Articles of interest
Swelling after injury or surgery is normal. In fact it’s part of the healing process. However, sometimes the body can struggle to reduce swelling and it can become chronic. If it becomes a chronic condition, it can damage the tissue. It also increases pain in the area. In order to reduce swelling there are various things you can do to help.
1. ELEVATE - the area of swelling. This uses gravity to aid drainage of the tissue and aids circulation of blood and lymphatic fluid.
2. COMPRESSION - get a tubi-grip bandage (make sure it’s the right size) and wear over affected area, making sure to cover above and below. Make sure it compresses the tissue enough to be effective, but not so much that it interferes with circulation or causes pain.
3. CRYOTHERAPY - Also known as cold or ice treatment. If you have a cryotherapy chamber near you pop in. If not submerging in cold or iced water is great. Using cold or ice packs on the area will help. Remember to always keep a barrier between the skin and an ice pack to protect again ice burn. Keep to an application of 30 seconds on 30 seconds off for up to 10 minutes every hour.
4. Gentle MOBILISATION - Gently move the area (unless stated otherwise) will help manually pump the fluid in the tissue back toward the heart.
5. REST/SLEEP it’s your body’s best healer!
6. MASSAGE - Did you know massage not only decreases pain levels, but also increases range of movement and reduces oedema to much lower levels in just one treatment. A course of regular massage can dramatically reduce swelling in an area, increasing rate of recovery and making it far less painful. Which has the added bonus of making your rehabilitation exercises less painful and more effective. As a clinical sports therapist I am able to advise on lifestyle changes that could be implemented to help you and exercises to stretch, strengthen and regain the movements you had prior to injury. Let me know if @bodyworkscheshire can help.
During this lovely sunny weather make sure you drink plenty of water and if you are exercising, add some electrolytes in. The number of clients that say ‘oh I know I should drink drink more, but I just don’t’ is so high. Water helps regulate temperature, maintains joint function and musculoskeletal health, it keeps your brain working properly and keeps your organs in good working order. Your fascia and muscles are not structurally sound without proper hydration- the fascia is made up partly of water, making a strong shock absorbing flexible gel like substance (check or my Facebook post for more info if you like geeky stuff on the body). If you have a treatment it is doubly important that you up your water consumption afterwards in this weather because massage dehydrates as the body flushes water to the area worked on, and the body then excretes the waste products.
I shamelessly took this picture from @gaithappens , who you all really need to follow for their daily pearls of wisdom. I always talk to clients about the ill effects of wearing a shoe that does not have enough space for the toes or forefoot, and the effects of a stiff sole on gait and the proprioceptive response of the foot. Your feet need room to move as nature intended. Take a look at your feet next time you take your shoes off... are your toes spread out with even space between or do they go into a point or squish together or go one underneath another? If this is the case then they can’t work properly to flex and spread and allow your foot to work in a biomechanically correct manner. This results in the body compensating by using other muscles, changing your gait pattern and movement accordingly. I tell clients to take shoes off regularly, give exercises to strengthen or encourage nerve reactions to stimulus and also to look at the type of shoe you wear a lot. If your foot is squashed it can’t work properly leading to problems further up the body. If you think your shoes or feet could be causing you pain send a message for a chat or to book in for a treatment.
Dealing with Pain
Exercise, movement and loading the tissue in the body, in the correct way (get a good trainer!), leads to beneficial adaptions. Simply put if you do things with your body that are an effort, your body cleverly adapts to make this as easy as possible by making you stronger, more stable and more flexible. It’s in our design. The more you do, the better you get. However, if you are in pain this can prevent you doing this. Pain is a sign something is wrong... don’t train through it or ignore it. 9 times out of 10 you are just out of position for effective movement or you have damaged something. Book in for an appointment if this sounds familiar, you don’t have to ‘just live with it’ or keep popping pills. Soft tissue therapy is good for everyone whether you are an athlete, an office worker or a mum.
Do you often wish you were more flexible? Do you know someone who always suffers aches and pains? I would say about 90% of my clients say they are not flexible. In a lot of cases they actually are, they either suffer from an instability somewhere else, or they just need a good massage and to move around more. If you would like help to become more flexible and stable in your movement send a message and we will book you in for a treatment.
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