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Ice Ice Baby

Hopefully I didn’t date myself with the Vanilla Ice reference, but Cryotherapy is a buzzword that’s getting a lot of attention.
Athlete’s like Lebron James are getting into chambers for their recovery. However subzero temperatures (-150℉) used in whole body chambers are potentially dangerous and can damage body tissue if the treatment is not executed properly. Although most clinics provide socks, gloves, and protection for the ears, nose, and mouth, it is still possible to experience undesirable side effects like frostbite and cold burns.

On the other hand, a cryotherapy unit, such as game ready, allows you to have complete control of the temperature, and because the system allows you to control time, temperature (never below freezing) and compression, your skin is never exposed in a way that will risk adverse effects.

This is why Game Ready is used at Mend Health & Wellness of Maine for its patients. So what is Game ready, and is it just only for athletes? The answer is anyone who has suffered an injury can benefit.

What is Game Ready?
Game Ready is a type of Cold therapy (cryotherapy) that promotes vasoconstriction and reduces blood flow, reduces inflammation and edema (swelling), decreases muscle spasms, decreases metabolic demand, and safely relieves pain without narcotics.

How does it work?
Game Ready uses Intermittent Pneumatic Compression (IPC) which is used to provide even pressure around an injured area and mechanically reducing the amount of space available for swelling to accumulate. This will aid by increasing lymphatic flow, decreasing swelling, and enhancing tissue healing.

Reduction of swelling/edema
Active compression provided by a cold therapy machine provides even more benefits. External pressure on damaged tissues helps prevent and reduce swelling and edema(vasoconstriction). Tthe build-up of excess fluid can slow down the recovery process. Active compression helps prevent edema by applying pressure to the area and actively removing any fluid that does appear.

Promotion of fluid circulation
During the healing process, damaged tissues need a lot of oxygen and nutrients to repair themselves. Active compression effectively pumps lymph fluid, cellular debris, and other unwanted fluids away from injury, while simultaneously supplying fresh blood and nutrients.

To conclude cryotherapy can aid in recovery. Not everyone has access to special cold therapy machines or cryochambers. Next time try a cold shower. Here is a great video explaining the benefits of cryotherapy. Please feel free to contact us with questions about our treatment options.


About Dr Victor St John

Dr. Victor is co-owner of Mend Health & Wellness located in Scarborough, Maine providing elite quality care for athletes and athletic-minded clients of all ages. He is also a performance enhancement specialist through the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM-PES).