The Breg Polar Care (also known as a cold therapy machine, ice therapy, or cryotherapy) is designed to reduce pain and swelling by delivering hours of ice-cold temperatures to an injured body part. Unfortunately, by deadening nerves, patients can easily use it for too long and suffer devastating nerve damage, skin necrosis, frostbite, or other disfiguring injuries that may require surgery.
What is the Breg Polar Care Cold Therapy Machine?
Breg Inc. manufactures a variety of Breg Polar Care cold therapy machines (also known as “ice therapy” or “cryotherapy”). They are mostly marketed to patients following orthopedic surgery for sports injuries in the arm, shoulder, leg, knee, and foot.
Breg Polar Care machines consist of an ice-filled chest with a motorized pump, which forces freezing-cold water into a hose and a compression pad. Patients are instructed to wrap their injured body part inside the compression pad and apply hours of ice-cold temperatures. They are told that this is superior to traditional ice-packs because it will reduce inflammation, swelling, and improve healing time and recovery.
Types of Breg Polar Care cold therapy machines:
- Breg Polar Care 500
- Breg Polar Care 300
- Breg Kodiak Cold Therapy
- Breg Cube Cold Therapy
- Breg Polar Care Glacier
- Breg Polar Care Cub
What is the problem with the Breg Polar Care?
The problem with the Breg Polar Care is that it lacks adequate instructions about the danger of exposing an injured body part to hours of cold temperatures. Although it requires a doctor’s prescription, the Breg Polar Care is a “do-it-yourself” at-home treatment that can easily be misused accidentally. Many people do not realize that severe skin and nerve damage can occur even at temperatures above freezing.
Furthermore, the compression pad on the Breg Polar Care is designed to cut off the supply of blood to injured body parts, which numbs pain by slowing nerve signals. Many people with injuries may also have pre-existing nerve damage. When nerves are desensitized, patients may fail to realize when their body is getting too cold. Despite the serious risks, the Breg Polar Care lacks automatic shut-off switches or alarms for when it gets too cold or is used for too long.
Types of Injuries from Breg Polar Care
- Skin damage
- Tissue necrosis (death)
- Nerve damage
- Chronic numbness, tingling, loss of sensation, or pain
- Need for skin grafts or reconstructive surgery
- Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) Syndrome
- Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)
- Circulation problems
- Permanent disability