In this issue:
For the third year BodyBasics has participated in The Interfaith Community Services, (ICS) Gifts of Love program. Thank you to our generous clients and staff for making Christmas a little brighter for our adopted family!
Ian began working out at BodyBasics in July of 2008. Whenever he enters everyone knows it as he kindly greets and introduces himself to those working out. Ian is a gentle giant as he towers over Nick, his trainer. Whenever the rock band, Chicago, is playing on the radio he is ready to go! Every time Ian comes to BodyBasics he works incredibly hard to overcome many of the day’s challenges. Two of Ian’s favorite exercises are the bosu 2 minute challenge and the rope pull. Ian is constantly adding to the amount of passes that he can perform within the 2 minutes as well as being able to pull 100lbs using the rope!! Since the time Ian has started working out here he has dropped 20lbs en route to achieving one of his main goals. Ian it is so much fun working out with you! Keep up the great work; it is simply just a matter of time before you meet all of your goals!
By: Maureen Raine
After an injury, the standard advice was to take an anti-inflammatory and to rest, ice, compress and elevate (R.I.C.E.). These actions are initiated to control swelling and alleviate the pain associated with getting hurt. Doctor Nick DiNubile, editor in chief of The Physician & Sports Medicine Journal says it best, “Seriously, do you honestly believe that your body’s natural inflammatory response is a mistake?” This article addresses the most common instances of swelling, not the rare condition of compartment syndrome. Compartment syndrome usually occurs after a very traumatic injury where pressure builds within the muscles causing restricted blood flow and nerve damage. Emergency surgery is required to alleviate the pressure of compartment syndrome.
What happens when the site of an injury swells? After a typical injury, the body will send an increase of blood and lymph to the immediate area. These contain white blood cells to fight infection, clear the waste products and damaged tissue from the area, and ultimately repair the damage. Why would we want to hinder such a process?? Because it hurts!! The choice may well be pain relief now or incomplete healing and a greater possibility of re-injuring the area in the future.
Pain reliever! Please! Pain is often the result of congestion in the area. Sure, taking pain medication will make it stop hurting and reduce swelling but it does so by turning off the body’s natural healing process. Pain will naturally keep a person from over-doing it or returning to activity sooner than is prudent.
A good example of this is a study on the use of Piroxicam (NSAID) in the treatment of acute ankle sprains in the Australian military. Those treated felt better and returned to duty sooner. Unfortunately, when the strength of their ligaments was tested, they were found to be significantly weaker. A return to activity combined with increased instability makes the likelihood of re-injury an almost certainty. (Slatyer, M. A randomized controlled trial of Piroxicam in the management of acute ankle sprain in Australian regular army recruits. American Journal of Sports Medicine. 1997; 25:544-553.)
Get a splint and lay low until it feels better. Immobilization and rest are probably the worst ideas. Muscle contractions power the lymph system. Not moving can cause swelling or congestion, the proliferation of fatty tissue within a joint, cartilage damage,necrosis or other words cell death, scar tissue formation, and weakening of the ligaments with a decreased resistance to stretch. Don’t misunderstand; running a marathon on a sprained ankle is not the advice. Maintaining joint range of motion and contracting and massaging the adjacent areas would be beneficial if palpating the affected area proves to be too painful.
Put it on ice. Ice causes a back flow of the lymphatic fluid into the interstitial space (the space between tissues) causing the very congestion or swelling that is deemed problematic. Healing is hindered by a decrease in blood flow and metabolism to the area. Unlike muscles which have a tremendous amount of blood flow and a swift metabolism, tendons, ligaments, and bones do not. Any decrease in blood flow brought about by cryotherapy (icing) delays and ultimately jeopardizes complete healing. This increases the chance of re-injury or the development of chronic pain.
Wrap it and put ‘em up. Compression and elevation may be the only partially acceptable pieces of the conventional advice. Compression would be advisable only if it assists in venous return and lymph drainage. People wear support hose for this very purpose. It doesn’t mean that an injury should be wrapped tight like a tourniquet and forgotten. Compression as in light massage and muscle contractions with range of motion exercise would be most helpful in healing. Elevation will assist with the evacuation of lymph which will also hasten the healing process.
A Google search returns over 23 million references to R.I.C.E. therapy. Many trusted sources are still advocating the protocol despite the results of carefully conducted scientific studies. In this one instance, “no pain, no gain” seems to apply as the research is pointing to a “pay now or pay later” type of scenario. Think twice before reaching for the ice or ibuprofen after an injury and consider letting the body’s natural healing process unfold. It may take a long time for the paradigm to shift and only individuals along with their physicians can decide what to do in the face of injury.
Reference: “Is Ice Right? Does Cryotherapy Improve Outcome for Acute Soft Tissue Injury?” JEM, 2008; Feb. 25; 65–68
Chris’s client, Lynne Weissberger was so pleased by the results of her training at BodyBasics that she referred her friend and neighbor Barbro Huth. Consequently, she won a prize on the Referral Reward Board. She uncovered a gift certificate to a local restaurant and graciously passed it along to our adopted family. Thanks Lynn for your trust in BodyBasics and your generousity and caring for others.
Most unsuccessful New Year’s Resolutions:
- are unrealistic
- have no action plan
- lack social accountability