Muscles LOVE movement. I get a lot of people that have soft tissue and muscular injuries and it's hard to explain that movement can be beneficial. The first thing our body does in an injury is splint. We feel that in various ways; spasms, "locking up", "giving out", extreme pain, and so on. Learning how to recover is important to whether you will get back to normal quickly or potentially lengthen a soft tissue or muscle injury. MAKE SURE TO BE SEEN BY A MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL to ensure you don't have tears or skeletal issues creating these symptoms. If it's just soft tissue or muscle, movement may help you to get back on your feet quicker.
Start slow (give 24 hours to let the injury relax, use heat and ice) and be aware of how the area feels and when your body says "too much". Gentle stretching of the area can be sore and slightly painful but shouldn't be sharp, tearing, grinding or anything that would feel like you are doing greater damage. This is definitely where having a professional massage therapist can be beneficial. Getting a sports massage during these first few days can help to have these areas stretched and knots found and worked out by a professional so that this transition is easier to do. From there keeping with stretching and gentle working the area. This can help to ease you back to your normal activity level faster than no movement at all. Afterward using alternating cold and heat can help to bring new fresh inflammation to the area. Despite what the internet loves to say, inflammation is a great healing aspect to injuries in the early stages of injury. The increased blood flow, heat, lymph fluid and even the swelling can help to create a healing environment. The cold and heat that we use helps to decrease the swelling and clear some of that out and then the heat applied allows for new blood flow to the area and relaxation of the muscles after the cold.
Remember to listen to your body, do but don't OVER do. Less is more, and the goal is to heal first, THEN you can get back to doing everything you love doing. At least this may help you to get back into the game faster, and with less recovery time.
Hopefully this tune up Tuesday helps you to get your body tuned up and ready to go!!!
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