CryoTherapy is all the rage
Rory McIlroy helped push cryotherapy into the limelight when he asked his manager to organise one per player as a practical joke for the Ryder Cup.
Cryo-chambers, or Cryo-saunas, sell for anything from R700 000 to R1 million and you can just imagine what the manager was thinking.
CryoTherapy is the process of cooling nitrogen down to minus 100 degrees and then blasting it onto patients and athletes while they stand in a chamber for three to four minutes. Hands and feet are protected by gloves and socks and a mask is worn to prevent from inhaling the cold air directly. There is no water used in this entire process and that is how it can get down to the very low temperatures.
You get bigger six- to eight-man cryo-chambers where you walk through two chambers with different temperatures where each chamber is colder than the other, making it the perfect solution for team recovery.
The benefits are numerous, particularly for those wanting to recover effectively and more quickly from sports training and competition. Your muscles tear and bleed on a micro level which is a normal process the body endures. Post-event, your muscles, tissues and joints become inflamed, and depending on how intense your session was, will determine if your body is sore for two or three days after. Athletes tend to get the doms (delayed onset of muscles soreness) after high intensity resistant training sessions.
Your muscles are working under speed, force, weight and friction during an event and sore bodies pose a problem for sports scientists and coaches because if the training is not designed down to a science, players would be constantly sore and their bodies will break down more often than they should. Technology plays a role in recovery and many professional European and American pro teams understand how important recovery for their players is and have their own Cryo-chambers installed in their changerooms. CryoTherapy was also used in the last Fifa World Cup games in Russia.
It would be great to say it was first developed for the sporting market but in fact it was developed to treat patients with multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis. You can now find a chamber in at least 50 European hospitals.
Recovery is fast becoming one of the hottest fields in research and development because coaches are starting to understand that they can’t continuously work their players to the bone without consequences of breaking down. Smart clubs are investing in recovery lounges because the quicker you can start the recovery process of an athlete, the faster the athlete will recover and thus reduce the likelihood of a serious injury.