Jan 29, 2015
Ice Baths, Steel Whirlpools, or Cold Tubs?

Ice baths are routinely used by sports trainers, medical professionals, and fitness clubs. However, organizations that need to deliver hydrotherapy to a large number of people each day struggle with the current options on the market. Conventional steel whirlpools and old fashion ice baths are impractical for treating dozens of people a day due to their high maintenance and operating costs, and potential for spreading bacteria among users.
A new product, the Cold Tub, has solved many of the problems associated with using ice bathes or steel whirlpools for multiple users. An innovative mechanical filtration system, along with an antibacterial coating, makes Cold Tubs resistant to MRSA colonization and 100% self-cleaning. This allows organizations to reduce the maintenance costs associated with draining and refilling the tub between uses.

For Don DelNegro (MS, ATC (L), CSCS) Head Athletic Trainer of the NHL’s Boston Bruins, providing a bacteria free environment that was capable of treating multiple players with little maintenance and upkeep was a key concern that ice baths and conventional steel whirlpools had been unable to address.

“Without a doubt the PolarPool™” has filled a void in the Athletic Training world that has been missing for years. Cryotherapy plunges have been a part of an athletes’ recovery process for centuries. But, now thanks to The PolarPool™ it is a quick, convenient, inexpensive and more importantly bacteria free modality”, explains Don DelNegro.

College level sports programs also struggle with providing cold therapy to their student athletes as well. University of Portland’s Head Athletic Trainer, Kyle A. Nelson, (MPH, ATC-R) recalls, “We were 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.”

Other college trainers note that space is often an issue with conventional steel whirlpools. Barclay Dugger (MEd, ATC, LAT) , the Director of Athletic Training Services for Springfield College, notes, “I have been looking for a cold therapy pool that would meet our facility space needs and be large enough for multiple student-athletes to use”.

With Cold Tubs, there is no need for disinfection between users. In fact, Cold Tubs can seat multiple athletes, at one time, without risk of exposure to harmful bacteria. This allows organizations to deliver regular hydrotherapy to multiple players safely and affordably.

Don DelNegro (MS, ATC (L), CSCS) explains, “Since the onset of MRSA in the athletic environment, the cold whirlpool/tub has always been a high-risk area for infection and disease. The PolarPool™ has helped solve that problem with its multilayer level of protection against bacteria and germs. Since we got our PolarPool™ there is no more cleaning, disinfecting, filling, and transporting hundreds of pounds of ice into the Athletic Training room everyday to prepare a cold whirlpool.”

Kyle A. Nelson (MPH, ATC-R) agrees, “We are able to provide hydrotherapy to a larger number of athletes and can maintain the cleanliness and temperature much easier than before”.

Cold Tubs are quickly becoming the industry standard methods of providing safe and effective cold therapy among professional and college sports teams and medical care providers.

Don DelNegro concludes, “We could not be more happy with the results we have seen in our players and the teams’ success. I would highly recommend anyone still using Steel Whirlpools for cold water therapy to investigate the benefits of The PolarPool™.”  

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