September 03, 2022 4 min read

Get Left Out in the Cold - The Post-Workout Benefits of Cryotherapy Massage

The Value of Active Listening

Just a few weeks ago, I was introduced to Stephen Englehart, the Strength and Conditioning Coach for Colorado University’s Men’s Basketball team. Oh man, is this guy serious about his athletes! Very rarely do you meet someone with such an intense passion for both seeking out innovative products while also requiring assurances that those same products will provide the safety and efficacy his athlete's require. It was very obvious to me that if I could pursuade him that the safety and efficacy of our products (in this case, the Fôrs™ Cryo-Thermo™ Massager) was there, I could look forward to learning from this straight-shooter how best to uniquely meet his, and thousands of other collegiate and professional coach's needs. And that is exactly what happened.

Focusing on the Cryo in Cryo-Themo

If you ask most people what they like best about the Fôrs™ Cryo-Thermo™ Massager, they say it is the unique combination of heat with percussion and/or vibration that sets it apart. According to Stephen however, while that’s all well and good, the real utility is the combination of the percussion and/or vibration with the cold  setting. Furthermore, it is the ability to utilize this unique combination of settings while on the go, whether bus, plane or car.

Returning to Sport Post-Injury

One of the worst things for a collegiate or professional athlete is an injury. And while the rehabilitation of that injury becomes a priority initially, there comes a time where you must start to wrap up your rehab while you simultaneously get back to playing. This moment in time can be quite stressful for an athlete because of the lack of confidence the athlete often possesses in understanding where the threshold lies between re-injuring themselves and making a truly positive step in returning to their peak level of performance.

One of the keys for athletes during this time, especially when competing, is to take on the role of both the athlete and the trainer/therapist. To do this, the athlete must make 24-7 life about either performing or recovering from performance.

The Long, Uncomfortable Ride Home

The most common event where this important role playing activity always fails is the post-workout / post-game ride home. Whether its a 6 hour bus ride, a 2 hour plane ride or a 1 hour local drive, this period of static positioning for a nearly rehabilitated athlete, quite simply, sucks. Whether it is the limited space the seat provides or the strange angle of the seat, the journey home can be not only a great source of discomfort, but a reminder to the athlete that the tissue isn't quite fully healed. Even worse, is when the athlete finally comes to their destination and must get up and move again!

So, how does one overcome this obstacle? Well, the athlete use ice, but unfortunately their are often no freezers available to allow for this intervention. Perhaps they could use a high-tech hot/cold knee wrap? Oops, apparently you need Wifi for that. They could use an analgesic cream, but this does not solve for the issue of shortened tissues and tightness developing with each minute. And of course, they could approach the issue with more frequent motion, but this is often impractical and annoying to fellow travelers.

This is where we get to the key takeaway from speaking with Stephen.

Percussion, Vibration and Cryotherapy

Percussion is about providing a repetetive force into the bodily tissues. The primary benefit is that those tissues are, in response to the force, encouraged to return to a normal level of mobility. Vibration has mobility goals as well, but they are occurring on the more subtle levels of the nervous system and primarily influencing the cells at a more energetic level, which helps connect the area of the body being vibrated with the central nervous system. Finally, cryotherapy is intended to reduce local circulation in order to prevent swelling while also supporting pain reduction by altering pain signalling within the central nervous system. So, with that being understood, one can imagine how being able to have the ability to use these three features during a period of immobilty related to travel can be highly beneficial. This is how an athlete can maintain the role of the trainer/therapist during this often challenging time.

No Wifi, No Outlets Required

And let's not forget the benefit of portability. The small size, ergonomic design, and light weight of the Cryo-Thermo™ Massager was a key highlight in my conversation with Stephen. It is essentially built for travel.

In summary, as much as we'd like to say that we built the Cryo-Thermo™ Massager for this exact purpose, we cannot. What we can say, is that when you listen, you learn. And this was the great lesson of that day, as well as the confirmation that efforts we have made to innovate are solving for the needs of an evolving athlete.

 


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