Dynamic air compression is a high-tech therapy that’s having a major moment. You may have seen these space-age accessories cropping up on the social feeds of Peloton gurus, pro athletes, and olympians, but what’s really going on inside those boots?
Compression Therapy 101
You’ve probably heard of compression therapy, most likely in sock form. It’s been used as a medical treatment for decades and can relieve conditions like muscle fatigue, circulatory issues, and lymphedema (a chronic swelling in the limbs).
Compression therapy increases blood flow to specific parts of the body, accelerating its natural mechanisms for delivering oxygen, nutrients, and hormones throughout the body while simultaneously removing metabolic waste. When this process is optimized, the body can speed up muscle recovery, relieve pain and inflammation, and improve athletic performance.
A New Wave of Compression Technology
Dynamic air compression (also known as pneumatic compression) was developed to achieve the same outcome, but with advanced technology and precision. The user places his or her extremities into a motored device that envelops the targeted area completely. The device then inflates programmatically to apply controlled pressure in massage-like patterns, enhancing the movement of fluid and metabolites out of the limbs.
Normatec, the world’s first (and still leading) DAC device was invented in 1998 by pioneering physician and bioengineer Dr. Laura Jacobs. Dr. Jacobs, then Chief of Rehabilitation at Cooper University Hospital, developed the technology to fill what she saw as a gap in modern techniques to treat circulation-related disorders. Tired of being limited to bandage wraps and other relics of rehab’s past, the Normatec was born.
Normatec 2.0: Next-Level Compression Therapy for All
No longer limited to a clinician’s office, the Normatec 2.0 by Hyperice makes dynamic air compression available in the comfort of home—with even more recuperative benefits.
The current Normatec line combines dynamic air compression with a patented Pulse technology that employs pulsing, distal release, and gradient patterns similar to a massage, improving blood flow, lymphatic drainage, and even range of motion in the limbs.
For athletes (and folks who just work out like them), Normatec 2.0 devices like the leg system are an exceptional means to accelerate both warmup and recovery when a hands-on massage isn’t available. Just 20 minutes in the booties can reduce delayed-onset muscle soreness, reduce swelling and inflammation, and reenergize fatigued muscles.
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While potential side effects of any type of compression therapy are minimal, there are some—such as those with severe vascular or arterial conditions—who should avoid it. As always, please consult with your physician or physical therapist before diving into any new training or recovery method.