Couple of points, in reply to various posts.
- the NormaTec is an FDA approved medical device. But the Pulse (like the MVP and Pro before it) is/was approved for OTC sale. But the "original" NormaTec system (which is still used and which still requires a prescription and which could - in theory - qualify for DME if you insurance covers it though it's not nearly as portable as the Pulse, among other limitations) http://www.normatecusa.com/
is/was not. *ALL* of these systems share the same patented Peristaltic Pulse "method" (for lack of a better term) of applying pressure to the different cells in the boots/hips/sleeves. So there's no credence to any claim that somehow these other devices are "medical" devices and the NormaTec is not. The basic story of the NormaTec is that it was founder by Dr. Laura Jacobs, who was an MD-PhD physician who specialized in rehabilitative medicine. Some of her patients were athletes. They felt the system was so good that they continued to use it even after their "traditional" rehab (think ACL surgeries and the like) were done. And that's what led to the idea of making a business targeting athletes. A huge obstacle when NormaTec first launched in ~2009 was that you still needed a prescription to get a unit. But don't believe any nonsense about the NormaTec not being "medical grade" or anything like that.
- there *IS* a difference between the various PCD systems out there. The NormaTec system is the only one (unless someone is in violation of their patent) which uses the Peristaltic Pulse, which is basically an increase-pressure/relax in a waveform in each individual cell. Virtually all of the other boots/PCDs on the market just use a progressive pressure - inflate first and to the highest pressure at the feet, then the next cell up the leg, then the next, etc. And then release the whole thing. This is a clear difference in methodology. There is research backing the NormaTec methodology done by Dr. Jacobs. And independent research since then supporting it. You can't simply equate that research to "all PCDs." The other boots are all based on 50+ (WWII-era) technology. For a quick primer - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peristalsis
- peristalsis is basically how your muscles function normally, so the idea behind the NormaTec is to (roughly) mimic the natural contraction/relaxation of your muscles, which has a number of benefits.
Anyway, some research:
Dr. Jacobs original research - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22292102
Study showing positive results on BLA clearance - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25756325
One of the really interesting studies showing improved recovery as measured by "pressure to pain" - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24531439
Except for the first, all are linked from NormaTec's own site here: https://www.normatecrecovery.com/...px?cookie=notice#sci
You'll note that all of these are specific to the NormaTec. You cannot equate the results here with another PCD system.
Is the NormaTec "worth it"? Up to you. I've been using it since 2009 and haven't traveled to a race without it since then. I'm typing this reply as I sit it mine pre-IMMT.
But there's no question that it is a unique system within the PCD marketplace. The cheaper options are not the same by any means.
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