Imagine you are walking down the street and to your luck you hit the only patch of black ice for miles. Pain shoots down your leg from the impact of your knee hitting the cold ground. You check your echo to see who saw you fall and you check your knee. Nothing is broken but it does not feel good and you have this funky limp. You get home to sore and swollen knee. The mind begins to wonder: aspirin, ice, heat, rest, rehab…I have my ski trip coming up in a couple of weeks, what’s the best way to get back on my feet. Here are a couple of methods I use to help clients recover quickly and safely from soft tissue injuries (strains, bruises, slight muscle pulls).
1. LET’S GET THE SWELLING DOWN
Get ice on the injured area as quickly as you can. Also if the injury is on your arm or legs, elevate the swollen area if you can. Swelling negatively affects the joints or muscles range of motion. Ice 10 to 15 minutes on and off for 12 to 24 hours to try and reduce some swelling
2. Rest the injured area.
Until you can significantly reduce the swelling you should reduce the amount of work you do on that injured area. Depending on the pain and severity of the injury you can work around the injury doing only seated upper body exercises if the injury is in the lower body or vice versus. Ask a physical therapist or fitness expert how to achieve this if you are not sure how.
3. Heat and move
Once the swelling has gone down, it’s time to heat, move and exercise the injured area. Use a heating pad or hot bath to warm up the area before you begin to move or stress the injured area. Use light intensity (half or more lighter loads then you would usually do) exercises that focus on getting a pain free full range of motion.
4. Heat, move, ice, rest and repeat daily. Once you can do step three with limited amounts of pain, the final step is a daily task heat before moving/exercising, ice afterward and rest at the end of the day to recover for the next day. Keep doing this process until the injury subsides.
Injuries sometimes will happen but the benefits of exercising generally outweigh those chances. No excuses, keep moving, have fun and make your goals happen in 2018.
Donavan Almond is owner and CEO of Donavan’s Wellness Solutions, Calistoga Fit, DWS Concept at Auberge du Soliel and Calistoga Ranch. Certified in both CSCS, ACSM, he provides fitness and wellness coaching, nutrition support, residential and commercial gym design, as well as consulting with award winning hotel brands. He has trained many college athletes and professional athletes including the Washington Redskins. His experience working with all levels and ages gives him the ability to tailor a unique program to the client.