medications.
- Get plenty of sleep - The more you can rest comfortably, the faster your body will heal. Ask your physician or physical therapist what sleeping positions they recommend to help reduce strain on your back.
- Participate in your rehabilitation - Although it is important to rest, it is equally important to be active throughout the rehabilitation process. Your physical therapist might recommend gentle stretches or certain movements to help increase circulation and regain muscle strength. Every patient is different, so make sure you work closely with a healthcare professional to develop your rehabilitation plan.
- Use active compression and cold therapy to reduce pain - Compression and cold therapy have been used for centuries to help speed up the healing process for injuries of all types. This can be a little more challenging with back surgery recovery because of the nature and location of the injury. However, using a specially designed cryotherapy wrap that circulates cold water and air will provide simultaneous cold therapy and active compression. Cold therapy can be used immediately after surgery and on an ongoing basis after activities that might induce swelling.
If you are facing back recovery surgery, talk to your doctor or physical therapist about Game Ready's patented dual-action Active Temperature Exchange back wraps. The combination of active compression and cold therapy is proven to provide longer-lasting, deeper cooling to help reduce swelling and speed up the healing process.
The results speak for themselves. More than 94% of patients who used Game Ready said that their post-operative recovery was better than with other types of cold therapy. Want to learn more? Contact us today to speak with a representative.
What steps have you taken to help improve back surgery recovery?
What should you do when you suffer a musculoskeletal injury such as a sprained wrist or a strained back? Most people are advised to rest, apply ice and compression, and temporarily, elevate the injury site if possible (not so easy with a back strain). This technique, known as RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation), is widely used in sports medicine today.
Cryotherapy – also called cold therapy – has been used for many years to treat the aftereffects of a soft tissue musculoskeletal injury. If you’ve ever twisted your ankle or had to do post-op rehabilitation for a knee ligament repair, you may have been advised to follow the RICE (Rest-Ice-Compression-Elevation) regimen. Traditional ice application methods typically include use of an ice bucket (doesn’t work on many joint injuries, such as the back or hip), wrapping the injury with a plastic bag filled with crushed ice, or using an ace wrap over the ice-filled bag to try and provide some compression along with the cryotherapy. These methods are inconvenient, messy, irritating and hard to stick with over time. And when you don’t stay with a regimen of cryotherapy and compression, you recover more slowly from your sports injury.