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Magic spray saves the day for kabaddi players

An analysis on how the magic spray has helped several players return to the mat after suffering an injury.


Action from the match between Patna Pirates and U Mumba

If you've ever played a match of kabaddi, on a day that wasn't your lucky day, you've probably suffered more than a few aches and pains and injuries. Being ready to play the game while withstanding a little pain is what defines a dedicated kabaddi player.

But what is 'pain', exactly?

Understanding the mechanism of pain

In the simplest of terms, pain is an unpleasant subjective experience whose purpose is to motivate you to do something, usually to protect body parts that the brain thinks (rightly or wrongly) are damaged. If you feel pain, it means that your central nervous system thinks the body is under threat, and that something has to be done about it.

Pain is a survival mechanism, but in cases where pain comes in the way of survival, we find that we can't feel it at all. Although most of us have never had our arm bitten off by a shark, we have likely experienced bumps or falls during a sports match; such niggles often don't register in our mind until the game is over. 

Further, many studies have shown that a large percentage of people with pain-free backs, shoulders and knees have significant tissue damage in these areas that can be seen on an MRI. Things like herniated discs and torn rotator cuffs often go undetected in this manner.

One unfortunate aspect of this entire physiology is that the longer pain exists, the more you feel it. That suggests, of course, that the best way to deal with pain is to try and reduce it as soon as possible.

For a long time, there was no way to do this. There was no 'magic' formula to reduce pain immediately; almost every medication known to man required to be ingested, which automatically increased the time taken for relief.

The advent of pain relieving sprays, however, has changed all that.

The magic of magic spray

We have so many kabaddi players who constantly play with minor aches and pains. And pain relieving sprays help a lot with such small but significant issues. A spray over the knee or the contused shoulder cuts the whole cycle of pain-spasm-more-pain and allows the player to concentrate on the game.

Pain relieving sprays, popularly called 'magic sprays', contain NSAIDS in the form of an aerosol. So you don’t even need to wait for five minutes after using it for the effects to be felt; there is immediate relief. 

Interestingly, NSAIDs have been shown to increase the production of adenosine, which stimulates capillary growth (Simpson RE, et al. 1992). Increased capillary growth is synonymous with more efficient oxygen uptake, suggesting the possibility that repeated use of an NSAID over a period of several weeks might boost an athlete’s VO2max. However, this has never been reliably demonstrated.

Nevertheless, it is recommended to keep a pain relieving spray like Volini in the First Aid box at every kabaddi match. Simple aches and pains that the players face can be easily dealt with using the 'magic spray', making the sport easier and less painful.

(Written by Kunjal Gada)

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