1/16/13

Don't Wash Out Part two

After reading over the last post I came to the realization that I did not include the importance of compression in rehab settings.

The Mythical Myth

For years the athletic rehab world has advised for people who have muscle aches or pains, swelling, or any kind of soft tissue damage that they should apply copious amounts of solid H20 [Ice]. Scientist had realized that ice did several superficial things that showed signs of faster recover. "If a little is good than more is better," and thus the crazy ice habits began. People would wear ice for 30 minutes at a time, or ice for 10 rest for 10, and then repeat. This reduced the pain felt and reduced visible swelling. The problem that researchers have run across is the effect dealt on the lymphatic system. When extreme cold was presented to the soft tissue for over 10 minutes the lymphatic system basically shuts down. The body rushes blood to the chilled area, but after an extended time cell tissue reduces swelling and the lymphatic system is less prime to pull dead and damaged tissue out. The end result is a bunch of gunk stuck where it shouldn't be.

Lymph Me Alone

The lymphatic system is a slow moving and quite valuable system. This highway of vessels carries toxins and dead tissue to lymph nodes, which then removes everything from your body. This system doesn't work as fast as our blood stream, and the result is like a slow moving traffic jam with equal amounts of cars hopping on as those hopping off at the end. However, like I said this system is necessary for not dying from cellular toxicity at the least.

Bear Hug Yourself

This slow system can be sped up with a pretty simply trick. Just like veins, the main way fluid moves through the lymphatic system is muscular contraction. The muscles around the vessels causes pressure the pushes the fluid to its desired location. By taking the swollen area and wrapping it tightly and causing compression you cause the fluids to be pushed faster into the system. This can be done for five minutes or an hour, whatever it takes.

Tips

I personally have used compression on clients, and on myself. My main tips for improving the use of compression will save you some headache. 
  • When wrapping use a strong ace bandage wrap [or in my case non ply knee wraps]. Don't be afraid to wrap as tight as possible. If an appendage goes numb, unwrap until feeling is restored. Try to avoid pinching any main vessels [easily done on the ankle, and brachial of the arm].
  • Being warm [like post workout] seems to help with reducing fluid build up faster.
  • Move in your compression. If muscle's cause pressure to move the fluid, and your wraps do the same just imagine what they can do combined.
  • Don't take NSAIDs [like ibuprofin], this causes the lymphatic system to be reduced like excessive amounts of ice.
  • This can be an every day thing, even if you haven't worked out.
Easy as that, just know why your doing this and then do it. Follow those easy steps and start having better workouts!

consider it pure joy when you face trials of many kinds knowing the testing of your faith brings maturity that you may not lack anything james1:2-4

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About Me

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BS, MS - exercise Physiology
EPC - Board Certified Exercise Physiologist

Published Thesis
The impact of three different forms of warm up on performance


The Effects of Glucose Supplementation on Barbell Velocity and Fatiguability in Weightlifting - A pilot study"

Graduate from Midwestern State University, founder of Endunamoo Barbell Club, and Endunamoo Strength and Conditioning. Working to help athletes physically reach their goals and achieve scholarships while spiritually pouring into as many people as possible on all platforms.