FREMONT (KPIX) — Some innovative high-tech tools are helping to mend injured athletes and speed recovery. Whether you’re a pro or amateur, sports medicine experts say the goal is to get you quickly and safely back in the game.
A former 49ers football star talked about the set up at Dr. Arthur Ting’s sports medicine facility in Fremont, so KPIX 5 decided to check it out. Dr Ting met us at the door and brought us into his rehab clinic.
The facility was filled with athletes and a number of law enforcement personnel who had been injured on the job. They were all there to get better.
“I love providing them with the same type of treatment they would get if they were pro athletes; if they were in the 49er locker room,” explained Dr. Ting.
Ting is an orthopedic surgeon. Post-surgery, many of his patients spend their days doing rehab here. KPIX saw devices, tools and implements that we had never seen before. Ting packed his place with the instruments after seeing them in use at various pro locker rooms around California and the Bay Area.
“There’s definitely science behind almost every type of device,” noted Ting.
One tool is use and hanging up on the wall were these strange arm and leg coverings that make patients look more like the Michelin Man..
“It’s kind of like you’re squeezing yourself,” said 12-year-old gymnast Myli Liu.
The device is called Norma Tec. It is a form of compression therapy.
“It’s actually a very interesting sensation,” remarked Santa Clara County Deputy Sheriff Geraldine Fisher, who tore her meniscus while on duty. “It starts out at your ankles with just the air pressure, and then it starts building all the way up until you feel very compressed.”
The device was originally created for patients suffering from circulation disorders, but the professional sports world quickly took note and snapped them up.
“It’s helping return blood flow to get the lactic acid out of the legs after a workout, or just improve circulation for healing,” explained Ting.
Another tool used at the office is whole body cryotherapy.
At Dr. Ting’s facility, the sessions are very short at no more than three minutes long. They are supervised by staff and precautions are taken.
Athletes swear it decreases pain and inflammation.
“It is really, really cold. It’s a little.. I would say uncomfortable when you’re in there. But then the feeling — once you’re out — it helps so much. Like for recovery and like when you’re sore and stuff.” said 16-year-old gymnast Madelyn Williams.
Williams is a rising star in the field of gymnastics and a member of USA Gymnastics. She recently competed with Simone Biles. UC Berkeley just recruited her. The talented gymnast hopes to go the Tokyo Olympics.
But recently, Williams broke her foot during practice. She is going through rehab at Dr. Ting’s in part because of the innovative gear. She is determined to get back to practice, but only if it’s safe.
She is aware how it only takes a few days to lose ground.
“It could be a week of not doing stuff and in sports time, that’s a lot,” said Williams.
Among these high-tech wonders, there is a low-tech contraption called the Flexinator.
A few weeks ago, Webb underwent ACL surgery. He uses the Flexinator to break up the scar tissue that developed as he healed. He can now better stretch his leg out.
“I’ve seen huge gains in just a couple of weeks. It really helps to bring that mobility back,” noted Webb.
And while these tools help athletes to rehabilitate their injuries and recover from a strenuous workout, experts told KPIX how professional and amateur athletes need more of three things: time, good nutrition and a good night’s sleep.