ThermoActive™ Frequently Asked Questions
The ThermoActive line is used by a variety of practitioners who appreciate the integration of cold and heat therapy with an orthopedic brace. Patients appreciate:
- Cold Therapy with mobility.
- PEDAC approved Lcodes that reduce or eliminate out of pocket costs
Here are some of the Frequently Asked Questions we receive from Orthopedic Surgeons, PM&R Physicians, Physical Therapists and Athletic Trainers.
ThermoActive has added cold, heat and compression to orthopedic bracing. Integrating ThermoTherapy into braces is a logical response to the healthcare requirement that we improve outcomes while reducing costs.
By integrating cold with the brace, physicians:
- Provide the stability and protection of an orthopedic brace
- Reduce inflammation with cold therapy1
- Apply cold to reduce pain and edema2
- Harness the ability of cold to improve range of motion3
- Reduce the risks and expense of continuous cold systems
- Enable mobility by eliminating cords that tether patients to cold machines
- Support alternatives to NSAIDs and opioid prescriptions
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services does not reimbursement cold therapy. But ThermoActive orthopedic braces are reimbursed with PDAC approved Lcodes. Since the cold and heat therapy are integrated into the brace, patients are not charged out of pocket for the therapy.
Patients appreciate the combined therapy without the cost associated with continuous cold systems. Quite simply, the unique ThermoActive design reduces the cost of care for patients, hospitals AND the Healthcare System.
To provide therapeutic relief, ThermoTherapy must cool soft tissue to a low of 45˚F, or warm it to no more than 105˚F. The gel packs are able to reach these temperatures when chilled in a freezer or heated in a microwave.
Numerous lawsuits have been brought against various continuous cold systems for ice burn and frostbite. ThermoActive has never been cited with such a complaint. The reason is that ThermoActive gel packs maintain therapeutic temperatures for less time than required for tissue damage.
Patients should not extend cold therapy for more than the physician recommended 20 minutes. With gel packs, after that time, the cold has sufficiently dissipated to minimize the risk of frostbite. Still, it is recommended that patients keep a layer, such as a towel, between the cold pack and their skin.
ThermoActive braces are used in a variety of settings to achieve different outcomes.
- Post Athletics
Many physicians use ThermoActive post-operatively to provide support, reduce inflammation and edema, improve range-of-motion and reduce pain. Cold therapy has also been known to speed recovery and reduce hospital stays.4
“Post arthroscopic or open shoulder surgery I apply the ThermoActive Shoulder Support. I like the fact that it is easy to fit over the post-operative dressing, conforms well to the patient’s body contour and can be used for either the left or right shoulders.”
DR. LEE BERGER, M.D., Orthopedic Surgeon
Other physicians recommend ThermoActive for over-use injuries to provide stability and support while the cold therapy reduces inflammation and pain. The built-in compression keeps the cold pack firmly against the injury and provides further comfort to the patient.
Many physical therapists and athletic trainers use the ThermoActive System to help resolve sprains and strains. It is popular for post-athletic muscle treatment.
ThermoActive braces are useful as long as patients feel the need for additional support. Cold therapy is useful as long as the patient is suffering inflammation, edema, limited range of motion or pain.
Patients appreciate that the ThermoActive brace is long lasting and can be used in the future for other minor sprains, strains or over-use.
Combination Hot/Cold Therapy has long been recognized as an effective ways to address injuries and promote recovery. It helps to resolve both acute and chronic injuries.
Acute pain is the sudden, sharp pain associated with trauma. It is temporary in nature, tied directly to the injury. Chronic pain builds up over time, often from overuse, misuse or a developing condition.
Cold causes vasoconstriction, where blood flow is decreased which helps resolve pain, inflammation and bruising.1,2
Heat causes vasodilation, which increases blood flow to the affected area to promote healing and flexibility. Heat should not be applied to an injury for at least 48 hours since it may increase bleeding and inflammation in the early stage.
Apply Cold Therapy:
- Immediately following an injury
- After sports or physical exertion
- For pain relief and to reduce swelling
Apply Heat Therapy
- Before physical activity
- To reduce chronic pain
- 48 hours after an injury or when bleeding has subsided
- After swelling has been reduced
Most ThermoActive braces can provide 360˚ ThermoTherapy by ordering a second cold pack to totally surround the limb.
ThermoActive braces come with an Extender Strap that adapts the brace for larger patients.
Continuous cold systems are able to provide sustained therapeutic cold to patients who are under the supervision of a nurse or other healthcare professional. These systems operate with an electric pump circulating chilled water through tubes. They work well in a hospital or acute care facility where staff can monitor the use and mobility is already restricted.
Once discharged, ThermoActive braces help promote mobility while still offering compression and ThermoTherapy. Compliance may be improved as patients aren’t restricted throughout the therapy by electrical cords or ice water tubes.
The nature of gel packs means cold temperatures are not sustained like continuous cold machines, substantially reducing the risk of frostbite and ice burn.
Equally important, the fact that ThermoActive braces have Lcodes for reimbursement means there is no out of pocket cost to the patient. Continuous cold systems are more expensive and paid for either by the hospital clinic or patient.
ThermoActive braces are designed to fit the greatest number of patients with the least number of SKUs.
The Extender Strap design enables many of the braces to be sold in a single size, yet fit larger patients.
Knee braces come with an Extender Strap to cover large sizes. It also includes both polycentric and ROM hinges to adapt a single design to the patient.
The Shoulder Brace comes in a single size and an Extender Strap. But for improved efficacy, it comes in right and left designs.
The hip brace comes in sizes and right or left sides.
ThermoActive braces are available from local sales professionals, through DME Dealers, online and by phone. Ask your DME provider about ThermoActive. Or call ThermoActive direct at 844.620.1100.
- Treatment of Pain and Inflammation. (2007, July). Merck Manual. Retrieved September 3, 2012, from http://www.merckmanuals.com/home/fundamentals/rehabilitation/treatment_of_pain_and_inflammation.html
- Deal DN, Tipton J, Rosencrance E, Curl WW, Smith TL. Ice reduces edema. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2002;84-(9):1573-1578.2.
- Craig R. Denegar, PhD, ATC David H. Perrin, PhD, ATC Effect of Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation, Cold, and a Combination Treatment on Pain, Decreased Range of Motion, and Strength Loss Associated with Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness Volume 27 . Number 3 . 1992 * Journal of Athletic Training
- Hocutt JE Jr, Cryotherapy, American Family Physician [1981, 23(3):141-144]