CRYOCHAPS celebrates 1st Birthday with the release of new research
Research conducted by Dr David Marlin a scientist with more than 25 years experience in physiology and biochemistry was commissioned to compare the most commonly used leg cooling methods.
CRYOCHAPS, follows the principles of ice bath technology & provides a lower leg ice wrap chap for everyday use. Tendons & ligaments undergo heavy stress & strain during everyday exercise & temperatures in the legs can rise to very high levels. Both the heat & strain has been seen in studies to cause damage, which may lead to inflammation. CRYOCHAPS provide cooling & compression & used together, cooling & compression may be used to target the build up of heat & inflammation. This may aid in recovery after exercise as well as return to fitness after injury.
A range of different commercial equine leg cooling products were tested in accordance to the manufacturer’s instructions. These included CRYOCHAPS front and hind boots, a leading brand of ice boots, two leading brands of water cooled (evaporative cooling) boots, clay (covered and uncovered) and a cooling gel.
CRYOCHAPS boots cooled around 1.2x faster than a leading ice-boot competitor, 1.6x faster than the a cooling gel, 1.7x faster than a clay (uncovered), 2.1x faster than water-evaporative-cooled boots, 3.4x faster than clay (covered) and 4.6x faster than no treatment.
CRYOCHAPS ice boots performed the best of the commercial products tested, outperforming the leading ice boot. Cryochaps cooling efficiency was around 70% of that of cold hosing and half that of standing in ice and water. The boots performed better after 24h at -23°C compared with 4 hours, however, the tests indicate that using the boots after only 4 hours in the freezer would be acceptable.
The cooling gel and clay (uncovered) had the next highest efficacy, although for both products the main effect was due to the actual initial application and a conductive heat transfer rather than any longer cooling effect due to evaporation of water. Thus, the efficacy of these products is related to their initial temperature. In this case the initial temperature was 17-18°C (the store room temperature). If these products were warmer, for example after being left in a horsebox or in a tack-room on a warm-day then their cooling efficacy would be considerably lower. If these products are used then they should be kept with ice in an insulated box. However, given their low efficacy, the time to apply them and the need to clean the legs afterwards, there seems little to justify their use.
Other than clay-covered, both water boots performed the worst. This is despite the fact that the boots were soaked in water at 16°C and that testing was conducted in favourable environmental conditions (22°C/52%RH). These boots depend for their cooling effect on the evaporation of water. It is likely these boots may perform better in an environment with airflow and direct or reflected solar radiation. However, as for the gel and clay, a major component of the cooling effect was the conductive heat transfer when the boots were first applied.
The worst performing product/method was wrapped clay. Although there was some initial heat transfer on application of the clay, the covering prevented any evaporation of water within the clay and cooling taking place. There would appear to be no benefit to applying clay and covering it as a method to cool horses legs.
Out of the commercially available products tested, CRYOCHAPS achieved the lowest temperatures and the fastest cooling rates.
From 1990 until 2005 David held the position of Senior Scientist and Head of Physiology at the Animal Health Trust.
His main areas of professional interest are exercise physiology, nutrition, fitness, training, performance, thermoregulation, competition strategy, transport and respiratory disease.
He has worked as a consultant to the British Equestrian Teams since 1994 and was a member of the World Class Performance Scientific Advisory Group chaired by John McEwen when it was created in 2006. He was also trainer for the British Endurance Team when they won the Silver Medal at the Endurance World Championships in Compiegne (France) in 2000 and has consulted for many endurance teams and stables in the Middle East. He has recently been appointed Performance Advisor to the British Endurance Team.
David’s recent projects have included a review of the effects of temperature on horses during transport for the British Government, an investigation of welfare in Endurance racing for the FEI, development of testing methods for equine protective leg boots, scientific study of the training methods of Monty Roberts and investigations into factors associated with elite equine performance. He is currently working on projects related to welfare in endurance, headshaking, nutrition and personality types in equestrian sports.
He holds the academic position of Professor in Physiology at Oklahoma State University. He is the author of over 200 scientific papers and book chapters. David’s other affiliations and positions include past Chair of the International Conference on Equine Exercise Physiology (ICEEP) and editor of Comparative Exercise Physiology. He is also the author of Equine Exercise Physiology (Blackwell) and author of All Systems Go (a book about getting horses fit).
Please refer to the website for further details. http://davidmarlin.co.uk/
CRYOCHAPS have been developed to mimic ice bath or cold water immersion which has become part of many athlete’s recovery phase. The general theory behind this cold therapy is that the cold exposure helps to combat the micro trauma (small tears) in tissues & resultant soreness caused by intense or repetitive exercise.
The cold therapy constricts blood vessels, flushes waste products & reduces swelling & tissue breakdown. Subsequently, as the tissue warms & the increased blood flow speeds circulation, the healing process is jump-started. CRYOCHAPS provide cold therapy & essential compression to be proactive against the heat and inflammation caused by exercise, or, to help the healing process after injury.
CRYOCHAPS were designed to meet the following criteria;
Ease of application, wraps to fit hind or front legs for a 15hh to 17hh horse, a secure fit, compression, reusability, easy clean, lay flat in freezer & quick freezing but most of all, coverage of all tendon & ligament structures in the leg, whilst still maintaining the ability for the horse to move.
They are made in two parts, the ice gel & the material section. Smooth material is part of the ice gel boot, it will not freeze to the leg & is simple to wash off to keep clean. The gel is quick to cool & maintains low temperatures.
Stretch Neoprene makes up the material boot which provides not only a secure fit but compression, essential in recovery.