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Normatec Recovery - Fact or Fad?

by: Lisa Goodman, DC, CCSP, CACCP

What started as a way to reduce swelling after surgery, has now become a phenomenon among professional athletes and weekday warriors alike. Still curious what NormaTec Pulse Recovery is all about? Let’s dive into the facts and fun that is NormaTec.

What is NormaTec Pulse Recovery?
Simply put, NormaTec leg and arm systems enhance blood flow. Much like a blood pressure cuff around your entire extremity, it fills with air to compress your arm or leg, then releases. The compression/release pattern is done in controlled intervals by the portable, easy to use motor. NormaTec has several settings that can be adjusted to your comfort. The compression essentially forces stagnant fluid or swelling away from the arm or leg and the release allows fresh blood flow into the area. Repeated use is what provides the rapid recovery.

Why are Athletes using NormaTec?
Recovery! In recent years, profession and recreational athletes are training harder and more frequently than ever. Typically, rest or general cardio between training days provides adequate recovery for our bodies. However, athletes training daily with little rest are looking to technology like NormaTec to recover faster. With the compressive, massaging stimulation athletes are noticing decreased muscle soreness and increase

When and How often can NormaTec Be used?
NormaTec sessions are typically 20-30 minutes in length and can be used daily. Many athletes like to use NormaTec to prepare for an event. To ‘get the blood flowing’ prior to a cycling race, marathon or 10K, triathlon or CrossFit competition. In addition, NormaTec is more often used immediately after these types of events to reduce muscle soreness. In the case of a multi-day event, NormaTec can assist in preparation for the next day’s events.

Does NormaTec help with Injuries?
In addition to general recovery, NormaTec is used to speed healing of injury. Reducing inflammation and improving blood flow can help reduce healing time. Injuries that are commonly treated with the help of NormaTec include Achilles Tendonitis, Ankle or knee sprains, elbow and shoulder sprains and a list of overuse injuries (tennis elbow, carpal tunnel, etc.).

Where can I use NormaTec?
NormaTec is very easy to find and very affordable. Wash Park Chiropractic offers use to anyone for just $10/session or $50/month unlimited. Other offices in Denver offering NormaTec include Denver Sports Recovery, 5280 Cryo and Denver Sports & Family Chiropractic Center.
So is NormaTec a Fad?
I don’t see NormaTec going anywhere. In fact, many athletes are investing in systems to use at home or at events. The proof is in their performance. If you feel better, you’ll perform better. More and more research continues to surface as well, check it all out at

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