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Is That Spray Magic?

You are watching a professional soccer game and there is a collision.  One player pops up and runs off but the other lies there, writhing in pain.  The team athletic trainer rushes to the field and pulls out a can of spray.  The athletic trainers sprays the athlete’s injury and the athlete miraculously gets up and continues to play!  What is this “magic” spray that has been used for decades in soccer?

The spray is a first aid aerosol that is made up of different chemicals that act as an anesthetic, numbing or cooling the skin.  There are 3 main reasons why this can “work”:

1. This can give the athlete temporary relief with the numbing of the skin in the area of injury but it does NOT have any long-lasting impact on tissue healing or pain control.

2. Besides it providing a numbing sensation, we can also thank the placebo effect for it’s effectiveness as well.

3. The “magic spray” also validates an injury for a soccer player who may have just “flopped” in order to try to draw a foul. (Insert eye roll here!)

Because this spray is seen so much with televised sporting events, there is a resulting promotion of the product, leaving viewers asking, “what is that magic spray and where do I get it for myself?”  There are several different cooling sprays on the market which anyone from professional athletes to weekend warriors can purchase.  It is recommended that you do your research and maybe just leave it up to a medical professional or your team athletic trainer to utilize this as some of the products can be poisonous and/or cause damage to your body if not used properly!

Take home point:  If you want to cool your skin, grab an ice bag!

Omaha Physical Therapy Institute provides the areas most advanced soccer-specific rehabilitation!

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