Space age technology will keep injury at bay

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AS SCOTLAND'S athletes attempt to gain even the slightest advantage over their competitors in Delhi, fitness specialists are employing space age technology in order to battle injury.

Sandi Lyall, part of Team Scotland's medical team, has rolled out the use of Games Ready, a device to treat competitors who have acute soft tissue injuries.

Developed by Nasa, the product works by delivering intermittent compression and adjustable cold therapy, and Ms Lyall believes it will give the team a crucial boost.

"It's a new concept for us but it has been used extensively in the US, in the English Premiership, and by other high performance sports bodies," she explained. "The British Lions took the Game Ready machine on tour with them to South Africa last year."

"The sports we have used it for are hockey, rugby, boxing, a lot of the contact sports. One of our shooters is also using it at the moment for a shoulder problem and is feeling a great benefit."

The device on loan to Team Scotland is the same one used by England's national football side at this summer's World Cup. It works by connecting to various "wraps" designed for specific body parts.

Ms Lyall, a physiotherapist at the University of Edinburgh's Centre for Sport and Exercise, added: "The feedback we have had from the athletes is that they like the product because it's easy to use and it's comfortable and they have seen the benefits of it.

"It's a very safe unit and it is very simplistic in its approach so that it would be possible for athletes to take them home for use by themselves for ongoing treatment which is important, especially in the first 72 hours after sustaining injury."

Similar technology is set to aid troops injured in Afghanistan.