Wycombe Wanderers are reaping the benefits of an oxygen chamber at the Chilterns MS Centre at Wendover......which has accelerated the recovery from injury of a number of players.
The double hyperbaric chamber is predominantly used by people with multiple sclerosis (MS) but carries benefits for those with sports injuries, allergies, ulcer and neurological conditions, as well as for people recovering from cancer and strokes.
Wanderers’ captain Paul Hayes was the first to use the chamber at the start of a new partnership between the club and the Chilterns MS Centre, which has helped to ease an injury crisis in the Wycombe squad with several players returning to action faster than the initial prognosis.
Cian O’Doherty, Head of Medical at Wycombe Wanderers, said: “Our club doctor Craig White and I were looking for alternative ways to help get the players back to full fitness as soon as possible, and one option which jumped out was the oxygen chamber at the Chilterns MS Centre. We saw really good results from Paul’s visit there and the partnership has developed from there.
“Football is a results-based business so when a player suffers an injury, it’s critical for us to get them back on the pitch quickly. The chamber helps speed up the healing process, particularly any musculoskeletal issue, by getting oxygen into the blood cells.”
Defender Joe Jacobson was one of the first players to use the centre, and he was thoroughly impressed with both the welcome he received and the effectiveness of the treatment:
“It was very strange at first, sitting there with a mask on for an hour or so, but I found it a very worthwhile experience. When I first suffered my injury I was told I would be out of action for three months, but I was playing again in five weeks. Everyone at the Centre was so helpful and friendly which made me and my team-mates feel at ease, and it was nice to go there as a group each day, seeing each other progress at different rates.”
Catherine Golds, PR Manager of the Centre, said: “The biggest advantage for us is that we’re very well-known around Wendover where the Centre is based, but there are many more people in the area that have MS that may not know about the facility. By partnering with Wycombe Wanderers, we will benefit by raising the awareness across the local community and encouraging more people with MS to come along and use, not just the oxygen chamber, but the hydrotherapy, physiotherapy and other services that we offer.
“It’s fantastic for our members to see the Centre benefitting other people, including Wycombe Wanderers players, and it creates a real sense of community. The players have conducted themselves superbly and the positive messages of support they have put out across social media have helped to reinforce how friendly and welcoming the Centre is.”
All of the Centre’s treatments and therapies are free to those affected by MS after an initial membership fee of only £25 a year.
Chilterns MS Centre will also be able to raise awareness of their facilities to the supporters of Wycombe Wanderers on Saturday 14th January, when they will be the designated match sponsor of the fixture against Yeovil Town at Adams Park.
Wanderers manager Gareth Ainsworth concluded: “Throughout my career I’ve seen a few players come back to fitness sooner than predicted but the results of the oxygen chamber seem to be breaking all kinds of records for us, and we are now seeing the results on the pitch which is brilliant for me. We had some bad luck earlier in the season with injuries, but getting oxygen into the affected areas nice and early has had a real impact.
“Going forward, the Chilterns MS Centre is a big part of the team at Wycombe Wanderers and I hope we can play our part by helping to raise awareness of the facilities and expertise that people may not be aware of. Already one of our players has asked to arrange therapy at the centre for a family member, and I’m sure there will be many supporters who can also benefit from their services.”
Visit http://www.chilternsmscentre.org/ for more information and to take a virtual tour of the centre.