When getting ready for a competition, you need to prepare every way you know how. Using specific recovery tools can ensure your muscles can rebuild after intense workouts, getting you in tip-top shape for the next big match or intense practice. So, what are some recovery tools that will get you ready for battle?
Some of the most important recovery tools for athletes today include hot therapy, cold therapy, taping, anti-inflammation creams, and massage. Using a select combination of these therapies can enhance the recovery process and quicken muscle repair.
What hot and cold therapy products should I use?
Game Ready Ice Machine
Game Ready has two different units to choose from in terms of muscle recovery. The first option is the GPro 2.1 system, a cold and compression therapy unit that uses intermediate compression to improve comfort, convenience, and prevent injury. This system helps increase the range of motion, decrease swelling, and enhance the recovery of the athlete.
- The Game Ready ice machine works by utilizing cryotherapy, which is rapidly circulating water that helps reduce spasms and localized pain. Combining cryotherapy with intermittent compression helps stimulate the flow of blood.
The second machine is the Med4 elite, a dual-user recovery system that uses a mixture of an ice machine with controllable heat. This machine works well for injuries, rehabilitation, and post-surgery patients who need enhanced recovery. Contact Source Fitness to have more information about this machine.
Hot and cold pack
A hold or cold therapy pack can be easily placed on a muscle or wrapped around a leg or arm with two velcro straps. The pack can be either heated in the microwave or cooled in the freezer, letting you adjust the temperature based on your necessary therapy modality.
Ice cube cups
Another easy method for cold therapy that is usually found at home and in athletic trainer’s offices that want to cut costs, using ice in a cup can be a great way to target a specific muscle or joint that is painful to the athlete.
Hot vs. cold therapy
When deciding whether to use heat or cold to help your muscles, these different temperatures do two different things to your body.
- Heat increases the blood flow, ensuring oxygen-rich blood and nutrients can cycle throughout your entire body. Using heat helps get rid of lactic acid and soreness in areas commonly used during your sport. When you use heat in a directed spot, like the quadricep or hamstring, more blood will flow to that region, helping to prevent injury and reduce pain.
- On the contrary, cold therapy slows down blood flow to reduce the chances of inflammation or cramps. By restricting blood vessels, it can numb the pain that is present in a certain area.
Choosing the right cold therapy product can be the key to your recovery and success in the playing field. When deciding between cheaper options, like a wrap-around ice pack or ice cup, you can make these products at home to provide instant and localized relief. However, for deeper rehabilitation, using the Game Ready ice changer or visiting a physical therapist’s office can be the best step for post-injury athletes.