Every athlete, regardless of their level of fitness is familiar with the recovery period where muscles are sore, stiff and fatigued as the body slowly removes the lactic acid and works to rebuild the muscle fibers. Although the process starts immediately, it can take 24 hours or even several days to fully recover depending on the intensity of the workout or athletic event. In an attempt to improve performance by recovering better in between workouts, training cycles, or even in between seasons, more athletes at all levels are turning to the bio compression system.
Every serious athlete has a number of goals that they hope to attain throughout the year and not just during the playing season of various sports. Collectively these goals add up to them being able to train efficiently, perform optimally and avoid as well as recover from injury quickly and completely.
While all of these goals can be aided by use of pneumatic compression devices, how they use them and when can change to some degree for each scenario and individual athlete. The compression garments are certainly a key part of the effective bio compression system, but it is the bio compression pump that more fully dictates the effectiveness of the therapy.
In the case of muscle recovery following an intense training session, the bio compression pump in conjunction with the compression garment mimic’s the body’s natural process of flushing away the waste fluids (lactic acid that slows the recovery and rebuilding of the muscle tissue). Under advisement of trained therapy professionals and coaches, athletes may utilize the devices for up to an hour session with multiple sessions on a daily basis depending on the training scenario. Shorter durations may be more effective than longer sessions.
Athletes are increasingly using the bio compression system in the hours prior to an event, between warm up sessions, or as part of a maximized blood flow therapy following long flights or road travel where they may sit for long hours. In addition, athletes will utilize the systems after an event as part of a cool-down protocol, especially when they suffer slight muscle sprains and strains.
Even injuries that go beyond the minor strain or sprain to more severe injuries that may take them out for part or all of a season can benefit from the use of a bio compression system. In these instances, they are used as one part of a rigorous and detailed recovery therapy protocol. In the off season, the athlete will utilize the pneumatic compression system as part of their gradual uptick in training that leads up to the intensity of pre-season organized training.
While the bio compression pump and garments are part of each scenario, the amount of time, the level of pressure, and the area of musculature focus and therapy intent may change in many ways. The bio compression pump must provide a highly versatile pressure gradient that is highly adjustable in order to accommodate this varied use and the needs of each individual athlete.
It should also have a corresponding readout that allows the athlete to properly set the device based on the trainer or therapy expert’s recommendations. Portability is also a key ingredient especially during the season as the athlete will need to utilize the bio compression system in transit on a team bus or in hotel rooms following a match as well as at training facilities.
Even the best bio compression system cannot operate without a host of activities and protocols to ensure that the athlete is healthy, performing optimally and safe from further injury. That means that the athlete and coach must constantly monitor their day for proper physical training, good nutrition, quality sleep as well as mental focus and rest in a day long protocol where the bio compression therapy system as an adjunct to these practices.
Each aspect of an athlete’s pursuit of optimal performance must be geared to their individual needs at every juncture. The bio compression system must adapt to those individualized needs as well.