Sometimes bad things have to happen to make way for good. Our company came to be because of a ruptured elbow tendon.
One day our founder – a medical research scientist – got the news that he is, sadly, no longer a spring chicken after attempting an especially unforgiving move on a rock climbing wall. You can see where this is going. He shouldn’t have.
The injury was bad and he sought out medical treatment and physical therapy. He was told to get an ice compression wrap to help with the pain and inflammation, which he did. Seconds after putting it on he felt like his skin was burning and he took it off. He tried stuffing paper towels in and then taking them out, moving it around when it got to be too much, but it was never quite right. Does this sound familiar?
He went on to try other brands, looking for one that would do the trick, but they were all more or less the same – freezing cold and painful to wear. Being the nerd he is, he read all the medical literature on the subject and found frequently reported cases of people suffering nerve damage, skin burns, and even frostbite from aggressive icing. He also realized that freezing could make injuries like his worse and slow recovery; freezing led to razor sharp ice crystal forming in muscles and tendons, injuring cell membranes, and triggering or prolonging inflammation. Cold was great for the pain and inflammation, but freezing was definitely not. He knew there had to be a better way.
What he was looking for didn’t exist. Not yet.
and everyone was recruited
With a design idea in his hand he cleared the kitchen counters and gathered the family together to start building a prototype of a new generation cold therapy that would get it just right. There was science to be done and everyone was recruited to help.
What was a spontaneous kitchen experiment led to a two year research project involving materials scientists, designers, and many failed ideas. Eventually, it was decided to base the design around the concept of thermal conductivity – the property that tells how fast a material conducts heat – to deliver deep tissue cooling without freezing and ice injury.
Over hundreds of cycles of experimentation the team developed the Ice Pillow – a fabric-like composite of multiple conducting and insulating layers in just the right combination. The new composite material slowed the icing experience down and made it comfortable and positive rather than painful and negative. The best part, the risk of ice crystal formation in and around injured cells was dramatically reduced, allowing for the safe use of cold therapy and far more efficient healing. The result: the übertherm line of cold compression pain relief products.
Since launching in 2017 we’ve received hundreds of emails and calls about how life changing our technology is, and we couldn’t be more proud of the results. Sometimes bad things really do lead to good.