Recovery rooms and GAA's newest trend keeping players injury-free after fast start
What could possibly go wrong?
With the sun shining, the grass fresh and low and suddenly, with teams back training like it was 2019 again, you'd be forgiven for thinking it was all a dream. Having spent all this time under house arrest, looking out the window only to breathe a what if, it's hard to believe that county teams and juveniles are actually back at it. That for club players, that first glorious training session is only a couple of weeks away.
If you've forgotten the buzz of it, you're not alone and when the body stiffens up and chugs, mid-way through that first session like an old tractor on a cold morning, you won't be alone either. It won't be too long now, before we're all talking about tight hamstrings, sore calves and hard ground.
Revive Nenagh is one of the many recovery rooms across the country and its owner Niall O'Farrell has his North Tipperary base primed for a steady increase in the next few weeks, of tight athletes with niggly bodies.
"Most of it is injury prevention," says O'Farrell, a third year S and C student at LIT who opened Revive Nenagh last December.
"If you're training intensely twice a week, you're six times more likely to get injured according to the recent studies. Just take the county teams now, the players would have been training on their own but when they get back in with the team, playing games and so-on, it's a different intensity entirely.
"That rapid increase in an intense training load has led to a lot of muscle injuries even at this early stage, their bodies just don't really know what's hitting it basically and club players will experience something similar down the line.
So when you're worse for wear after a tough session, what will you get in a place like Revive? First it's into the cryo-bath and the hot-tub, which will kickstart the healing process. Then it's over to the Normatec recovery boots, the most in-form trend in world sport right now.
"Most people do the full recovery session," says the Toomevara club-man.
Start your week right with us in nenagh 💪
Can you handle the cryo bath 🥶 pic.twitter.com/mVnz642ppc
— REVIVE (@ReviveNenagh) April 26, 2021
"That starts off with the a half an hour of contrast hydrotherapy. So you start in the ice bath before swapping over into the hot-tub. That jump-starts the healing process. The ice bath reduces swelling and inflammation while the hot-tub reduces fatigue, muscle soreness and lactic acid levels."
"The recovery boots are basically compression pumps. There is five compartments which have air pumping in and that tightens up each compartment. You can target a specific part of the leg, a part that's giving you bother, for example. They help with your circulation again, basically like a massage, ease muscle soreness and can help with flexibility and general tiredness."
"The sooner you can get in after training, the better. It helps to put you on the front foot again. Once the club championships get back in the summer, hopefully we'll be doing a lot of team deals where the whole team can come in and get sorted.
"I've probably had eight or nine of the Tipperary senior hurlers in since they started back. There's a few Offaly hurlers and Laois players coming in too."
Sport is back. Summer is near. Nature is healing.