sport news The WEIRDEST injury treatments in sport: From horse placenta to cheese rubbing

From their record-breaking athletic performances to their washboard abs, everything about professional athletes seems superhuman.

But they are far from exempt from injury, as the nature of elite sport requires each individual to push their bodies to the limit.

As athletes don't always have the luxury of time to recover from their niggles and strains, it is safe to say we have seen some unorthodox methods used to speed up their recovery processes. 

Diego Costa revealed that he used horse placenta massages and electroshocks for recovery

Diego Costa revealed that he used horse placenta massages and electroshocks for recovery

The treatment meant that the striker would be fit to play in the 2014 Champions League final

The treatment meant that the striker would be fit to play in the 2014 Champions League final

Diego Costa is the latest athlete to admit to some weird and wonderful treatments that helped him get back on the pitch during his time at Atletico Madrid.

He has admitted that he had a massage with horse placenta and electroshocks as he attempted to be fit for the Champions League final in 2014.

Costa had been struggling with a hamstring injury in the build-up to the game against rivals , which was held in Lisbon.

To play in the final, the striker underwent 'tough and very painful' treatment.

Speaking of his therapy session, he said: 'They were two-hour sessions. It was tough and very painful, so much that when I ran after, I didn't feel any pain.'

But Costa is far from alone in experiencing such strange treatments. Check this lot out. 

Paula Radcliffe: Emu Oil

Marathon runner Paula Radcliffe once used emu oil to speed up her recovery after colliding with a cyclist during a training run in New Mexico, which left her with a dislocated jaw, whiplash, injuries to her shoulders, knees and hip as well as an abundance of cuts and bruises.  

On the recommendation of her physiotherapist Gerard Hartmann, Radcliffe attended to her wounds with an Aboriginal cure that is reported to have profound healing abilities.   

Edzard Ernst, a professor of complementary medicine, told the BBC that emu oil helps heal minds as much as cuts.

'Sportspeople are very sensitive people, and if they have a belief that a remedy helps them, then as long as it does not have any adverse side effects, that is a benefit in itself.'

Marathon runner Paula Radcliffe used emu oil as a method to speed up her recovery

Marathon runner Paula Radcliffe used emu oil as a method to speed up her recovery

Felix Magath: Cheese, alcohol and love 

Ex-Fulham defender Brede Hangeland claimed that his former manager, Felix Magath, told him to put cheese on his thigh to nurse an injury. 

Hangeland told BBC radio 5 Live that Magath had encouraged him to soak the cheese in alcohol and call his mother as he waited for the method to work its magic. 

'He (Magath) said mix the cheese with alcohol and put it on your dead leg overnight, and very importantly, just before you go to bed, you have to call your mum,' Hangeland said.

'The cheese, the alcohol and the biological reaction of the love that you feel when you call your mother will heal your leg.'

Former Cottagers manager, Felix Magath, told Brede Hangeland to put cheese on his injury

Former Cottagers manager, Felix Magath, told Brede Hangeland to put cheese on his injury

Hangeland said he was told to soak the cheese in alcohol and call his mother to cure his injury

Hangeland said he was told to soak the cheese in alcohol and call his mother to cure his injury

Louis Saha: Leeches 

Louis Saha endured an injury-plagued career but once revealed he applied leeches to an injured area as a form of treatment.  

Saha, who returned from injury and came off the bench in the second half during Everton's 1-0 defeat to Aston Villa in 2010, explained the benefits of the blood-suckers. 

'How did I treat my swollen knees? You're never going to believe how I treated my swollen knees. I went to visit my grandparents, who live in Guadeloupe, and I put leeches on my knees,' said the former and France striker.

Louis Saha, pictured last year, applied leeches to his knees as a form of treatment

Louis Saha, pictured last year, applied leeches to his knees as a form of treatment

'Since then, I have had a knee that is not normal, but given what happened before to my ligaments I have to accept it. It swells up less, and I feel fine now.

'I'm well prepared both mentally and physically. I have the legs and hunger of a 20-year-old.

Leeches are currently farmed for medicinal purposes in the UK with a series of clinics dotted around the country. 

As to their benefit? Leeches may be used to help improve blood flow in an area of tissue or skin flap that has poor blood circulation. 

Robin van Persie: Horse placenta 

Robin van Persie ruptured his ankle ligaments in 2009 and flew out to Belgrade to meet Serbian housewife, Mariana Kovacevic, who treated him by rubbing his leg with fluid from a horse's placenta. 

Premier League players appear to be big fans of Kovacevic's work in Belgrade as Glen Johnson and Fabio Aurelio were also linked with treatment from the Serbian. 

Kovacevic charged £3,000 for a treatment that involved rubbing the fluids of a horses placenta into damaged muscles. 

It is said that the placenta is rich in proteins and iron as well as a host of other vital nutrients and aids the healing of muscles. 

Robin van Persie ruptured his ankle ligaments in 2009 and used horse placenta to recover

Robin van Persie ruptured his ankle ligaments in 2009 and used horse placenta to recover

Darius Vassell: Drilling  

Former Aston Villa and Manchester City striker Darius Vassell attempted to relieve the pain of an infected toe by drilling a hole through his toenail to relieve the pressure from the blister underneath. 

However, it did not quite go to plan, and the consequences saw Vassell missing a few vital matches in Aston Villa's season.

The then Aston Villa manager Graham Taylor was not particularly impressed with Vassell's decision. He said: 'He really shouldn't have been trying to sort the problem out himself. There are people on the staff readily available to have treated the problem. 

Darius Vassell tried to relieve the pain of an infected toe by drilling a hole through his toenail

Darius Vassell tried to relieve the pain of an infected toe by drilling a hole through his toenail

'Darius tried to get the blood out himself, which he now realises was not really advisable.'

In 2018, he told Sky Sports: 'I attempted some DIY. It wasn't with a Black and Decker drill as has been described on the internet.

'When you've got blood under the nail, you need to get into that to relieve the pressure. Unfortunately, with me, anything that was touching that nail was excruciating so I attempted to do it myself at home,

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