As every coach knows, keeping your best players on the field and attracting the best players and top athletes in the first instance is vital to achieving success. Consequently, to maximise player availability, minimise recovery times and reduce injury rates, the strength and conditioning coach will have to work with the medical team to ensure maximum fitness while minimising fatigue – the primary precursor of injury.
After incorporating CET CryoSpa ice bath therapy into their recovery protocols the English Super League Rugby team, Widnes Vikings, reported a 16% increase in player availability and a 21% decrease in injury rates with an 11% reduction in the average cost of injury treatment.
It is interesting to note all CET clients, which include AC Milan, Bayern Munich, Team GB, German Olympic Association, Manchester United & the Brooklyn Nets, used cold water immersion in some format, mostly cold tubs, cold plunge pools and ice baths, prior to installing a CET CryoSpa. Only after installing the CET CryoSpa did they realise that not all cold water immersion is the same. The Toronto Blue Jays are a great example as they used both cold plunge pools and stainless steel tubs before deciding to buy a CET CryoSpa for Rogers Stadium. They then quickly added five more CryoSpas at their Florida training facilities once they realised the benefits CET CryoSpas offered compared to other options.
How do ice baths help recovery?
At a Sports Injury Summit held at Wembley Stadium in London, research scientist Gregory Dupont presented the results of a study which monitored injury rates in European Champions League teams over two seasons. The startling statistic was that injury rates increased more than 6-fold when playing two matches per week compared to one match per week. Moreover, it was established, unsurprisingly, the primary precursor of injury was fatigue. The second part of the study investigated the most effective recovery methods required to combat fatigue, thereby lowering the risk of injury. The results showed the top 3 recovery elements were an athlete’s lifestyle, namely sleep, diet and hydration and the leading intervention was cold water immersion.
How does the CryoSpa achieve such effective cooling?
The thermal conductivity of water is 26 times higher than air and the density of water is over 800 times greater than air and when you add in cooling by convection not just conduction combined with compression through hydrostatic pressure, you get a much more penetrating cold resulting in a significantly improved therapeutic effect.
This is why so many elite sports facilities have replaced their old fashioned ice baths, cold tubs or in-ground plunge pools with much more therapeutically effective saltwater CryoSpa ice bath technology.