Kent State Is First MAC School to Offer Cryotherapy Technology to Student Athletes
Kent State University Athletics is the first in the Mid-American Conference to provide student-athletes with a cryotherapy chamber. The therapy uses subzero temperatures, under 200 degrees Fahrenheit, to help muscles recover quickly.
The department installed the chamber in the Memorial Athletic and Convocation Center (MAC Center) Annex building in Kent State’s Athletic Training and Education Center in the summer. The walk-in chamber uses liquid nitrogen to cool the air for one-to-three minute cycles. Skin temperature can decrease as much as 40 degrees. The frigid air helps decrease pain, slow cell aging and reduce the chance of muscle spasms.
“We are using cryotherapy as a means of recovery,” says Trent Stratton, associate director for Kent State’s sports medicine and performance. “Cryotherapy aids the athletes in recovery by decreasing soreness and rejuvenating muscles.”
Kent State student Robert Zeigler, pitcher on the baseball team, uses the chamber at least once a week.
“A three-minute session is reportedly the equivalent to 20 minutes in an ice bath, so to me that’s a no brainer,” Mr. Zeigler says. “It’s very similar to standing in front of an open refrigerator for three minutes, then you walk out feeling extremely refreshed.”
The chamber is a welcomed addition to Kent State’s sports medicine and performance offices. Studying the use of this technology with student-athletes will help better determine the effects it has on performance.
“I am very interested to see how all sports benefit,” Mr. Stratton says. “We can also use this piece of equipment through collaboration with other departments on campus and perform our own research. So far, we are just using it for recovery after competitions, and in time, we will get to the point that we use it before competitions as well.”
When it comes to recruitment, Kent State hopes to use advancements such as this to continue enhancing the caliber of student-athletes attending Kent State.
“This facility will be an excellent recruiting tool, which will help attract the best and brightest because it will improve performances across the board,” says Joel Nielsen, director of Kent State Athletics.
“We have a beautiful facility, and now we have state-of-the-art equipment and methods to keep student-athletes on the field, court or track as much as possible,” Mr. Stratton says.