There are a number of recovery equipment tools on the market these days so we can understand it can be tough to know what to use! An important part of improving performance is ensuring athletes have adequately recovered. This also helps to avoid injury and fatigue. A large focus on what athletes are doing outside of training is an important part to getting this right. Below is some information on just a few of the many recovery options available!
Compression garments reduce the feelings of delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) and help with pain and recovery management of muscular, tendon and ligamentous injuries. This enhances an athlete’s ability to recover from game to game. Compression therapy helps to promote circulation, increase blood flow, reduce swelling and inflammation and remove exercise-related wastes like lactic acid.
Here at Physio Connex we have The Game Ready system which is the gold standard of cold compression therapy and is the injury recovery technology of choice for thousands of leading orthopaedic surgeons, physiotherapists and athletics trainers. The Game Ready Compression system is able to provide cooling and compression that is faster, longer lasting and able to penetrate deeper into the tissues.
Our bodies store tension in the soft tissues throughout the body and these areas can become painful and inhibit the function of a muscle or joint. The targeted and isolated pressure from a trigger ball can de-sensitise and release tension from these soft tissues which can aid in recovery and injury management.
Effective use of trigger balls can increase range of motion of your joints. For example, trigger balling your glutes can give you more hip joint range, as like releasing your calf can give you more ankle mobility.
Trigger balls are easy to use! Simply place the ball between your body and a firm surface. 5-10 minutes a day is more than enough time to begin releasing sore muscles and achieving flexibility and mobility.
Cold Therapy (ice baths):
An ice bath may sound painful to some but it is believed to be one of the easiest ways to quickly soothe post workout pain! Ice baths are a form of cryotherapy and require to be sitting in cold/ice water ideally up to your chest anywhere from 2-15 minutes. This is a recommended recovery tool for athletes as it helps to promote circulation and boost metabolism.
Frequent exposure to cold is linked to a number of different health benefits such as the reduction of systemic inflammation and improving anxiety and depression.
Hot and Cold Contrast Therapy (showers, baths etc):
The contrast between hot and cold works by promoting rapid alternation between vasodilation and vasoconstriction which causes a pumping action in the peripheral circulation. Heat stimulates circulation bringing in fresh blood, lymph, oxygen, water and nutrients while cold expels stagnant fluid and waste products.
Hot/Cold contrast allows for reduction in swelling and muscle spasms, reduces soft tissue swelling and joint stiffness, reduces fatigue, effective in aiding pain relief, promotes better circulation and therefore muscle recovery.
An example is a hot/cold shower is changing the temperature every 30-60 seconds and repeat three times.
Remedial and Sports Massage:
Sports massage is designed to help athletes throughout their training week, before and post-game and is specifically tailored to different sports and injuries. It is not a relaxing form of massage per say as it aims to reach deep into the muscle tissue. It works by stretching tight muscles, stimulating inactive muscles, and improving the condition of the soft tissue.
Benefits of massage also include healing promotion, increased circulation, enhanced range of motion and flexibility, pain relief, injury resilience and reduced stress.