Athletic trainers are always looking for new tools and systems that will help athletes recover from injuries more quickly. Cryotherapy allows you to improve on traditional RICE therapy in a way that may be more convenient, more comfortable, and more effective.
Cryotherapy combines the benefits of therapeutic cold with intermittent pneumatic compression to help provide deeper, longer-lasting cold. This means that more of the tissues damaged during the injury may receive the benefits of cold and compression and may help lead to:
- Less pain
- Less swelling
- Faster healing
- Less pain medication
All of these benefits help contribute to an overall faster recovery, which means athletes get back in the game faster.
Some of the many reasons for athletic trainers to use cryotherapy include:
Helps Improve Recovery Time
Using cryotherapy immediately after an injury may significantly reduce the recovery time by helping prevent the build-up of edema and slowing cellular metabolism. Continuing to apply therapeutic cold in combination with active compression throughout the recovery process helps contribute to faster healing and a quicker return to previous activity levels.
Reduces Length of Absences Because of Injury
One of the main goals for many athletic trainers, especially for professional teams, is to keep as many players healthy and injury-free for as long as possible. The more time a player has to sit on the bench, the more the team dynamic suffers and the more quickly a player’s career can decline. Some sports injuries are unavoidable, but when they do happen, athletic trainers must be ready to start treatment from day one. Using cryotherapy to help reduce recovery time may mean shorter injury absences for players.
Speeds Treatment Time
Many athletic trainers treat multiple athletes, sometimes on several different teams. This means that treatments must be as efficient as possible. When you use cryotherapy, all you have to do is set up the equipment, enter the settings, and apply the wrap. The athlete then enjoys hands-free treatment while you attend to other patients.
Using equipment like Game Ready allows you to treat two patients (or two injuries on the same patient) at once. When the treatment session is over, just refill the ice reservoir to get ready for the next patient. Alternatively, if you need to use the space for another type of treatment, just move the low-profile equipment out of the way. No more bulky ice baths!
Reduces Dependence on Medication
For athletic trainers and athletes who prefer a more natural approach, cryotherapy may help reduce dependence on medication. Of course, some injuries might still warrant an initial course of pain medication, but many patients find that they can stop taking it sooner or that they do not need it at all when they use cryotherapy. Athletes appreciate the ability to control pain without the unwanted side effects of medication, and athletic trainers can offer a viable solution through cryotherapy.
Athletes know that suffering an injury is a risk they face every time they practice or play, which is why injury prevention is always the best approach. However, even the best conditioned players can sustain an injury. As an athletic trainer, you want to be prepared with the best possible tools to help speed up recovery when injuries do occur.
Ready to learn more? Take a look through our free infographic to get more information about how cryotherapy and contrast therapy can be used in athletic training.