If you’re an athlete, you need to recover – and recover fast. Check out these post-workout recovery methods that are essential for facilitating muscle growth, preventing soreness, and getting you back on the field as soon as possible!
The different cold therapy modalities for your body
If you find that using cold therapy is the most effective way to reduce inflammation, help with nerve pain, help you recover after an intense training session, and help you heal after an accident or sports injury, then you’re correct – cold therapy is the best way to help stimulate regrowth and help prevent pain from taking over your entire body. But what type of cold therapy modality should you use on which body part? Surely if you are using a cold therapy method on your elbow, the same would not be the case for your leg – right?
After all, it depends on where the injury is, the location of the affected area, and the types of modalities that you have available at your disposal. The most common cold therapy modalities that you can use are a simple ice pack, ice compression therapy, game-ready ice machine, and cold tub. Click here to buy a cold therapy unit today.
The simplest method that you can use for cold therapy is an ice pack. This is one of the most widely used methods since it is available to everyone, it is easy to use, it is easy to make yourself, and it can be applied nearly anywhere. You will find that athletes who use ice packs typically have an athletic trainer tape the ice bag to the affected area of their body, adding an element of compression to the affected area, along with making it easier to stay on while they are moving around.
If you don’t injure your ankle, elbow, or shoulder, applying an ice pack with tape to this area is easy since it can stay on and not prevent your range of motion. If you are using an ice pack on an injury and sitting down, consider applying ice on and off for about 20 minutes per time for around 2 hours. This way, you can reduce inflammation and prevent immediate swelling from taking over the hurt area.
Game-ready ice machine
The second type of cold therapy modality that is very common to use – especially with athletes – is the game-ready ice machine. This cold therapy method uses compression and ice in a compression sleeve that you can place on affected body parts, the most common area of the game-ready ice machine is for injuries to your bigger muscles, or for total-body recovery on your legs. You will often find that athletes use the game-ready ice machine a few days pre-competition during intense training sessions, or immediately post-competition to facilitate recovery. If you find that you have just been in a few matches over the weekend in your sport, consider using a game-ready ice machine to help reduce swelling in your legs, reduce inflammation, and reduce muscle pain that can occur after intense exercise.
Ice and compression sleeve
The next type of cold therapy method that you can use is a nice compression one. This is typically in the form of a small sleeve and portable ice box that you can use while on the go or while you are outside at a game or a tournament. If you have just been injured, or your muscles/joints are sore in between games, consider using this method.
Since the ice will not melt as it would with an ice pack, and you do not need electricity or power like you would with a game-ready ice machine you can use this for affected joints, such as ankles, elbows, or shoulders. This method is a great choice for people like tennis players and baseball players who need to ice their shoulders or elbows in between games.
The last very poor colt heapy method is a cold tub. You will often see athletes use cold tubs immediately post-workout to help facilitate recovery, reduce soreness, prevent delayed onset muscle soreness, and heal muscles quicker. By getting into a cold tub for at least 15-20 minutes immediately after you are done with your workout or your tone games, you can help recover quicker, allowing for muscle growth, range motion, and other benefits. If you wait too long post-workout, like 3-4 hours post-workout, you will lose the immediate benefits of getting into a nice bath.
As you can see, numerous cold therapy modalities can be helpful to athletes of all shapes and sizes. By comparing the benefits of each cold therapy method, such as a simple ice pack, game-ready ice machine, ice compression sleeve, and cold tub, you can see which cold therapy method is best for which body part. For joints, consider using the cold therapy compression sleeve or the ice pack with tape. For full-body recovery, use the cold tub to help facilitate muscle regrowth. For bigger muscles, such as the quadriceps, use the game-ready ice machine post-competition.