THE world’s most successful sports stars will do anything to gain an advantage.
And that includes the latest craze – hyperbaric oxygen therapy.
Neymar is a huge believer in hyperbaric oxygen therapy
Man Utd star Marcus Rashford uses it to recover from injury
Novak Djokovic took a chamber on the back of a lorry to the US Open in 2019.
While Cristiano Ronaldo shelled out £15,000 to have one installed at his Cheshire mansion back in January.
Other believers of hyperbaric oxygen therapy include LeBron James, Mohamed Salah and Michael Phelps.
WHAT DOES IT DO?
The device works simply.
Sports stars breath in pure oxygen through a face mask that goes into their blood plasma.
During the treatment, the air pressure is increased two to three times higher than normal air pressure.
The oxygen-carrying blood then helps to fight bacteria and other unwanted hosts in the body by promoting healing.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is also believed to assist in aiding and improving sports endurance and performance, enhancing energy levels, aiding recovery and expediting healing after injuries.
Famously, Ronaldo used a similar machine in 2016 after injuring his knee in the Euro 2016 final to speed up his return to club football.
CLOSER TO HOME
In the UK, Oxify have set up three hyperbaric oxygen therapy centres in Nottingham, Leeds and Manchester that are booked up by Premier League stars.
The sessions are reasonably priced at £60 for one hour and 15 minutes.
Cristiano Ronaldo shelled out £15,000 to have a chamber installed at his homeCredit: Getty
The chambers themselves aid athletes’ recovery from injury
But the benefits are huge for athletes.
Sarah Todd, who runs the Oxify centres in Leeds, Manchester and Retford said: “The effects of hyperbaric oxygen therapy are cumulative – the more sessions you have, the more benefit you will see.
“But some patients feel a difference after just one session. As well as easing arthritis and joint pain, the treatment is useful to help people with migraine and headache symptoms, sports injuries, and long covid and skin afflictions.
“And the treatment has also helped those with dementia and Alzheimers.”
SunSport has also learned that football pundit Chris Kamara has been undergoing the treatment to help his recovery from speech apraxia, and is filming a documentary about his progress.
IN THE CASE OF DJOKOVIC
While Ronaldo has one at his home, it was revealed that tennis legend Djokovic had his own hyperbaric chamber parked up next door to Flushing Meadows in 2019.
Incredibly, the Serb, who had to retire in the fourth round from a shoulder injury that year, had the oxygen chamber on the back of a lorry by the gates – but within the Corona Park venue.
Novan Djkovic had a chamber on hand at the US Open in 2019 after suffering a shoulder injuryCredit: AFP or licensors
The treatment costs £60 for an hour and 15 minutes session
Tournament officials confirmed Djokovic’s move, while witnesses saw a trailer parked around 300 metres from the Arthur Ashe Stadium that was exclusively for the former No1’s use.
The 21-time Grand Slam winner has long been an advocate of the therapy – first trying it in 2011.
His longevity in the sport perhaps gives you a clue to its benefits. And he won’t be the last sportsman to give it a whirl.
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