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Therabody RecoveryTherm Cube review

In my seemingly never ending quest for ways to help my elbow survive the rigours of coaching and playing pretty much every day, I’m always looking for new things I can use to help recover.  After my success with the RecoveryPulse Arm, I was open to using more products from Therabody in the future.  A few weeks ago, they sent me a teaser email of a new solution on the way. You could consider me intrigued and excited.  

Their new launch: the RecoveryTherm Cube. It’s a battery powered cold and heat therapy device, that can replace a ice pack and a heat pad. it can go as cold as 7 degree Celsius and as much as 43 degrees Celsius. As it could do cold therapy to reduce inflammation for pain relief, heat therapy to tackle stiffness/soreness and contrast therapy by cycling hot and cold to maximise recovery, it looked like I could cover pretty much all the common recovery options in one solution.  

Inside the box, you get the Cube, a mounting bracket, a USB A to C charging cable and two different length straps: 50cm and 150cm. It comes fairly well charged at the start so you could get going right away. It takes roughly the same amount of time to charge as to use: hence a two hour charge/run time. 

Use is pretty simple.  There’s a snowflake button (for cold) and a flame button (for hot).  Holding either button down for a couple of seconds activates the first level of either mode and holding both down starts the contrast mode (cold/hot/cold/hot). Short pressing the activated mode button cycles through the three temperature settings, illuminating an extra LED. There is a 4 degree Celsius difference between each mode: 16 down to eight degrees Celsius for cold and 35 to 43 degree Celsius for hot therapy. 

The default runtimes are 18 minutes cold, 24 minutes warm and 20 minutes contrast.  The straps are double Velcro so can make large and fine adjustments to fit.  It can pretty much work on any limb or body part for almost any body type.  

How effective is it? I was flabbergasted by how cold and hot this small device got in next to no time. Within a few seconds, you can distinctly feel either mode in your skin. Therabody recommends using on bare skin or over a thin layer of clothing for maximum effectiveness. Within a minute or so, it’s at operating temperature even on the maximum settings. 

My preference was to use the coldest setting as it was closest to the ice treatments I use in the spa at my local David Lloyd Club. Similarly, I would default to the hottest setting in the main for my heat treatments. I found I’d need to end this one early or turn down the setting at times, as it could feel too hot. In contrast mode, the cycling from cold to hot allowed me to stay at the hot and cold extremes without discomfort. 

Is it actually having a positive impact on my elbow? It seems to work really well on reducing pain and inflammation after a session. The ability to strap this on right after I’ve finished means that I can start recovery immediately. I don’t have to worry about getting access to an ice bath, plunge pool or source of ice.  I’ve started using this in cold mode initially after a session to bring down any pain and swelling before running a cycle of contrast treatment. The complete lack of any mess or fuss from a hot or cold pack is a huge benefit. No melting ice, no need for a heat source like a microwave to heat a pad or even a mains socket to power a heat treatment. I can even drive back from a session wearing it.

Again, like the RecoveryPulse Arm, it’s a premium priced product at £125 but viewed against a couple of visits to the physio or the costs of disposable ice packs if away from home, it will soon pay for itself. It comes with a standard 12 month warranty and the build quality, like everything Therabody, is excellent. I’m confident it’ll be a permanent part of my recovery solutions: well, until I can fully heal my elbow. I’ve also used on sore knees after a hard leg session in training so I’m sure I’ll be putting to use after sessions when I’m dealing with muscle soreness not brought on by injury. 

I highly recommend this as a device to explore if you have issues with muscles, joints and especially for shoulder, back or elbow issues. 

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