COLD COMPRESSION THERAPY
Cold compression therapy combines the benefits of cold therapy and compression therapy to provide optimal results for pain and swelling relief. Studies have shown that people who use cold therapy and compression therapy together as opposed to just one of those therapies alone recover from their injuries significantly faster. The many benefits of cold compression therapy include reducing pain, swelling, and edema, while promoting faster healing and muscle recovery, and stimulating blood flow. PowerPlay combines the benefits of a cold therapy machine (or cold therapy unit) and a compression machine to deliver intermittent compression therapy – meaning the compression pump inflates the wrap to the desired pressure, holds for 10 seconds, releases, then inflates again. Intermittent compression has been proven to be more effective than static compression because it moves the blood more effectively, helping push the swelling out of the system. PowerPlay also offers cold therapy through frozen gel packs or ice bags, which have been proven to reduce pain.
Cold and compression therapy can be applied to a variety of situations including post-surgical rehabilitation (such as MCL and ACL surgery recovery), injuries such as sprains, fractures, and tears, as well as pain and swelling. Most athletes are familiar with the RICE method for recovering from injuries, which stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. While we leave rest and elevation up to you, PowerPlay uses advanced technology to make your ice and compression more effective.
Compression alone is shown to be effective in reducing swelling and edema. Active compression, which compresses intermittently, pushes that swelling out of the injured site and to the body’s core so it can be disposed of through the lymphatic system. This type of compression also aids in enhancing the body’s blood flow, which helps deliver more oxygen to the injured area.
Cold therapy has also been proven to reduce pain and swelling, making your recovery faster and more comfortable. Doctors have recommended 20 minutes of cold therapy at a time, alternating between cold and warm or room temperature. We recommend using your PowerPlay gel pack after it has been initially frozen for one hour, then placing it on your affected area for 20 minutes, and returning it to the freezer while your body rests from the ice. Contrary to the assumption of “the colder, the better,” therapeutic cold has been shown to be between 40 and 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Studies find that when active compression is coupled with cold therapy, it results in increased blood flow, and decreased swelling, edema, and muscle spasms. Applying ice or cold to your injury also makes recovery less painful and more comfortable.
These benefits of cold compression therapy amount to a faster and more pleasant recovery. This therapy can be applied to those suffering from minor joint pain, to major surgery rehabilitation (such as ACL surgery recovery) and anything in between. You can also benefit from a compression and cold therapy system for muscle recovery after training. Applying cold and compression to overworked, aching muscles will pump blood and oxygen through the area, and bring down swelling and fluids so that you can get back on your feet faster and be ready for your next event.
“Both intermittent compression and continuous cryotherapy are more effective in reducing post-traumatic edema than cool pack therapy. Intermittent compression showed the most significant reduction.”
Fastest Reduction of Post-traumatic Edema: Continuous Cryotherapy or Intermittent Impulse Compression, Stockle U et al, Foot Ankle Int 1997; 18 (7): 432-438.
“In a study evaluating cold therapy for outpatient arthroscopic ACL reconstruction patients, the pain rating of the non-cold group was always higher than the cold group; Vicodin use in the non-cold patients was also always higher than cold therapy patients.”
Arthroscopy: The Journal of Arthroscopic and Related Surgery, Volume 14, Issue 2, March 1998, pages 130-135.
“Compression therapy is essential to helping prevent post-op swelling during recovery. One study evaluated 48 TKA patients for one week after surgery. Lower limb swelling and pain were significantly reduced for the compression group vs. the control group.”
Journal of Arthroplasty,” April 1999; 14 (3): 333-8.
“Dynamic intermittent compression combined with cryotherapy decreases analgesic drug requirements after ACL reconstruction and improves the postoperative recovery of range of knee motion.”
Cryotherapy with dynamic intermittent compression for analgesia after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction, J. Murgiera, X. Cassardb