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Fitness Challenge - Day # 10 - On the Mend

Posted Nov 18 2009 10:02pm

I'm working out the kinks! My back is still a little sore and was feeling better this morning until I went to an elementary school and taught the fundamentals of Skipping Rope. You may be surprised, but there is a right way and a wrong way to jump rope. More on this in another post.

So what do you do if you wind up injured. It depends on the injury but there are a couple of different methods to follow (note: If the pain is quite severe I would recommend seeing your physician - don't self diagnose).

The first method, if the injury is joint, tendon or ligament related and is accompanied by inflammation - follow the R.I.C.E. method.

R.I.C.E. stands for;

  • R est
  • I ce
  • C ompression
  • E levation
Your goal with the R.I.C.E. method is to reduce inflammation so that the healing process can begin.

Rest: This is a no brainer. You obviously want to rest the injury and not continue doing anything that would aggravate, or worsen, the injury more.

Ice: Apply ice or a cold pack directly to the injured and inflamed area. This should be done in 20 minute intervals - 20 minutes of ice followed by 20 minutes of NO ice. Repeat as necessary. Be sure to protect the skin by putting a barrier between the skin and the ice - such as a towel or piece of cloth. Many commercially available ice packs come with their own protective sleeves.

Compression: Apply an ACE bandage, or similar wrap, to the injured area to keep the swelling down and provide additional protection. This is a great thing to do after applying the ice or if you have to work all day and don't have time to ice. Don't wrap the bandage so tight that you reduce circulation - just enough pressure so that you can feel it compressing against the injury.

Elevation: Elevating the inflamed area, at least above it's normal resting spot, will also help reduce the swelling. You are using gravity to your advantage here - fluids flow downhill and you are trying to reverse that process.

The R.I.C.E. method is endorsed by Doctors, Physical Therapists and Trainers.

Another method, if the injury or pain is not accompanied by inflammation, or you have reduced the inflammation using R.I.C.E., is my way of dealing with muscle soreness and/or tightness. I have created my own acronym for this, the M.A.S.H method.

M.A.S.H. stands for;
  • M assage
  • A ctivity
  • S tretching
  • H eat
Your goal with the MASH method is to increase circulation and eliminate toxins from the muscles and surrounding tissue to speed up recovery.

Massage: Nothing compares to the wonders of a massage for both stress relief and physical rehabilitation. Tight muscles and tendons respond well to massage as built up stress and toxins are manually moved out of those areas allowing the body to eliminate them. You can apply massage yourself using a foam roller and/or your own hands or - even better - having a loved one do it for you. You can also go the professional route and hire a Massage Therapist.

Activity: Your goal is to keep the circulation going, keep moving and using the tight knotted muscles. Sitting still and not moving will not accomplish this. In fact, if your to immobile and being a baby about moving your muscles they will become even tighter.

Stretching: Stretching should be done on a daily basis, but more so when you start to tighten up or are rehabbing a previous injury that you have rehabbed using the R.I.C.E. method. It relieves stress and lengthens the muscle. Hold all your stretches for at least 20 seconds, or longer if you can. Be gentle and move into the stretch - but don't push yourself if it is too painful.

Heat: And finally heat - a heating pad or hot water bottle. Heat opens the blood vessels and capillaries increasing circulation. Increased circulation moves in nutrient rich blood and fluids and removes toxins and waste. Follow the same procedure as with the ice, 20 minutes on and then 20 minutes off. Repeat as necessary.

That is how you deal with a sports injury. I am currently using the M.A.S.H. method to heal my back.

Today I was back in the gym and completed two cardio workouts, saving any weights for tomorrow if my back is up to it. I completed 20 minutes in the morning and another 40 minutes in the evening, burning around 950 calories. Each cardio session was complimented with the 2x Super fat Loss Accelerator, a multi-vitamin and protein shakes.

My calories and protein were 1820/140.
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