About the author: Dr. Riley J. Williams III, MD is an orthopedic
surgeon, academic, and clinician-scientist specializing in the field of
shoulder, knee, and elbow surgery. Since
1993, Dr. Williams has been affiliated with the Hospital for Special Surgery
(“HSS”), the #1 rated Orthopedic Surgery Hospital according to U.S. News and
World Report, where he is also Director of the HSS Cartilage Institute. Dr. Williams is inventor of Therma1™ and
Chief Medical Officer, Head of Product Development, and Chairman of the Board
of Directors of R2T2 Laboratories Inc., the company that markets Therma1™. Dr.
Williams graduated from Yale College and Stanford Medical School, where he won
top medical science research awards. Dr.
Williams is team physician for the Brooklyn Nets and NY Red Bulls, and he has
been associated with professional football and baseball teams.
The Science Behind
Using Hot/Cold Therapy, Compression and Massage to Heal Soft-Tissue Injuries
I am an orthopedic surgeon, sports
medicine physician, advisor to elite athletes, and pro sports team doctor. I’m also a scientist. When I invented Therma
1, I based
it on the science of recovery.
It is well documented that cold therapy or compression
reduces inflammatory response. Recent studies indicate that soft-tissue
compression combined with local temperature alterations demonstrate significant
enhancement in the healing potential of soft-tissue injuries.
It is also well known that heat therapy or
compression/massage increase tissue compliance.
Studies show that controlled increases in thermal temperature have a
significant effect on the tensile properties of skeletal muscle, which results
in increased joint range of motion and reduced muscle tension that help reduce
potential muscle strain injuries. Other
studies demonstrate that warm and more compliant muscles absorb more energy
than non-stimulated muscle tissue, which results in improved resistance to
The Need for a Unique
New Therapy Device Turns into an Invention
My observations of scientific evidence, decades of sports
medicine experience including thousands of patients and surgeries, and
dialogues with sports therapy experts such as pro sports athletic trainers,
physical therapists, and chiropractors, led to the invention of the Therma1™ Hot Cold Roller
. The goal of the design was to provide all
four critical musculoskeletal therapy treatment modalities (heat,
cold, compression and massage) in one portable, easy-to-use device –
something that no other product on the market offered. The U.S. Patent Office recognized Therma1™
’s innovative and unique
qualities and granted a design patent last year.
The Therma1’s size and shape was designed specifically to
make it easier to treat hard to reach spots, as well as help pinpoint trouble
spots and deliver trigger point therapy. In my experience, there was a lack of
products on the market with this ability.
What Makes the
Therma1 Hot Cold Roller Different from...
Massagers or foam
Its ability to deliver heat and cold
packs and heat pads?
Its ability to deliver rolling compression and massage
cold therapy machines? The dynamic nature of Therma1™ Hot Cold Roller
treatment modality makes the likelihood of thermal injury very low.
How to Use Therma1 in
a Sports Medicine Setting
- As a natural Performance Enhancement Device
(PED) – Use Therma1 before activity to increase tissue compliance.
- To treat nagging injuries, such as:
- Patellar tendonitis
- Calf strain
- Shin splints
- IT Band syndrome
- Strains in the forearms, biceps, triceps and neck area
- Quad and hamstring strains
should be used in regiments of two – ten
minutes, usually in combination with static therapy. The treatment regiments should be repeated
throughout the day as desired.
How Therma1 Benefits
- Increases patient compliance (one
of the leading drags on patient recovery time is noncompliance with prescribed
- Patients can use it on themselves or
athletic trainers can roll the player (patients don’t need to contort
the body to apply therapy like other rollers)
- You never have to worry about frostbite
or heat burns
- Non-toxic, simply rinse spills if they
get on skin
Tips for Buying
comes in Recharge and Instant models.
– Comes with two rollers. The rollers can be placed in the freezer or
- Provides portability and convenience with its Instant Hot and Cold
packs. Each Therma1™
Instant model comes
with one Recharge Roller, one Instant Roller, and a dozen Instant packs. The Instant
Roller has a removable end-cap that accommodates a Therma1™ Instant Hot or Cold pack.
When using Therma1 for
cold therapy, keep the following in mind:
Therma1™ Recharge (freezer) achieves colder temperatures than Therma1™ Instant (cold pack). When left in a
typical freezer overnight, Therma1™
Recharge reaches sub 10 degree temperatures and holds a sub twenty degree
temperature for approximately twenty minutes with recommended intermittent use
(two – ten minute increments, followed by two minute “rest”). For best results when treating acute injuries,
use the Therma1™ Recharge
If you do not have a Therma1™
packs can be used to decrease local tissue temperatures; studies show decreases
in local tissue temperatures stimulate an effective anti-inflammatory
response. However, I recommend Instant
Cold packs be used only when a cold Recharge Roller is not available.