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By David Wallach

Hyperice Venom — Using Tech To Soothe Back Pain

Have you heard, this pandemic thing is more than a year old? Making it almost 12 times longer than Michael Bloomberg’s presidential campaign (remember that week, it was fun).

The pandemic has forced many of us home — working, sitting, standing, or laying on the couch. The amount of time people spend sitting in front of desk and a device has increased dramatically as well as wreaked havoc on our bodies and postures.

The simple act of going to work in your car, on a train or bus has been all but evaporated and as Eric Robertson, a physical therapist and spokesperson for the American Physical Therapy Association says, that time is important.

HyperIce photo

“For starters, people are missing out on physical activity that they’d normally get from their commute or routine,” Robertson said. “Unless people are intentionally replacing their overall activity level and keeping up their exercise, everyone is moving a little bit less than they were. Research has shown that dramatic decreases in activity leads to increases in musculoskeletal pain, such as neck, shoulder and low back pain.”

Yes, you can move more, change your posture, stretch and strengthen your muscles to help decrease a lot of that pain. But as Robertson points out, “Things like depression, anxiety, and fear about work can all translate to very strong predictors of who has back pain.”

So…we got that going for us.

Come to find out bourbon and THC are only short-term cures for pain. Once again, we saw an ad on Instagram and since we do everything Instagram tells us to do, we reached out to Hyperice to see if they can offer up any solutions.

Don’t know Hyperice? Other than cool Instagram ads, they are a company that specializes in recovery equipment for athletes like Patrick Mahomes, Russell Westbrook and Anthony Davis, as well old broken writers who have lots of aches and pains.

What is recovery? Remember your New Year’s resolution to get fit in 2021? If you truly want to get fit, then recovery is a crucial part of that equation.

Recovery doesn’t mean Netflix and chillin’ with a deep dish pizza and a sixer of Boulevard Pale Ale (eds. note: their Hefeweizen is better).

Proper recovery allows your body to heal and bounce back quicker, giving you the ability to continue to train, compete and reach your goals. Things like cryotherapy, massage, rolling out your muscles, stretching and compression are all options for successful recovery.

Back to the Covid thing.  In a normal world, you know, back when hugging it out and going to a movie theater didn’t mean possibly dying, people would turn to out of home recovery solutions like a massage or stretching lab. 

Then… Covid, home gyms, tension and sore muscles.

This is where Hyperice comes in. Anthony Katz, founder and president of Hyperice shares his vision for helping athletes and regular folk recover and find better pain relief, “Growing up in a generation that was transformed by technology, the question was why can’t that technology transform the way we move?”

Hyperice combines technology with recovery to help your body find relief, through heat, compression, ice and lots of other cool stuff.

HyperIce photo

Hyperice sent us their Venom Back, a thermal back wrap that combines heat and vibration to test out and see if it could help with the aches and pains associated with sitting at a desk all day as well as from working out.

Venom wraps around your body like a weight belt, but with velcro that helps fit pretty much any body type. Right in the middle of Venom is a control panel that resembles Ironman’s heart thingy, but instead of helping you fly, it controls the amount of heat and vibration that Venom disburses to your back.

It’s like a wearable massage chair. Unlike a chair, Venom gives you the freedom to walk around, drive, watch Netflix and recover at the same time. Which is one of the great features.

Does it work? Yes. 

Why does it work? Here’s what I copied from their web site; it makes sense. “The therapeutic application of heat causes a change in temperature of the soft tissues which can help decrease joint stiffness and relieve muscle spasms. When combined with the benefits of vibration, as featured in the Venom line, localized heat helps warm, loosen, and relax sore and stiff muscles. Ideal for warmup, recovery, and relief for muscle and joint stiffness, the combination of thermal therapy and vibration therapy is unparalleled.”

In simple terms, It’s wearable tech. meant to help you feel better. Venom helps decrease joint stiffness and relieve muscle spasms. The combination of heat and vibration does help to warm, loosen, and relax stiff muscles.

It’s pretty easy to use. Out of the box, you need to charge it up, and it’s ready to wear. There are three vibration options — Wave, Pulse and Constant as well as three heat settings and a timer. The touch screen on the control panel isn’t the most responsive, but it’s not a deal breaker, just a minor annoyance.

Looking at my 6’4” 250-pound frame, most people wouldn’t think “That guy is an Ironman triathlete!”  Long story short, eight years ago, I was and while training for a race, I was hit by a car and for a brief period of time I was paralyzed, then had to have my spine re-built. I won’t take pain killers and back pain is part of my new normal. Most days are great and then out of the blue my legs don’t work because of the pain. While testing Venom, I had one of those bad days and it added welcomed relief helping to get me back on my feet.

At $249.00, Venom may seem steep, but it’s the cost of about four, one-hour massages and, unlike a massage, Venom is ready when you need it without having to leave the house.

If you’re training for a virtual marathon or trying to survive another day of Zoom meetings, the Venom Back From Hyperice is a wearable piece of recovery tech that can help you get there feeling better and ready to go again.

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Hyperice Venom — Using Tech To Soothe Back Pain

March 26, 2021
By David Wallach

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