University Centre Shrewsbury passes benefits of recovery research on to Shrewsbury Town FC

University Centre Shrewsbury (UCS) is sharing new medical rehabilitation and therapy research technology and know-how to help Shrewsbury Town Football Club (STFC) players recover after matches, training or an injury.

The technology is known as External Counter Pulsation (ECP), and has only recently and exclusively been used by a number of leading Premier League clubs.

Until a few years ago, ECP was only used to treat people with heart conditions (heart failure and coronary heart disease). John Buckley, Professor of Exercise Science at UCS, is now working with the Vascular Health Team at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital in new clinical applications. New research has also, meanwhile, shown that ECP can help athletes recover, and Prof Buckley and STFC Physiotherapist Chris Skitt have started to collaborate.

The UCS research funding and ECP devices are provided through a partnership project sponsored by Renew® Health, an award-winning, connected health medtech company established in 2014 in Ireland which is committed to delivering exciting advanced health and wellbeing solutions.

Renew® ECP Therapy is administered while the individual is lying down. Inflatable cuffs (similar to blood pressure cuffs) are wrapped around the calves, thighs and hips. During treatment, the cuffs sequentially inflate and deflate in time with each heartbeat. The inflation of the cuffs squeezes blood from the lower legs up toward the heart, thus instantly boosting blood flow in and around the heart.

Prof Buckley said: “The treatment boosts blood circulation throughout the whole body, while the heart is at rest in-between heart-beats. It enhances circulation, from lower legs back to the heart and around the body.

“For people with heart, lung, and vascular problems it’s like adding in a second heart to give the circulation a ‘boost’ in a similar way to exercise. For the athlete it’s like performing light cool-down exercise after a match or training combined with a sports massage, all at the same time. For the injured player, who cannot properly work-out, it helps them keep their circulation going while lying at rest.”

Ahead of Sunday’s play-off final for a place in the Championship, Shrewsbury Town FC Physiotherapist, Chris Skitt, said: “We are pleased to be working with University Centre Shrewsbury to support their research and our players to recover after matches, training or injury.”

Mark Jones, Business Development Manager at Renew® Health, added: “Ensuring the Shrewsbury Town players can maintain an intense level of training while minimising the risk of injury and overtraining is vital in any training programme.

“Renew® ECP has been clinically proven to enhance recovery and reduce fatigue following high intensity sessions to ensure the players perform at their best.”

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