By Brandon Sudge:
Photo: UGA Sports Communications
In a time of craze for medical innovation and efficiency, Cryotherapy is being introduced throughout the world of sports medicine. More specifically in the SEC, who always seems to lead the way in modern day innovation. The method was first experimented at Alabama over the summer, and has now made its way to Georgia.
Cryotherapy is defined as a pain treatment that uses a method of localized freezing temperatures to deaden an irritated nerve. According to a UGA press release, the chamber cools to an average temperature of -130 degrees and effectively cools the athlete’s top layer of skin.
Georgia is now implementing these chambers, currently on an experimental basis, as a potential alternative to the grueling ice bath. Not only will the use of the chambers be more enjoyable for our athletes, but also more efficient. The goal of this experiment is to drastically prevent injuries, and decrease time off of the field.
The University of Georgia has purchased these cryotherapy chambers from Impact Cryotherapy out of Atlanta. In a release from UGA, Richard E. Otto (CEO from Impact Cryotherapy) stated, “Rather than endure 20 minutes in a tub of ice water, they can spend three minutes in our whole body cryotherapy chamber to achieve better, faster results. Athletes love it!”. Otto certainly reassures the hopes of many involved with Georgia athletics that the methods of injury management will be revolutionized.
As football fans, we certainly hope to see the game’s best athletes be sidelined for as short as possible. Based on that desire, let’s hope many other national athletic powerhouses implement these into their sports medicine programs. However, that is no easy task, as chambers are known to be a costly investment. In the meantime, UGA should use that as an advantage on the recruiting trail. Athletes will definitely prefer schools who have the most up-to-date methods for injury management and prevention.
The cryotherapy methods are not only for football either, but are intended for use all across the UGA athletic program. It will certainly be interesting to see how this important experiment turns out, as well as how much of an impact it has on different injuries.