Ex rugby professional invents first-ever heat & ice recovery cuff

Cameron Johnston with the Recovery Cuff
Cameron Johnston with the Recovery Cuff

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Following a life-threatening injury, a former professional rugby player has developed a recovery cuff designed to help speed up muscle recovery in sport as well as aiding soft tissue recovery after injury.

Cameron Johnston, now second-in-command for the rehabilitation unit in Scotland, providing care for Army, Navy and RAF soldiers, has combined his experience in sport, physiotherapy and the military to develop the Riixo™ Recovery Cuff.

The Recovery Cuff is a seamless compression cuff made from antimicrobial micro fibre and combined with an integrated gel that can be frozen or heated. 

Each cuff has been designed for specific areas of the body including knees, calves, thighs, forearms and ankles, ensuring evenly distributed compression as well as anatomically correct placement of the gel. Two products have also been designed for amputees.

After being forced to retire from rugby in 2007, following a tackle which resulted in a broken back, Cameron turned his attention to helping people in similar situations he found himself in, firstly by completing two degrees, Sport Science and Physiotherapy.

After working in the NHS for four years, he decided to follow in the footsteps of others in his family and joined the British Army as an Officer in the Royal Army Medical Corp as a physiotherapist. Deployments include the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine in Birmingham, as well as UN peace keeping operations in Central Africa and more recently second-in-command for rehabilitation in Scotland.

Using his own injury experience from his spinal fracture, which involved 12 month’s rehabilitation treatment and witnessing many injuries whilst in the Army, the idea behind Riixo™ was born.

Cameron has spent the last 12 months researching the design and customer demographics and working closely with Business Gateway Edinburgh on areas including IP, growth planning and marketing.

Cameron said: “Sports injuries and conditions like arthritis can have a huge impact on someone’s quality of life, and equally, being limited by muscle ache can limit any progress made in training.

“I’m using the 15 years of experience from professional rugby, my degrees, physiotherapy and military experience to design something that can really help people. The gap between professional and amateurs in sport is narrowing with access to information online but what is lacking is the availability of equipment.

“I understand first-hand the impact that sport injuries can have on a person’s mental health, speedy return or improved quality of life is important, which is why I created Riixo™ to help people in the same position I was in, to manage their pain and recover more quickly.”

The Riixo Recovery Cuff works in two ways; ice and compression can be used after sport to help remove lactic acid and prevent muscle soreness or after an injury to reduce pain and swelling. The cuffs are frozen at home without the requirement for any ice or water.

The dual functionality means that it can be heated up in the microwave without having to change anything. Heat can help an athlete warm up before competing or training. It can also help manage injuries and medical conditions such as arthritis, which affects the lives of eight million people in the UK.

Cameron is in the process of sourcing capital for Riixo™ including a crowdfunding campaign this summer through seedrs.com to help fund the initial product run ahead of the official launch in September 2019.

Susan Harkins, Head of Business Gateway Edinburgh, said: “Riixo™ is an innovative product which we are absolutely delighted to work with Cameron to help get off the ground.

“This is another great example of an entrepreneur taking advantage of all of the services we offer from business planning and IP and our Gateway to Investment programme to marketing, to help them in their journey from idea and development to launch and growth.”

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