With the cricket season in full swing, we thought it was an appropriate time to write a post about why cricket players may want to use cryotherapy. Many elite sports players have used cryotherapy to help improve injury healing and aid with sports performance recovery (Swenson et al., 1996). David Warner and Cameron Bancroft are just two of the many cricket players who regularly use cryotherapy to aid their performance Click here!. And here at Cryojuvenate we have seen a plethora of local and national cricket players such as Sam Billings, Jason Roy, Adam Milne, Marcus Stonis and Luke Schemmer come in for treatment.
Cricket is an extremely demanding game and can be very strenuous on the body. This can often lead to players finding themselves with an injury due to the arduous training and match play they are involved in. Some of the most common injuries a cricket player may obtain include rotator cuff injuries of the shoulder, ankle sprains, throwers elbow and back strains. These injuries can be extremely painful and side-line a player for weeks if not months. Cryotherapy can help to speed up the recovery process, getting the athlete back to sport as soon as possible.
In addition to injuries, cricket players are often out on the field for many hours of the day, either fielding, batting or bowling. This can be extremely taxing on their body, therefore any method to speed up recovery to enable them to be ready for the next training session or game is very much welcomed by all players.
How can cryotherapy help?
When entering the cryotherapy chamber the skin responds to the cold temperature and sends a message to the brain which then triggers a cascade of neurological, endocrine and immune regulatory functions around the body. This encourages an increase in white blood cell counts, which leads to an anti-inflammatory response and improved immune function. The endocrine system releases endorphins and nor adrenaline, this gives an individual a release of ‘feel good’ hormones in to the blood stream, which will lead to reductions in stress and cortisol levels. The physiological and biological effects athletes will experience are due to the reduction in temperature in the various tissues, together with the neuromuscular action and relaxation of the muscles produced by the application of cold. Cold temperatures will increase the pain threshold and the viscosity of the tissues but decreases the motor performance. These physiological changes from a whole-body cryotherapy session have been shown to help in reducing pain, chronic inflammation, enhance recovery and aid sporting performance (Swenson et al., 1996).
Speed up Recovery
Players have reported that using cryotherapy as part of their recovery has helped them to recover quicker post training or match, meaning that they can return to playing without as much delayed onset muscle soreness and have more energy in the tank (Smith., 1997). The use of cryotherapy has also been shown to assist with sleep, which is of vital importance to sports players, enabling their body to recover, ready for their next training session of match.
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Submitted to Cryojuvenate by Jennifer Haymer BSc
Bleakley, C., McDonough, S. and MacAuley, D. (2004). The use of ice in the treatment of acute soft-tissue injury: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials. The American journal of sports medicine, 32(1), pp.251-261.
Smith, C. (1997). The SA cricket team-The physiotherapists viewpoint. South African Journal of Sports Medicine, 4(3), pp.14-17.
Swenson, C., Swärd, L. and Karlsson, J. (1996). Cryotherapy in sports medicine. Scandinavian journal of medicine & science in sports, 6(4), pp.193-200.