Thursday, October 28, 2010

Choosing a Cold Therapy System

Cold therapy is a highly effective method of pain management and is especially useful after an orthopedic trauma such as a serious sport’s injury, during physical therapy and post surgery, including arthroscopic, reconstructive and plastic surgeries. When used correctly a cold therapy system decreases fluid buildup, reduces swelling and limits muscle spasms. It also slows the release of chemicals which cause both pain and inflammation. The end result is a faster, less painful recovery.


There are a number of cold therapy systems currently available on the market. The following is a quick check list to help you identify the cold therapy system that will work best for you.


  • Is the system comfortable? If you will be wearing the device for long periods of time, comfort will matter. Look for a cold therapy pump system that is ergonomically designed to provide comfortable area coverage and allows custom-tailored temperature control. If you are allergic to latex, seek out systems that use Latex-free pads.

  • Is the system easy to clean? Moisture breeds bacteria so it is important to choose a system that is easy to clean. This is critical if you are rehabilitating after a surgery as incisions are especially vulnerable to bacterial infection.

  • Does the system need to be portable? Will you be using it exclusively at home, or will you be traveling with it to a rehab clinic or another away location? If you plan on taking the cold therapy system with you on the road at any time, look for a system that is both compact and light weight. A smaller system will also make storage easier. If you plan on using the system in locations that do not have electricity outlets, choose a system that offers a manual pump option.

  • How important is convenience to you? If you are looking for convenience, seek out a system that is easy to use and quiet. Higher quality products and medical device sites will also feature helpful instructional videos.

  • Is the system dependable? Look for a respected name brand cold therapy manufacturer such as Breg, Ossur or Vitalwear. These systems offer superior filtration systems and motors, backed by reliable warranties. The result is a high quality system that reliably delivers consistent temperature.

About the Author: MMAR Medical Group Inc. is a supplier of orthopedic medical products including a wide selection of cold therapy devices as well as braces and supports. For quality back braces, a wide knee brace selection and other quality braces, please visit MMAR Medical online.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Preventing Skiing Injuries

This past week, Crested Butte Colorado had their first snow of the fall. Of course that means skiing / snowboarding season is just around the corner! There are many wonderful things to look forward to on the slopes including fresh powder, crisp, clear mornings, amazing views and relaxing at the lodge after a rewarding day of exercise that was actually fun. Unfortunately, with every ski season, we inevitably see a rise in knee, wrist and soft tissue injuries. Since the season is due to start in about a month, now is the time to prepare. With the right preparation you can decrease the likelihood of injuries.


  • Work on strength training. Skiers should consider strategic strength training prior to hitting the slopes, with special attention to the hamstrings. Muscular imbalances between the quads and hamstrings can lead to knee injuries.

  • Improve your core strength, flexibility & balance. Work on strengthening your core muscles, increasing your flexibility range and improving your balance in preparation for the ski season. Yoga, Pilates, balance boards and exercise balls are all excellent additions to your strength training regimen.

  • Check your equipment. Equipment will warp after sitting for months in storage, so have a professional check your bindings every season. Always resist exaggerating your experience level to the mechanic. If you are unsure or have been out of practice for more than one season, err on the side of "beginner / intermediate".

  • Get the right braces. If you have experienced an significant knee injury in the past, find a quality soft support or hinged knee brace to wear on the slopes. Skiers are especially at risk of a ligament tear.

  • Brush up on proper form. If it’s been a while since you have hit the slopes, brush up on proper form. Always keep your hands forward, knees slightly bent and your weight centered over your skies. If you fall, do not try to get back up while still moving. Wait until your body comes to a complete stop. If you are still learning or it has been a couple years, consider taking a class from a professional.

About the Author: MMAR Medical Group Inc. is a supplier of orthopedic braces, diabetic footwear and other medical products. For the best selection of quality knee and ankle braces, please visit MMAR Medical online.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Choosing an Athletic Ankle Brace for Support and Rehabilitation

A quality ankle brace can aid in rehabilitation and prevent injury, while also providing structural support to the muscles and ligaments. With all of the athletic ankle brace varieties now available on the market, it can be difficult to choose the right brace for your specific injury or condition. To aid in this process, MMAR Medical has created a quick overview of the different ankle braces and their uses.


Soft Ankle Wrap

A soft ankle support provides light compression and support for sprains, dislocations, drop foot and other similar ankle injuries. A quality soft ankle wrap should be constructed from breathable, hypo allergenic material that can be laundered. It should also be easy to adjust and fit comfortably in a lace-up shoe. These wraps are great for athletic use. There are a wide variety of soft ankle support designs to choose from. Velcro, zipper and lace-up ankle braces are all popular choices.


Hinged Ankle Brace

A hinged ankle brace offers more stability than soft ankle wraps. These braces tend to be more rigid and feature a hinge that permits controlled movement while also preventing extreme movements that could re-injure the affected areas. Look for a hinged ankle brace that fits comfortably and fits easily into a lace-up shoe.

A hinged ankle brace is a good choice for grade I, II, III and “high” ankle sprains and is also a great transitional brace for someone who is getting out of a cast or cam walker boot. This is often the ankle brace of choice for athletes who struggle with chronic ankle instability. These braces can also provide relief and support to those suffering from drop foot or osteoarthritis symptoms.


Stirrup Ankle Brace

A stirrup ankle brace is comprised of inflated air cells that are specially arranged to provide support and compression to the ankle. These braces are especially effective at reducing edema (swelling of the tissue), which in turn encourages healing. Some stirrup ankle braces require you to inflate them, but pre-inflated models are becoming more popular. These ankle braces are best for severe ankle injuries and sprains. They can be worn during moderate physical activities but are not appropriate for sports or running.


About MMAR Medical Group: MMAR Medical Group Inc. is a supplier of medical products and orthopedic braces. To learn more about MMAR Medical’s wide selection of support braces, including every variety of knee brace available, visit MMARMedical.com.