Teams Using Ice Baths to Prevent Sports Injuries
College athletic directors, coaches, and trainers are discovering an alternative method to deliver ice bath therapy, while still preventing sport injuries and increasing the number of practices and games their athletes are healthy for, Cold Tubs.
Springfield Colleges’ Director of Athletic Training Services, Barclay Dugger (MEd, ATC, LAT) noted one of the ice bath benefits, after using the Cold Tub for a season, “In my opinion, the PolarPool has helped to keep our #1 quarterback on the field for every practice and game this season”.
While College Athletics Departments have known the benefits of ice bath therapy in their athlete’s recovery program for some time, providing ice baths therapy safely, quickly, and cost effectively, to an entire college team poses unique challenges.
Steel whirlpools require maintenance and upkeep between use. This can be a serious drain on already busy athletic training staff. The cost of making and storing large amounts of ice can also prohibit many colleges from using ice baths to keep their athletes healthy.
At UMass Lowell, home of the River Hawks, Head Athletic Trainer, Artie Poitras, recalls, “trying to accommodate 240 student-athletes with two small stainless steel whirlpools. This posed many problems including daily maintenance as well as athletes having to wait their turn to use the whirlpool as we could only fit 2-3 in at one time”. Artie found a solution to these problems for his athletes, “With the PolarPool™, we are able to provide our athletes with clean, cold therapy of a consistent temperature. No more draining, filling, and adding ice”.
As concerns over cross-contamination of resistant microbes become a day-to-day to reality for Athletic Directors and their staff, disinfecting multi-use equipment has become a time-consuming priority.
Head Athletic Trainer for the University of Portland, Kyle A. Nelson, (MPH, ATC-R), notes life before his ColdTub, “we have been stuck draining and disinfecting our current whirlpools every day”. Asked about the benefit of the ColdTub for his student athletes, Kyle says, “The self-contained filtration system was an obvious plus. We are able to provide hydrotherapy to a larger number of athletes and can maintain the cleanliness and temperature much easier than before.”
Universities and Colleges are becoming more environmentally aware and have expectations of faculty and departments to become greener. The Athletics Department of University of South Carolina Upstate are going green and saving money while still providing superior cold therapy, “These PolarPools will save the school 160 gallons of water per day x 195 days (31,200 gallons per year) plus the energy savings associated with not making ice all day”.
For more information about the PolarPool Ice Bath System visit www.coldtub.com. The PolarPool helps professional sports teams, colleges, medical institutions, and health and fitness clubs deliver cold water therapy to multiple users with less maintenance and upkeep than ice baths or steel whirlpools.