Inside the Injury: Oxygen tents
- Tue 29 Mar 2011, 2:12PM
- Posted by David Clayton
Club doctor Jamie Butler has revealed the secrets behind the oxygen tent Micah Richards will use to help speed his hamstring injury recovery up
Micah will use the same technology that replicates breathing at high altitude in order to aid tissue regrowth quicker than normal.
It primarily means using a tent, usually designed with a dome-shaped hood, which is placed over the bed.
“The tent seals out the regular atmosphere so that the player can breathe only the oxygen-rich air that is forced in at the top of the tent,” said Dr Butler.
“The tent is also equipped with a pump to keep the air circulating. The amount of moisture in the tent is also controlled and the carbon dioxide exhaled by the patient is continually monitored and removed.
“The technical phrase is IHT - intermittent hypoxic training - which is a technique of breathing short bursts of alpine.
“Slow, smooth breathing through an oxygen mask also enables the body to adapt to the oxygen change, therefore producing a training effect. Micah will be using both the tent at home and spending time in a hyperbaric chamber to stimulate muscle growth and repair on a daily basis.
“Once the body has adapted to breathing low air oxygen it breathes in the oxygen more efficiently. This adaption process takes about 15 days. The benefits of IHT are expected to last up to 3 months, and are subsequently maintained via five- day top-up sessions.
“Many world class athletes and sports teams use IHT to increase sport performance. Also studies on IHT to increase on red blood cell production. IHT is proven to increase sport performance and health. Hopefully it will mean Micah will be playing sooner than he otherwise would have done.”