Press release / The British invention making a big splash for sportspeople with plaster casts
Press release issued for Bloccs, completely waterproof cast protection for arms and legs
The British invention making a big splash for sportspeople with plaster casts
• Last year 21,000 people visited A&E departments with arm and leg fractures from playing sports.
• Plaster casts must remain dry to keep their shape and support the bone properly – traditionally ruling out aquatic exercise and rehabilitation for injured sportspeople.
• British inventors have now created a rubber sleeve that stretches over a cast to make a 100 per cent watertight seal – enabling a speedier, water-based sports rehabilitation.
THEY are the new British innovation helping sportspeople with broken bones to rehabilitate in swimming pools without getting their plaster casts soggy.
Called Bloccs, the rubber arm and leg sleeves could transform sports injury rehabilitation by allowing physiotherapists to incorporate pool exercises into their fracture patients’ recovery programmes in spite of plaster casts.
Water reduces a human’s body weight by 90 per cent, allowing injured sportspeople to ambulate freely, without putting their injuries under undue stress. Unsurprising then, most of the world’s top sporting medical departments (including Manchester United’s and Chelsea FC’s) see aquatic therapy as an essential part of their daily player injury rehabilitation strategies.
“Doctors warn that if the padding under a plaster cast gets wet the cast can weaken, no longer support the bone properly and require replacing,” explains Kate Richards, one of the brains behind Bloccs waterproof protectors.
“The lives of amateur and professional sportspeople is defined by action, so delaying aquatic rehabilitation from injury because of an awkward plaster cast can be infuriating and costly to sporting success.
Gordon Teasdale (BA Dip MSST, MSTO), a sports therapist from Body in Motion Rehab, said: “Bloccs protectors blow traditional medical advice out of the water, by allowing people with plaster casts to do non-weight bearing exercise in the water.
“Historically, when fitted with a plaster cast the advice was to rest and keep the cast away from water. We now know that this is possibly the worst advice you can give to an active person.
“Long rest periods with little or no movement will result in unnecessarily prolonged rehabilitation.
“Continued activity promotes blood flow and circulation, reduces stress hormones and increases endorphins. Movement also supports the body’s natural healing response, maintains the integrity of the soft tissue system, keeps bones strong and is crucial to the mental wellbeing of the individual.
“Bloccs is a fantastic rehabilitation tool which helps sportspeople with plaster casts maintain regular movement and keep fit.”
Bloccs have been developed by Bristol-based manufacturer Precision Dippings Ltd (PDM). Their protectors combine the technology they used to put the stretch into the iconic Stretch Armstrong toy in the 1970s, with the watertight wrist, ankle and neck seals they design for the world’s top drysuit manufacturers today.
PDM says Bloccs also helps fracture patients to shower and bath independently – condemning sponge baths and plaster casts wrapped in carrier bags to the history books.
Bloccs protectors are reusable and available in adult and child sizes. The full range are on sale at boots.com and bloccs.com.
*According to the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC), there were 361,719 A&E attendances for sports injuries in 2014/15.
*According to the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC), 20,774 adults (over 16s) were admitted to English NHS A&E departments last year with fractured bones from playing sports.