What exactly is recovery and why does it matter?
As physical therapists and certified strength and conditioning specialists, we view recovery as the ability for the athlete to perform optimally the next day. One of the biggest issues athletes face in performing optimally is delayed onset of muscle soreness (DOMS). DOMS is a result of heavy eccentric exercises, such as lifting heavy weights, or doing unaccustomed exercises.
Consequently, performance in sports is compromised due to muscle soreness, reduced muscle strength and limited range of motion. Furthermore, when recovering from an injury, you will be experiencing DOMS due to the nature of rehab. There is a balancing point between recovery and pushing progress. We love to supplement traditional recovery methods (sleep, stretching, foam rolling, ice/heat, etc.) with pneumonic compression systems, like the Air Relax recovery system.
How does pneumonic compression recovery system work?
The Air Relax system works by inflating air into the different chambers of the leg sleeves. These chambers can be targeted systematically, which makes Air relax unique and different from its competitors. The system has 4 different modes of pressure from level 1 being the least amount to 4 being the greatest amount of pressure. Furthermore, it has 3 unique programs on how the boots are inflated and deflated.
Why and how do we use the pneumatic compression recovery system?
First, our basketball athletes love how it feels during and after the 10-15 minute compression following a training session. It compresses the muscles, which helps blood flow in the muscle. We have them do a cool down, which includes stretching, foam rolling, or low intensity cardio, then we have them use it.Second, we utilize it for our athletes recovering from injury or surgery.Finally, we personally use it daily for recovery, especially at the end of the day. It is part of our recovery process, which includes foam rolling, stretching, pneumatic compression, and sleep. This helps us to function optimally to help our athletes and patients perform their best.
By Dr. Marco Lopez and Dr. Gabriel Ignacio. May 28,2020
Heiss et al. Effect of Compression Garments on the Development of Delayed-Onset Muscle Soreness: A Multimodal Approach Using Contrast-Enhanced Ultrasound and Acoustic Radiation Force Impulse Elastography. 2018