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Count'R Force®

The Science

Designed by Orthopedic Surgeon & Sports Medicine Expert,
Robert P. Nirschl, M.D., M.S.


At first glance, repetitive stress injuries seem remote possibilities. After all, most of our everyday movements -- walking, climbing stairs, gardening, and the like -- are repetitive. Yet experience tells us that most injuries are brought on by long-term overuse. Although a single traumatic event can cause injury, many times an injury that presents as a single-event tissue trauma may, in fact, be an injury to tissue made vulnerable by overuse or improper use. When a cycle of repetitive motions overloads tissues that are trying to adapt to increased demands, injuries occur. This happens most frequently when a person introduces a new action (such as taking up a new sport); changes the way he or she performs the repetitive action (such as compensating for a previous injury); increases the intensity of the action; or prolongs the duration of the repetitive action.

Rehabilitating these types of injuries seemed problematic when Robert P. Nirschl, M.D. began practicing orthopedic surgery. In the 1970s, while treating tennis-related tendon injuries, Dr. Nirschl made a number of observations about treatments of the day. He noticed that focused-pressure or immobilizing braces are more than just ineffective for treating repetitive stress injuries. They may actually be harmful, because they increase the potential for excess pressure and invite muscle imbalances that cause weakness, fatigue, and injury. In addition, he realized that blocking motion by completely immobilizing an injured joint discourages function and encourages muscle atrophy and weakness.

Conversely, supporting the injured limb during its function reduces abusive effects, including gravitational force, on the limb’s action. In this way, the limb can perform its usual function while the effect of potentially violent forces upon it is minimized. This was the theory Dr. Nirschl pursued, testing it on professional and amateur athletes alike. He coined the term "counterforce" to describe this function. The result of his years of experience is contained in this catalog: a line of products specially designed to decrease abusive overload pressure on injured muscles, tendons, and ligaments; provide support and alignment correction; and maintain normal mobility.

Medical Sports, Inc. was formed in 1972 to make these products available to the medical community. Medical Sports designs, manufactures, and distributes a complete line of specialized orthopedic braces and complementary rehabilitative products that offer both injury protection and support. How do our products differ from "usual" solutions?

  • All are designed by an orthopedic surgeon who understands the principles of bioengineering and manufacturing. That is, the products are specially designed to meet specific needs created by overuse and traumatic injuries.
  • They are based on the experiences that Dr. Nirschl and other physicians, physical therapists, and medical professionals have had during more than 27 years of patient treatment at the Virginia Sportsmedicine Institute and the Nirschl Orthopedic and Sportsmedicine Clinic.
  • Our products support function; not restrict it. They allow the wearer to strengthen weakened muscles and tendons gradually, and afford the opportunity to reduce and ultimately eliminate atrophy.
  • Our braces are constructed with an anatomical design that fits the shape of the body part. They’re fully adjustable and comfortable to wear.
  • And they’re both cost-effective and proven to work.


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