Here are some tools found in the NBA training rooms focused on getting a player back in the game.
This treadmill is not like any other treadmill. These anti-gravity treadmills have a vacuum seal around the surface, and when combined with a brace skirt that slips on, the vacuum can alleviate between 20 and 80 percent of an athlete’s weight. This reduces the amount of weight and pressure the athlete’s legs must carry and it relieves stress on the body making it easier to rehab a lower body injury.
This machine also allows rehab to be more lifelike, and is a great way to maintain an athlete’s fitness level during recovery. Another bonus is that using the treadmill and staying off of uncontrolled surfaces eliminates the likelihood that the athlete will pick up bad habits to overcompensate for the injury. AlterG® Anti-Gravity Treadmill® is one example of this treadmill and was created by NASA-patented technology.
Pneumatic Recovery Unit
The pneumatic unit pump is for the legs and generally helps with knee pain and/or injuries, which are common in the NBA. The device can treat all parts of the leg and once placed on the injuries leg, inflates air into large boots. The inflation provides the sensation of a massage and moves blood and lymphs through the leg.
- Pre/Post Workout – Aids in faster recovery to increase performance
- Injury Recovery – Has the ability to treat small and constant injuries
- Post-Surgery Rehab – Heals injury faster and decreases pain
While almost every team has some type of this device, many teams take multiple on the road and some players even keep them at home to use more frequently.
Game Ready’s innovative ACCEL™ Technology (Active Compression and Cold Exchange Loop) also works with active pneumatic compression, along with cold therapies. Their system changes the pressure while circulating ice water throughout and takes icing to a whole new level. Game Ready, “mimics natural muscle contractions while cooling the tissue, helping the body to proactively aid lymphatic function, encourage cellular oxygen supply, and stimulate tissue repair,” all of which leads to quicker recovery.
Laser therapy is painless, non-invasive, clinically-proven treatment aimed to be highly effective at treating sports-related injuries. The biggest advantage is that this treatment has the ability to help in conditions where other therapies are falling short.
Laser treatment can be used to:
- Reduce inflammation
- Relieve both acute and chronic types of pain
- Speed up tissue repair
- Increase the quality and tensile strength of tissue
- Increase blood supply
- Promote faster wound healing and clot formation
- Stimulate immune system
- Stimulate nerve function
- Develop muscle tissue and collagen
- Generate new and healthy cells and tissue
The downside is that while players like the immediacy and non-invasive nature of the process, the long-term efficacy is low.
Overall, technology will continue changing the game, but focusing on player performance and recovery is key since talent is what is needed to play the game.