Today, advanced cold compression therapy is playing a vital role in recovery from some of the most common athletic injuries. Physical therapists and therapy centers are regularly using compression therapy and cryo gel packs as common tool for treating everyone from athletes to the average person.
Two very common injuries for athletes at all levels as well as the average person that indulges in recreational sports or strenuous repetitive jobs are rotator cuff injuries in the shoulder and anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in the knee. These soft tissue injuries often require surgery. In both cases, part of post-surgery recovery is to concentrate on swelling reduction by limiting the pooling of fluid in the injured tissue outside the blood vessels that slows the healing process.
The culprit of repetitive motion can negatively impact athletes just as it can equally impact the average person that has a physical job such as construction. The four tendons and muscles that form the “’cuff’” around the upper arm bone above the elbow can experience partial tears and swelling. A tear may require surgery, after which, the patient must undergo a period of post-operative physical therapy.
Compression therapy and cryo gel packs are often used to reduce the swelling and pain while also accelerating the healing process. By utilizing this form of compression therapy post-surgery patients can return to full activity in a shorter period of time while also avoiding some of the pain meds that were often commonly necessary in the recovery process.
While a rotator cuff injury can affect athletes and the average person, ACL injuries are far more prevalent in athletes. This important stabilizing ligament in the knee can be injured from too much pressure when an athlete inadvertently lands flat footed with too great a force. Fortunately, cold compression therapy can play a part in recovery whether the injury requires surgery or not.
With both rotator cuff and ACL injuries, swelling may be accompanied by fluid buildup, which is greatly relieved by compression therapy. Ideally a process of active compression therapy is utilized so that the lymphatic fluid can be pumped away from the injury. This allows fresh oxygenated blood to quickly replace it and accelerate healing. Using cold therapy via cryo gel packs in conjunction with the intermittent compression therapy yields the best and most expedient results of pain and swelling reduction as well as overall healing.
There are many soft tissue injuries that affect the extremities of athletes and all other types of people. Consequently, active cold compression therapy becomes a key part of the arsenal for physical therapists. These professionals are increasingly recommending it for their patients that regularly engage in highly strenuous activities for faster recovery from both exertion and injury.