5 min read -So, our youngest kid is an ice hockey player; a goalie to be specific. If you’re not a hockey fan, a goaltenders job involves a combination of standing in a squat stance, then lots of rapidly dropping to your knees, popping back up and diving side to side. While he would accuse me of oversimplifying his position, one thing is clear: His legs and hips are pretty wiped out after a tough game or practice. To continue to perform at a high level, his trainers incorporate compression therapy into his weekly routine. It makes a huge difference for his recovery and performance!
To support his goals, we made a Christmas gift of Normatec compression gear. And, of course, over Christmas, we all tried the Normatec out…
The best Christmas gifts are the ones everyone wants to pay with 🙂
Trying the leg compression sleeves, I was shocked how refreshed my legs were, after just 20 minutes. It was clear after one session that there are numerous benefits to Pneumatic Compression. I needed to do some research, to find the science behind it. I knew it’s beneficial for elite athletes, but what about us ordinary folks?
If my legs or hips bounce back, can’t I can get back to activities/exercise I enjoy, faster?
How does Pneumatic Compression work?
Scientific American does a good job of explaining the benefits of pneumatic compression from a handful of studies in their May, 2020 article.
In a nutshell, the article suggests:
- External pneumatic compression (EPC) shows a lot of promise in sports recovery and performance
- Some scientific evidence shows that EPC can relieve muscles soreness, increase range of motion following a hard workout, and even increase muscle growth and repair.
- If nothing else, EPC just feels good, and that can help athletic performance.
Relieving aches and pains in a quicker, naturally & in a more efficient manner is always high on my list. The article suggests that, like many great innovations, the technology is working its way down from elite athletes to the mainstream.
Compression systems like NormaTech are pricey! Depending on which components you buy, they can run from $500 to $1200. It is possible to purchase just legs, arms or hip, to reduce the cost of the system.
While I was surprised at what the initial outlay of cash would be, I had to put it into perspective. If I went on a regular basis to a masseuse or physical therapist to have them apply similar therapy, the costs would quickly add up.
My suggestion would be to go to a physical therapist and try a Normatech (or similar compression system) to see what you think. While Bev & I were personally impressed, it may not be for everyone. Talking with your Doctor is always a good idea too.
Normatec Compression System
NormaTech is the leader in compression systems. Recently purchased by HyperIce (HyperVolt massage guns) the company now combines my favorite at home recovery tools.
The HyperVolt massage gun is also an excellent tool for easing sore muscles!
NormaTec describes their system as:
“Dynamic air compression effectively mimics the muscle pump of the legs and arms, enhancing the movement of fluid and metabolites out of the limbs after an intense workout. Created by a physician bioengineer (MD, PhD), the Normatec line combines dynamic air compression with a patented Pulse massage pattern that employs three key techniques—pulsing, distal release, and gradients. Studies show it can help relieve muscle aches and/or pain and temporarily increase circulation resulting in increased flexibility and range of motion, injury prevention, and accelerated recovery time.”
NormaTec compression pumps use rechargeable batteries, so you can use the system without being tied to an outlet. Also, unlike making an appointment with your massage therapist, you can find the ideal moment to sit down, pour your favorite beverage & start your compression therapy. About 25 minutes should do it. Initially, start with just a few minutes and light pressure, then work your way up.
NormaTec isn’t just for legs. They also offer compression sleeves for hips and arms, so every major appendage is covered.
The many benefits…
- The relaxing hug of compression therapy is, in and of itself, a treat.
- Enhanced blood flow, faster recovery from exercise
- Reduce aches & pain quickly
- You can also use compression therapy as a high tech warm up tool
- Improved range of motion
- Improved flexibility
Again, I’m not dismissing the cost of the system. But the many benefits does make it worth exploring!