County players get hot and cold treatment

ARMAGH players received the ‘hot and cold’ treatment when they visited the St Paul’s complex in Lurgan last Saturday morning, but it wasn’t from their supporters, on this occasion Paul Grimley’s side sampled a state of the art Contrast Water Therapy treatment which is growing in popularity at the Teghnevan venue.

Under the supervision of Lurgan fitness instructors Gary and Shane McConville, St Paul’s have installed two giant baths will are used to help sports people recover following training sessions. The idea is based around using contrasting hot and cold water temperatures to aid recovery. Gary McConville explained, “The importance of recovery for any athlete cannot be over emphasised. Unfortunately although athletes and coaches are creative and energetic about their training many ignore or forget the performance benefits they could gain by incorporating recovery strategies into their daily programmes.

“All too often the implementation of recovery techniques is restricted to times of illness or injury. A variety of physical, psychological and neutrition methods are currently used in a bid to accelerate the recovery process. Hot and cold water immersion, or contrast bathing, is one hydrotherapy technique that is currently growing in popularity.”

The recovery room at St Paul’s which contains the Contrast Water Therapy Baths has recently been used by St Michael’s Grammar and by the St. Peter’s Athletic Club among a host of other local clubs and associations. Several Armagh players took the plunge on Saturday including Finnian Moriarty who said from the comfort of his hot tub before being submerged in the more icey waters, ”This a forward thinking innovation and players are always delighted when a situation comes along which can aid recovery so this is a fantastic idea.”

Paul Grimley took a philosophical approach to the new venture. “Some of us old hands may not be limping about now if this sort of treatment had been around in our days. The venture will be greatly welcomed by managers and County boards alike who need players fit for large parts of the season.”

Shane McConville, who oversaw the treatment at last Saturday said, ”Hot and cold contrast therapies result in reduced creatine kinase, which has been identified as part of the inflammation process, thus, contrast therapy reduces swelling from injury.”

Having visited the recovery room at St Paul’s the Armagh team will be hoping to in total ‘contrast’ to their early season form which sees Paul Grimley’s side still searching for their first win,