Oakland Raiders star Antonio Brown really “stepped” in it this time. The productive wide receiver has been missing practice in training camp due to a foot injury, and now we know exactly why: Brown got frostbite after using a cryotherapy machine without the right footwear, according to ESPN.
In July, Brown was traveling in France and used a cryotherapy machine, burning his feet and “leaving them frostbitten,” according to ESPN’s source. Brown, who was traded to the Raiders in the offseason in a high-profile move, hasn’t practiced with the team since the end of July, and while there’s no timetable for his return, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that Brown’s injury “is not believed to be long term.”
According to Timothy Miller, M.D., the director of the Endurance Medicine Program at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, cryotherapy can help you recover from workouts and also help decrease pain from headaches—but it also comes with potential side effects, including frostbite. While that sounds scary, Miller says that it’s fairly easy to avoid this from happening. Miller said that getting frostbite from a machine is “very rare” and that as long as you follow all instructions before entering the chamber. And staying dry, you should minimize the risk.
“It’s a very concentrated, localized cold treatment modality that is as effective as an ice bath and more comfortable to apply than immersing oneself in a traditional ice bath,” Miller previously told Men’s Journal. “It is an effective method for decreasing and replenishing muscles and other soft tissues following hard workouts.”
While cryotherapy is being used more and more as a recovery technique for people after workouts and for athletes, it also has risks, as shown by what happened to Brown. The wide receiver shared a look at his feet on social media—and just to warn you, it’s not a pretty sight:
— B/R Gridiron (@brgridiron) August 4, 2019
For more info on cryotherapy, check out coverage from Men’s Journal: