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Nobody wants to sit on the bench while recovering. Whether you’re nursing a reconstructed ACL, a repaired labrum, or a spine injury, it feels unproductive to just sit around and watch others train while you recover.

Luckily, you haven’t completely lost control. Take a look at these surgery recovery methods you can use to take action and help speed your recovery along.

Why Recover Well?

When your sole focus is getting back on the field, court, or in the gym as soon as possible, recovery might feel like a waste of time. But the best thing you can do is follow your doctor’s instructions. Put all of your energy into supporting your body as it recovers. If you don’t take the time your body needs to heal, you risk reinjuring yourself — meaning you’ll be out for even longer.

The good news is there are multiple things you can do to help your body recover. For example:

  • Get 10 hours of sleep a night
  • Eat a well-balanced diet with plenty of protein
  • Elevate the area where you had surgery
  • Do any physical therapy prescribed by your doctor
  • Continue training body parts that were not affected by the surgery (with your doctor’s approval)

Compression therapy and ice can also relieve your pain and speed up your recovery. Here, we’re discussing the best surgery recovery methods for every budget.

Make sure to speak with your doctor before trying any of these suggestions. Everyone’s body and circumstances are different, so it’s essential to get the OK from a medical professional who knows you best.

DIY Cryotherapy

Ice can help reduce pain, swelling, and bruising after an orthopedic surgery. Treating surgical wounds with ice is called cryotherapy. You may need less pain medication by using ice.

To create a DIY icing solution, we recommend:

  • Putting a towel in the freezer
  • Filling a Ziploc bag with ice (wrap the bag in a towel before placing it against your skin)
  • Using a bag of frozen veggies

Squid Go Portable Cold & Compression Recovery System

If you’re looking for a more advanced product that goes beyond simple icing, check out the SquidGo Cold & Compression Recovery System. Easy to take with you on the go, this breakthrough treatment improves pain and swelling after 15 minutes of use.

Set up the SquidGo by turning it on and choosing one of four pre-programmed compression settings. The SquidGo works for:

  • Ankles
  • Back
  • Elbows
  • Legs/knees
  • Shoulders
  • Wrists

Ice Barrel Cold Plunge Therapy Tub

Cold plunges aren’t a lot of fun — but they do hold benefits for recovery. Research indicates that cold water immersion has anti-inflammatory effects on your muscles and joints. And in some cases, a cold water plunge has been shown to succeed where painkillers failed.

The Ice Barrel comes with a barrel and lid; barrel stand; protective UV cover; and step stool. You’ll use it by filling with water and ice, and then sitting upright inside the barrel. 10-15 minutes is the maximum amount of time you should stay submerged.

Game Ready Ice Machine

Compression therapy is another effective post-surgical method of relieving pain and swelling. You can use compression stockings, wraps, or compression devices to add pressure.

Game Ready’s Ice Machine combines cold therapy and compression therapy into a single device for the best of both worlds. The portable control unit includes three levels of compression, or the option of no compression. You can also add ice. The machine is comfortable, safe, and easy to use.

NICE1 Iceless Cold Compression Therapy System

NICE1 also offers a cold compression system, but with one key difference: This machine doesn’t use ice. Instead, the device works by circulating cooled water and air through a therapy wrap that’s placed on the injured body part. The machine is small and lightweight, with an easy-to-use touch screen.

Recover Quickly and Well

You can’t rush recovery — but you can support your body during the time it needs to heal. Cryotherapy and compression therapy are some of the most effective methods for surgery recovery, but the list doesn’t stop there. Check out the full list of products we offer at Recovery For Athletes to get you back in the game as quickly and safely as possible.