Disclaimer: The information provided in this post is for educational purposes only. This is not a substitute for a medical appointment. Please refer to your physician before starting any exercise program.
Why the Game Ready is a Game Changer
We’ve all been there, or had a family that gets hurt at just the wrong time. You are getting to the state playoffs in your senior year of high school. Maybe you are going on vacation in 3 months and can no longer take the knee pain and have to have a total knee replacement. Or you just bought that brand new golf club set but fell and had to have Rotator Cuff Surgery. This is exactly the instances the Game Ready was developed.
What is a Game Ready?
A Game Ready is a machine that combines both cryotherapy and pneumatic compression at the same time. What does that mean? This machines provides cold therapy while at the same time pumping the swelling out of an injured area. The Game Ready is not a new machine and has been around the therapy world for some time. The good news is that the price is finally coming down into ranges that are affordable to the everyday person.
After an injury or surgery there is often a large amount of swelling, pain, and a resulting lack of mobility. The amount of tissue damage that occurs alarms the bodies nervous systems and it goes into defense mode. It might hurt to bear weight on the joint or is painful to move it due to the swelling. However, as we all know, it’s extremely important to get moving ASAP after an injury to promote healing.
Swelling in itself is not inherently a bad thing. Inflammation and swelling are actually GOOD after an injury, it’s what actually begins and is an important part of the overall healing process. However, like ice cream, too much of a good thing can actually be a bad thing. Or in the case of excessive amounts of swelling, may increase pain levels, decrease mobility and range of motion, make it difficult to bear weight on the area, and potentially increase muscle spasms in muscles trying to protect the injury.
The Game Ready was designed to help with those symptoms and get people got on the field and/or back to normal faster.
How it Works
What is Pneumatic Compression and Why Does it Help?
The Pneumatic compression in the Game Ready is pretty amazing and you feel so much better afterwards. It provides an even amount of pressure around an injured joint and segmentally increases the pressure from distal to proximal to help “pump” the swelling back to the heart. This process repeats itself in multiple cycles to help the joint clear the excess swelling. You can choose the compression settings from mild, moderate, and full compression depending on the sensitivity and the timing since injury. Pneumatic compression has been shown to help with:
- Increases lymph flow (moving swelling out)
- Decreases venous pressure and reduces venous stasis
- Improves tissue healing times
- Decreases post-traumatic injury or surgery edema.
What is Cryotherapy and Why Does it Help?
Cryotherapy is the use of cold temperatures in a medical setting. Cryotherapy, commonly performed as “icing” in physical therapy, is commonly used to help with pain and swelling. Ice has forever been used after an injury to slow down the swelling process. Most important to the healing process, cryotherapy causes nerve desensitization and causes vasoconstriction. That means icing slows down the pain signal from reaching the brain and decreases the circumference of the blood vessels, slowing down the swelling. Both turning down the pain volume and decreasing swelling are vastly important in the immediate phase of an injury. It’s primary to reasons we can’t move the joint!
In addition, cryotherapy has been shown to:
- Decreases tissue temperature 1,2
- Decreases blood flow 3,4,5,6
- Causes vasoconstriction 5
- Improves pain relief 7,8,9,10
- Decreases muscle spasm and spasticity 2,11
- Reduces narcotic consumption. 7,10,12,13,14,15
- Decreases nerve conduction velocity.6,16
- Decreases swelling.7,10,13,18
(sources taken from the Game Ready website, click here for more)
Why the Game Ready is our Favorite Ice Machine after Surgery
The Game Ready is one of our favorite machines for after surgery. In the current world of recovering from a surgery, the patient is faced with many hurdles that are only going to get worse in the future. Insurance companies are limiting visits, the current pain medication is extremely addictive and potentially lethal, and some surgical patients are not even being prescribed physical therapy after a total joint replacement!!! That means after sawing off your bone and cutting through massive amounts of tissue, you aren’t getting approved for professional help with your recovery?!?!? Even though you have been paying into Medicaid with your taxes for years?!?!?
In physical therapy one of the most common deficits that we see is fear of moving the affected joint after surgery. There is a fear that moving it will hurt and cause damage to the surgical tissue. In most cases this is the exact opposite. The sooner you move the joint, the most it heals, the less swelling, and the better it feels. The pain relieving properties may be just what you need after surgery if you are not prescribed physical therapy.
Nonetheless, the Game Ready can make life a little easier. It helps decrease the inflammation in those with limited insurance visits. It helps with pain control at times when Opioids are no longer safe, and help speed up the recovery when you get stiffed on the professional help.
Overdose Death Rates
Overdose Death Rates
See Overdose Death Rate chart and how alarming it is!
How to Use a Game Ready
Using a game ready sounds complication right? With large words such as Pneumatic compression and cryotherapy it’s got to be hard to use…. But it’s not! It is so easy to use.
- Plug it in
- Connect all the hoses
- Push the power button
- Select the amount of compression desired
- Turn dial for the desired amount of “cold”
- Press start
It’s that easy! See below for a couple of videos on how to use a Game Ready correctly.
It’s Expensive, Do I Really Need a Game Ready?
Do you absolutely, positively need a Game Ready to heal? The answer is no, you will still heal on pace, but why not?!?!
If you could get off the Opioid drugs sooner, out of debilitating pain faster, or sleep better, is that worth it?
What if you could get back on the golf course, slopes or field sooner? Or make it back in time for playoffs?
It is totally worth it in the long run. Plus you will become the most popular person in the family. Everyone will be wanting to borrow it anytime they have an injury. Over time, family and friends will be needing to use it for injuries and you will be getting free dinners left and right.
Why don’t you want to heal faster?