GEAR Pressing Relief
“Most of my devices use a compression concept,” explains George Gauvry, the founder of Cho-Pat. “If you compress a tendon to some degree, you disperse the forces and you have less pulling.”
Gauvry is trained as an orthotist, an orthopedic-related specialty that involves the clinical treatment of orthopedic problems and injuries. He was, at one time, an avid runner, and found that there was nothing suitable on the market to deal with runners’ knee problems. “Because I had a background in anatomy and physiology and was very aware of sports-related injuries, I decided to get into the field,” he says.
His first patented invention was the now often-replicated Original Knee Strap. He subsequently created Cho-Pat’s I.T.B. Strap, which helps relieve the pain and discomfort caused by lliotibial band Syndrome. Gauvry’s most recent invention, the patented Dual Action Knee Strap, combines the principles behind both of the first two straps to provide maximum relief.
“There are two tendons that activate the knee cap – the upper tendon and the one below,” Gauvry says. “Jumpers’ knee (common in basketball players) generally involves the upper one. The runners’ knee is generally affected by the lower tendon. So I created a dual action device. It compresses both the upper and lower tendons as it disperses the forces.”
Cho-Pat also offers products to ease soreness and help prevent recurrences of previous problems below the knee. One of these is the Shin Splint Compression Sleeve.
“The nature of the material stimulates circulation,” Gauvry explains. “When circulation is stimulated, the blood flow is increased. With increased blood flow comes the oxygenation of the blood, which is a healing, therapeutic type situation. Additionally, the upper and lower straps on the shin splint sleeve work with the muscle fibers at the top and the lower portion of the leg to further prevent serious shin splint problems.”
Gauvry cautions that, though Cho-Pat devices can eliminate symptoms quite well, they are probably not a cure.
“Whatever caused the problem in the first place may still be there,” he notes, suggesting pursuing examination and treatment that may offer permanent relief.
Sizing for Cho-Pat products is based on dimensions and measurements of a player’s knees and shins. Individuals placing orders can address questions over the phone at 1-800-221-1601, or through Cho-Pat’s Website, www.chopat.com.
“With a more exact fit, the results are much better,” says Gauvry. “I try to make devices that enable people to continue to be engaged in their activities without too much limitation.”
The strap uses compression to prevent the snapping or friction of the iliotibial band over the bony prominence just above the outside of the knee joint, or further up the leg at the hip joint. Wear the strap nearest the area of most discomfort to achieve the most beneficial results. Available in extra small, small, medium, large and extra large. Retail price: $9.70.
Dual Action Knee Strap
The strap applies pressure upon the patellar tendon below the kneecap to stabilize and tighten the kneecap mechanism. It further strengthens the kneecap mechanism by applying pressure on the tendon above the kneecap: this tends to reduce the force of the a quadriceps on the patella tendon. ” The Dual Action Strap reduces the likelihood of overuse syndromes while giving the wearer full mobility. Available in small, medium, large and extra large. Retail price: $24.95.
Shin Splint Compression Sleeve
The sleeve works by providing gentle compression forces while firmly supporting the lower leg muscles and soft tissue. The sleeve also tends to stimulate circulation and maintain warmth, which controls fluid build-up. Two foam core straps act as shock absorbers that reduce micro-trauma to the tendons and other soft tissues, and help keep the device in the proper position. Available in youth, small, medium and large. Retail price: $21.00.
Achilles Tendon Strap
Developed in cooperation with the Mayo Clinic, this strap helps alleviate the pain and discomfort of Achilles tendonitis, an ailment common among basketball players. It decreases the tensile forces placed upon the Achilles tendon via dissemination of forces resulting from a muscular contraction. The strap also promotes an early heel rise, which helps to reduce the stress placed on the tendon. Available in small, medium and large. Retail price: $18.95.
Copyright Ashton International Media, Inc. Jun 2004
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