Cyclical Variation in Adaptive Conditioning
Cyclical Variation in Adaptive Conditioning (CVAC) is a technology developed to treat a variety of conditions. The
CVAC unit resides in the Performance Area of our Center for Sports Neurology
and Pain Medicine and has a familiar “pod-like” appearance.
While it is officially designated and categorized as “exercise equipment”
(the rapid changes in atmospheric pressure results in adaptations similar
to training at altitude), studies have demonstrated the ability for CVAC
to reduce tissue edema, and help with chronic pain in addition to improving
cardiovascular conditioning. CVAC can assist with maintaining fitness
in athletes who have been “sidelined” by injury and are unable
to participate in normal training activities. It can also assist with
improving conditioning in individuals with chronic conditions that prevent
typical or traditional training. If an individual is cleared to fly in
an airplane, they are cleared to tolerate CVAC. We are studying CVAC’s
potential to help with concussion recovery, sleep disorders, and other
chronic neurological dysfunction and impairment.
How CVAC Works
CVAC participants sit in the pod for a “flight” (training session)
of a pre-designated length and undergo repeated cycles of hypoxia (lower
oxygen and air pressure similar to if you are climbing in altitude on
a plane) followed by normoxia (normal oxygen levels and air pressure).
The flights are generally very well tolerated, although individuals may
feel their ears pop (similar to what one experiences when flying.) Many
world class athletes have included sessions in this CVAC pod as part of
their training regimen.