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SPONSORED: Bolster Your Athlete’s Resiliency with Science-Backed Compression Therapy

As the Super Bowl approaches, Athletic Trainers face increasing challenges of keeping players in top form after a long period of extended exertion. Dedicated rehab and recovery protocols are crucial to maintaining a player’s availability, keeping nagging injuries at bay, and preventing acute injuries from occurring. NormaTec, a pioneer of athlete recovery technology, is helping top football programs to optimize their recovery programs and maximize athlete success.

The NormaTec PULSE 2.0 Series uses patented compression science to increase circulation, speed recovery times, and reduce pain and soreness. Recent independent research studies show that NormaTec also has deeper physiological benefits for athletes, including reduction of inflammation, enhanced clearance of metabolites, expanded range of motion, and decreased muscular fatigue following acute exercise.

Once recent exploratory study sought to compare the effects of NormaTec external pneumatic compression (EPC) and sham on performance outcomes and molecular measures related to recovery (Cody Haun, 2017). Twenty resistance-trained males between the ages of 21 and 24 were randomized into balanced sham and NormaTec EPC intervention groups. Participants performed heavy, voluminous resistance exercise (back squats) for three consecutive days with daily sham or NormaTec EPC treatment (days 2-4). Thereafter, sham/NormaTec EPC treatment continued for three additional consecutive days without resistance training (days 5-7). Participants were subjected to venipuncture, flexibility, and pressure-to-pain threshold measurements on day 1, and days 3-7. Additionally, vastus lateralis (a quadricep) muscle tissue was biopsied on day 1, and EPC/sham treatment implemented on day 2 and day 7.

The results found that NormaTec EPC reduced skeletal muscle oxidative stress and proteolysis markers during recovery compared to the sham group. Specifically, 4-hydroxnonenal (4-HNE) and poly-ubiquitinated (poly-Ub) protein levels were significantly lower in the NormaTec EPC group’s muscle biopsy samples compared to those observed in the sham group’s samples at the same respective time points. The NormaTec EPC treatment group also mitigated a reduction in flexibility and maintained a higher pressure-to-pain threshold than those receiving sham treatments. Additionally, a significant decrease in knee range of motion was observed in the sham group on day 3 (+16.2±4.6% knee joint angle) whereas there was no change with the EPC group.

Another study, conducted in 2018, examined the effects of a NormaTec EPC treatment on blood flow in the lower extremity by measuring hemoglobin (Hb) levels, via near-infrared spectroscopy, compared to a control condition (Kelly A. Brock, 2018). The study involved 35 physically active participants, assigned to receive a single NormaTec EPC treatment and a control condition (i.e., laying quietly), in random order. In summary, compared to the control condition, the NormaTec EPC treatment was associated with significantly higher levels of total Hb (~65%; P<0.001, d=0.505) and oxygenatedHb (~92%; P<0.001, d=0.745), indicating a compelling link between NormaTec EPC and increased blood flow and tissue oxygenation for the management of muscle soreness.

Facilitating faster and more comprehensive recovery for athletes and managing pain and soreness in between training and games is essential to maximizing potential. NormaTec’s patented dynamic compression has remarkable rehab and recovery benefits, and the science to support the results.The technology is relied on by more than 97% of pro teams in the US, and a growing number of leading college football programs to help their athletes perform at their best every day.