The trainers have been known to use it anywhere!

The trainers have been known to use it anywhere!

    With the Soccer World cup starting today there will be loads of action for the next 4 1/2 weeks till the final July 7/15.  Along the way there will be numerous goals, hard play and more than a couple injuries/flops.  And why not!?  When there's so much on the line I can't blame them for embellishing a little.  The only problem for us spectators is, how do we know when it's real or fake? 

    I'd say that's easy!  You ever watch a soccer game and a player goes down after a hard tackle from a defender?  He immediately starts writhing on the ground in what seems like a career-ending injury, based on his reaction that is.  The trainers sprint out to the player with the kit bag of goodies for the injured player.  He or she grabs the leg and starts looking and feeling for what's broken.  After a minute the trainer reaches into the bag and pulls out the "Can-O-Magic" and proceeds to hose down the affected body part.  And what happens next, just moments after it looked the player was about to be carted off?  He's MIRACULOUSLY up running just like new again!?  

 Is that a goalie getting hosed down??  REALLY?

Is that a goalie getting hosed down??  REALLY?

   So what is that magical concoction that can make a broken player perfectly healthy in a matter of seconds?  Well it's not just one thing, there's a number of different things it could be.  Most trainers are using a cold spray that when applied to the skin has a numbing effect on the body part.  It can be useful for sharp, short pains, similar to stubbing of the toe.  Overall these sprays won't do anything for a serious injury but can be helpful in the short term.  It's definitely a psychological boost for players and we all know how big of a role psychology plays in sports.  This is a big reason why you still see the "magic spray" used for high-level athletes.  If they think it works, it MUST work!  

 Most cold sprays contain a high level of ethanol which makes for very rapid evaporation from the skin!

Most cold sprays contain a high level of ethanol which makes for very rapid evaporation from the skin!

   So while you're enjoying this year world cup and you are lucky enough to witness such an occurrence, where a player goes down after a hard tackle and the trainer scrambles to his aid with the magic spray you can rest easy knowing that it actually has a place and that they may not be TOTALLY full of manure!  Enjoy the tournament and be sure to let me know if you enjoyed this explanation when I see you next.