“It makes sense when you think about it” is what someone said when they asked me about their injury last week. They had a sore knee after getting out of bed. It sounds so basic but so often injuries occur when twisting or bending awkwardly…unconsciously.
An ‘itis’ is an inflammation. Any condition ended itis is an inflammation of something:
Plantar fasciitis – inflammation of the foot fascia
Bursitis – inflammation of the bursa
Arthritis – inflammation of joints
And what do you need for anything inflamed? RICE – Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation.
Last week I was quite vocal about the fact I couldn’t lift my arms for 3 days following a heavy upper body workout. I had to keep reminding myself that it can take up to 72 hrs for lactic acid to peak. On day 4 I went for a little swim to get some passive movement back and be able to stretch my armpits – to be honest I felt like I’d grown wings!
The main reason you need Ice vs Heat is to take blood away from the area that is swollen, to slow that process down. The only thing Heat will do in this moment is soothe your brain. A lovely hot bath is great for sore muscles but for a strain, a sprain or rupture you need to Ice the crap out of it (as my physio once told me!).
NB. There’s been much controversy around Ice bathing but in this instance you’re not looking for flash bathing that would pump blood round the body like a massage.
All of this seems very logical but when you’re in the thick of acute pain your brain can go out the window. Pain is distracting and it’s very difficult to assess yourself. Sometimes I have to write it down for myself to make it simple. We’re taught to fear bulging/slipped discs and spinal fractures but tightness is tightness and believe me there’s nothing more reassuring than touch when you’re in discomfort.
POSITIONAL TIPS: stuff to align the hips;
– don’t cross your legs
– try to sit neutrally on hip bones
– the more comfortable they try to make car seats the more the pelvis tucks under (don’t get me started on bucket seats!). Sit with hips higher than knees on a straight back chair (or fashion one with a pillow)
– always get out the car with your knees together
– bend ze knees to lift anything
– keep hips loose by not holding tension in your glutes (bum) and swing n away when you walk. We used to have tails so pretend yours isn’t cut off!