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Posts Tagged ‘Injury’

Hello everyone!  I’m very excited to be able to participate in this blog, while going 100% Paleo with a group of a great people.  Thanks for giving me the opportunity! I hope to add value through my own unique background and perspectives.  Since Lyssa has assured me that this is a lifestyle blog, I figured I’d take a different route today by talking a little about sports injuries and how to treat them.

Many of you may be familiar with the R.I.C.E—an acronym for rest, ice, compression, and elevation.  To date, RICE has been the conventional treatment for sports injuries.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve utilized this therapy under the advisement of doctors and athletic trainers.  It wasn’t until later that I discovered that my efforts were completely counterproductive.  Rather than aid my body’s natural healing process, I was inhibiting it!

How?  Well, like most athletes, the majority of my injuries were due to sprains and strains—stretching or tearing of ligaments and tendons.   While RICE therapy may be useful in the treatment of muscle injuries (as it can theoretically prevent Compartment Syndrome), it is actually detrimental when applied to ligaments/tendons.  Unlike muscles, ligaments and tendons have poor blood supply.  Their ability to heal following injury is therefore dependent upon the inflammatory process and its resultant vasodilation and increase in bloodflow.  Every component of RICE, however, works to DECREASE bloodflow to the site of injury.  The result? Injuries that do not heal, and a chronic weakened condition in the area that is susceptible to re-injury. 

Instead of RICE, try MEAT:

  • Movement and Exercise: While immobility is detrimental to an injured ligament or tendon, movement is beneficial.  Movement via gentle range of motion and even isometric exercises (if the injury is too painful initially) increases bloodflow to the site of injury.  Increased bloodflow equates to better healing.
  • Natural Analgesics: promote healing by increasing nutrient delivery to the injured site, while also removing debris from damaged tissues and reducing edema (aka—swelling). 
    • MSM
    • Bromelaine
    • Trypsin
    • Papain
  • Treatment: Beneficial treatments include those that increase bloodflow and immune cell migration to the damaged area, such as:
    • Physical therapy
    • Massage
    • Ultrasound
    • Chiropractic care
    • Prolotherapy

Happy training!

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