Hey team! Hope all is going well. Today's topic is related to how to manage soft tissue injuries and pains that come during our training. The fact is that searching for PRs in the running world is usually a very thin line between pushing hard and pushing too hard. Minor strains are very likely when working through a training block for a key race. When this happens, it is important to know what to do to get back on your healthy feet as soon as possible. All you need to do is give that minor injury peace and love. Read on for more details. Also, I know for fact at least one of the very first Training Block Newsletters also had this info, so yeah, it's legit adn good stuff.
On to the topic at hand: Not long ago, a runner of mine told me they read in the Denver Post an article about not using ice when you have a minor soft tissue injury. This is actually VERY much in line with what I have learned over the past couple years. The original "founder" of the Pressure, Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation (PRICE) mnemonic has said he made that based on what the science of the late 70's early 80's had to offer. Had he known then what we know today he NEVER would have put the Rest or Ice in there.
So what should we do now? Well, my friends, just like the rest of the world, your soft tissue injuries and inflammation need PEACE & LOVE. Check out this blog from the British Journal of Sports medicine:
Peace & Love for soft tissue injuries:
Protect the inury by maybe not using that limb so much, a brace for a day or 2, or a cane or crutch for a short time
Elevate the limb to let gravity help the one way valves that help get rid of used fluids (veins) and vyproduct from inflammation and use (lymphatic system)
Avoid anit-inflammatories... this is a hard one for many, but think about it; as long as we have been a species on this planet, long before the advent of NSAIDs, how did our body naturally try to heel itself? Why are we in such a hurry to interrupt a 3 phase 6 week process that should naturally be there? If pain really is an issue for things like sleep, se if maybe a tylenol/ Acetaminophen can do the job without affecting the inflammation so much.
Compression also helps push fluid along the lymphatic system, and reduces how much can build up in the first place.
Educate: let yourself be educated by the provider you trust.
as soon as possible, get into the LOVE
Load the tissue, even if it can only tolerate 10-15% of what it normally would. This helps the tissue learn/ relearn what its function is and how to best do that, as well as promotes blood flow to the specific area
Optimism: careful not to fall into toxic positivity, if this injury really sucks, that is okay to think about and work with. And, when some positive signs happen, try to appreciate them too.
Vascularization: blood flow for the win!!! In order of most effective to elicit blood flow to a specific tissue: use that tissue, get your heart rate up, ...big gap.... all the other things (also very good, but the first two win by a mile) such as heat, massage, dry needling, etc.
Exercise. Usually, if you do the Exercise, the L, O, and V take care of themselves :)
And here is another read about the virtues of more heat, less ice
Why I almost always choose heat:
This does NOT mean never ice, but probably pretty rare. Hope you all enjoy being challenged on some old norms.As always, reach out to your physical therapist to see how they can help keep things on schedule as best as possible.