Major League Baseball will be returning for spring training on July 1st, 2020. Will cryotherapy help baseball players perform at peak levels after the quarantine? Furthermore, with hamstring injuries being “the most common injury for professional baseball players” teams must use proactive recovery for player safety.¹
Help! Baseball Injuries Are On the Rise
In the years between 2011 and 2016 there were 2633 hamstring strains in the MLB, and the number was growing. The MLB determined that a hamstring strain removes a player for an average of 24 weeks. Now that COVID-19 has put baseball on the sidelines for a significant time greater risks have arisen. Players are excited to return, but have not trained regularly. Team owners are excited to return, but are pushing for wins and aggressive play. Older players worry this may be their last season and might play harder than normal, adding unnecessary injury-risk to their bodies. Many are turning to cryotherapy to help with their baseball.
Is Cryotherapy Safe during COVID?
MLB has approved whole body cryotherapy for single-use cryosaunas. Cryotherapy in this method allows for social distancing and does not require the player to touch anything. Facemasks are easily worn in the cryosauna and actually provide a sense of comfort to the player. Additionally, viruses are not known to survive long on dry surfaces. Modern cryosaunas do not require a dry-out period, meaning that their inside surfaces remain dry even after multiple sessions. Moreover, advanced cryosaunas are lined with anti-microbial fabric; any germs landing on it will soon be unable to survive.
Benefits of Cryotherapy for Health
Finally, with the current pandemic many people are becoming concerned about their immune systems. While cryotherapy all by iteself cannot necessarily improve your immune system it can help you enjoy a more active life. Cryotherapy helps reduce inflammation and muscle soreness, allowing you to exercise longer and more frequently.² Sports teams have found that cryo allows their players to compete with more confidence and aggression. Many professional athletes attribute their reduced fear of injury–and confidence–in whole body cryotherapy.
- Okoroha KR, Conte S, Makhni EC, et al. Hamstring Injury Trends in Major and Minor League Baseball: Epidemiological Findings From the Major League Baseball Health and Injury Tracking System. Orthop J Sports Med. 2019;7(7):2325967119861064. Published 2019 Jul 30. doi:10.1177/2325967119861064
- Photo by Matt Slocum/AP/REX/Shutterstock (10220334g) Bryce Harper, Jorge Alfaro. Philadelphia Phillies’ Bryce Harper, left, hits a two-run double off Miami Marlins starting pitcher Trevor Richards during the second inning of a baseball game, in Philadelphia. At right is Marlins catcher Jorge Alfaro Marlins Phillies Baseball, Philadelphia, USA – 27 Apr 2019