Recovering from knee surgery to your pre-surgery performance level is every person's goal.
We spoke extensively about all the steps required to return to form in our post titled "How To Recover From Knee Surgery--FAST!"
Here, we will explore one therapy that is imperative, readily accessible and easily affordable: NormaTec Compression Pulse Therapy. We trust NormaTec because they started as a medical company, their technology was designed by a physician bio-engineer--it is backed by science.
So what does compression therapy do? Because blood is the body's healing agent, improving circulation helps promote healing. Gravity's affect on circulation is such that we do not get great circulation in our legs, so we need assistance especially after a surgery or injury.
NormaTec's patented technology does just that. The NormaTec PULSE Massage Pattern employs three key techniques—pulsing, distal release, and gradients—all to maximize your recovery.
Instead of using static compression (squeezing) to transport fluid out of the limbs, which is what your post-op compression stockings do, NormaTec Pulse Technology uses dynamic compression (pulsing).
The pulsing massage pattern is more effective because it mimics the muscle pump of the leg. This greatly enhances the movement of fluid and metabolites out of the limbs after surgery, while allowing the return of freshly oxygenated blood to the area.
Because extended static pressure can be detrimental to the body’s normal circulatory flow, Sequential Pulse Technology releases the hold pressures once they are no longer needed to prevent back-flow. By distally releasing the hold pressure in each zone as soon as possible, each portion of the limb gains maximal rest time without a significant pause between compression cycles. This intermittent compression replicates the way that the body’s venous system naturally returns blood to the heart – starting distally and gradually squeezing upwards with a prolonged hold and a gradual decrease in pressure. By cycling through, the muscles are replenished with oxygenated blood and with less inflammatory byproducts. This allows your body to clear the important inflammatory bio-markers faster once they have done their job.
Research has shown NormaTec compression when combined with Whole Body Cryotherapy lessens pain sensitivity, increases range of motion, clears metabolites passively, decreases muscle fatigue after exercise, and improves endothelial function and blood flow in the legs.
In a randomized control trial, multi-layer compression therapy (the same compression gradient that NormaTec employs) caused immediate significant reductions in post-operative edema for total knee replacements, even being more effective than ice packs in reducing swelling immediately after surgery.
When combined with high quality sleep, proper nutrition and therapies like Cryotherapy, NeuFit neuromuscular therapy and Cold Laser therapy, you greatly increase your chances of recovering to your pre-surgery performance capability.