Hey Doc, How Long Is This GoingTo Take, part 3
Hey Doc, How Long Is This Going To Take, part 3
Ok, we’ve made it to part 3. Congratulations, here we’ll talk about some of the basic tried-n-true therapies you can and should be using at home. I’ll also introduce you to a few new therapies that are low cost and with a little instruction you can do yourself.
In part 1, we discussed how healing progresses through three phases and the amount of time your body needs to complete those phases. In part 2, I talked about the reasons why this process can slow down. Some of these reasons we can control, some we can’t. Here in part 3, there are two main ideas I would you to take away, (a) the earlier treatment starts the better and (b) doing nothing prolongs your return to full activities.
Let’s look at a few ways that you can assist your body in the healing process.
Cold Therapy: Basically this is the application of ice. I’ve discussed some of the recent controversy on the use of ice in part 1. However, it’s still the go to initial therapy to use on an injury for up to 72 hours. The easiest way to do this is crushed ice in a zip-locked bag. Place a luke warm, wet towel on the body part, this allows the body to acclimate to the cold with less discomfort. The moisture of the towel also transmits the cold better than a dry towel. Now, once you place the ice on a moist towel, wrap it with a light to medium compression wrap
(Ace Bandage) for 10 minutes. Then, take it off for 20 minutes. This can be done for 6 hours. The purpose of this on and off is to create a pumping action that squeezes out waste and debris and brings in fresh blood, which carries oxygen and nutrients.
Nutrition: The level of importance your diet plays in your health cannot be over stated. When it concerns the repair and recuperation of the body, its essential! The Anti-Inflammatory Diet consists of avoiding inflammation-causing foods such as gluten, sugar and caffeine, with an emphasis on healing foods such as fish, bright color fruits and vegetables, pineapple and ginger. In the busy and hectic world we live in it’s not easy to prepare our daily food consumption around these food groups. Here is where supplements make sense.
Healing supplements all hard training people should have on hand.
Proteolytic Enzymes. These are enzymes, trypsin, such as, chymotrypsin, papain and bromelain that break down the proteins that make up scar tissue and adhesions. They will also help digest the food in your stomach, so to aid in healing and breaking down scar tissue; they must be taken on an empty stomach, about 20 minutes before eating.
Vitamin C, Turmeric, Boswellia, Quercetin and Ginger: Sounds like the start of a great recipe. These herbs and vitamins act as natural anti-inflammatories. Studies have shown them to be as effective as NSAID’s like Advil or Aleve at reducing pain and swelling.
Fish Oil: We have all read that cold-water fish have the highest concentration of Omega Fatty Acids, EPD-DHA oils, which are important in many healthy functions in our body. Therefore they should be a major part of a healthy diet. They also are very anti-inflammatory and pain controlling by way of a extremely complex biochemical cascade of reactions. You really don’t want me to go through it trust me. Problem is we don’t eat enough wild caught fish so supplementing is necessary.
A word of caution: The above three types of supplements will thin your blood so if you are on a blood thinning medication, please refrain from using these types of products.
Rock Tape: Rock Tape is a brand name of a functional type of tape known as kinesiology tape. This tape differs from the usual white athletic tape we are all familiar with when we see athletes having their ankles wrapped with it. Rock Tape is very stretchy, in one direction and up to twice its length. Because of this stretch and the way its placed on the body a bio-mechanical lift of the skin away from the soft tissue underneath occurs which allows lymph fluid to drain and more blood to move into the region accelerating healing and recovery. It’s also being used in
taping movements, which improves performance which we’ll talk more about in future blogs.
Dynamic Muscle Release: I use a number of different soft tissue mobilization techniques such as Active Release Technique (ART), Instrument Assisted Mobilization, trigger point work and cross-frictional massage that I have termed Dynamic Muscle Release. This manual technique breaks up scar tissue and adhesions freeing the soft tissues to heal and function properly.
A new toy I’ve started using in my treatment protocol is something called “Voodoo Strap”. Sounds scary right? How does this work? Compression. By compressing a muscle/joint and moving it through a range of motion mobility improves, muscles become activated swelling decreases. This equals recovery.
In addition, I also like to teach my patients how to use a lacrosse ball, foam roller or a wonderful tool called “The Stick”, for home work that that can use at home.
Last but of equal importance is the addition of Corrective Exercise. I like to call it Corrective Movements. Just what is corrective exercise/movement? It’s first finding alterations in how the patient is moving and deciding how is that movement affecting their health/injury. By performing movements/exercises to correct the altered biomechanics, imbalances are eliminated, symptoms of pain and swelling are gone and return to full activity is achieved.
By utilizing the techniques above, we’re able to “unglue” tissues that have become stuck together because of injury, repetitive use or poor posture. Improvements are seen in the decrease of pain, increased range of motion and a return to living a high performance life.
It is my sincere hope that you have both enjoyed and learned from this series. I plan to move on to writing about specific conditions/injuries. If there is a particular topic you would like my take on, please feel free to send me a note and I’ll do my best to discuss what I know.
We’ll talk more then
Move Strong Live Strong