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The Lost Art of Compression


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Hey, Hows t his week been? Pret t y sure if you t hink about it , you can t ake somet hing posit ive from t he event s of t he week! I seem t o be having so many conversat ions of lat e and have been fort unat e enough t o have helped quit e a few at hlet es in relat ion t o t odays subject , I just had t o get somet hing down on t he blog t o share wit h you guys before it is doomed t o t he ideas pile! If you ask people about injury t reat ment and recovery prot ocols, many will be familiar wit h t he classic R.I.C.E met hod. I have discussed and challenged some of t his before. It s always healt hy t o challenge and quest ion everyt hing you do, t o ensure t hat t o t he best of your knowledge and experiences right now, you are doing t he best for you and anyone you work wit h and t hat t here isnt somet hing bet t er out t here t hat deserves t o t ake it s place. Read more about my deeper look int o R.I.C.E here! R est Ice C ompression Elevat ion

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Typic al Ankle Sprain. Damn anno ying and halt training pro gres s !

Upcoming Event s Ok, so Rest is a no brainer; easier said t han done somet imes, but we know t hat at t he very least we wont be able t o cont inue t o t rain as we were pre-injury t o t he same degree unt il we have recovered, so will at least need t o rest somewhat for t his process t o happen. There are variat ions t o t his at lit t le once in t he rehab st age, as ult imat ely we know t hat loading t endons will make t hem
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t o t his at lit t le once in t he rehab st age, as ult imat ely we know t hat loading t endons will make t hem st ronger and when doing any kind of rehab it must be progressive and eit her change t he st ruct ure so as t o avoid such loads (such as change body mechanics t o avoid knee valgus), or st rengt hen t he st ruct ure t o be able t o t ake more load. Ice is commonly used, and out of everyt hing Id say most people in t he west ern world and even beyond would go searching for ice as soon as anyone becomes injured. No need t o delve furt her here for now. Follow me on Twit t er Select M ont h Archives

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Elevat ion occasionally, oft en just t o be able t o rest in a st able and less painful posit ion, people will elevat e and injury, but , honest ly, how many people really t hink much about t his? Out of t hose t hat consider it , how many jump t o act ually ensure elevat ion t akes place? Ok, so t hat s R.I.C.E covered t hen right ? Ohhhhh, hang on a minut e, we seemed t o have missed one!

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Compression
This t o me is t he most import ant t his I want t o init iat e, immediat ely aft er any kind of sprain of st rain which has result ed in some swelling and Id want t o cont inue t o use t his for t he following days int o rehab. I also use it for maint enance, when muscles and joint s are a lit t le sore and t o release t he superficial muscles and fascia close t o t he surface t hat get gnarled up around t he sit e of an injury. Unfort unat ely, t his is t he one t hat nearly everyone neglect s. Compression is t he last kid at school t hat nobody picks for t heir t eam Compression has been bullied for t oo long and is ready t o make a st and and fight back! Compression can be used t o remove fluid and inflammat ion t o get down t he swelling associat ed wit h injury; t his is a key st ep when dealing wit h injury, as unt il t he swelling is gone, it s difficult for a t herapist t o assess what damage has been done and work wit h you and/or your coach t o set out a plan t o get you back t o your best .

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Fa ce b o o k s o ci a l p l u g i n

In adverts , inflamed jo ints always glo w bright red no need to wait fo r this imaginary s tage!

Secondly, t he band compression will re-perfuse t he area when removed, so essent ially, it s init ially helping t o remove t he st agnant blood and lymph fluids t hat your body is st ruggling t o remove, when first applied. Venous ret urn and your lymph syst em do t heir best , however working against gravit y t hey are always reliant upon movement t o clear out t he rubbish. When injured t he conundrum is t hat you are not comfort able wit h moving t o help get t his going. The band compression helps t o kickst art wit h process once removed and whilst on, also adds support t o t he joint youre working around, so it s more st able, enabling t o get at least a small amount of qualit y movement in t here t o st imulat e t he venous and lymph syst ems relied upon. The sudden rush of fresh blood carrying oxygen and nut rient s int o t he injury zone is just what is required.

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I recommend leaving t he bands on for only 2 minut es max at a t ime; t here are many examples of t hem being used safely for longer, however reviewing t he research it s appears t hat t here is not much addit ional benefit , so t o st ay safe, use t he 2 minut es max rule! That said, if your limbs are t urning a fright ening shade of dark blue, or you lose all feeling, t ake off t he band BEFORE t he 2 minut es is up! Id expect t o feel a light t ingling, what wit h t he blood rest rict ion, but youll soon sense if t his int ensifies and becomes t oo uncomfort able t o cont inue. Equally, if you suddenly feel claust rophobic, t ake t he t hing off use your brain! All t oo oft en we feel, see and hear t he signs as at hlet es and coaches, but ignore t hem. DONT WAIT Videos

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Expect t he band t o leave some lines where it has crossed over against your skin and expect your limbs t o change colour t his is fine and provided you st ill t o t he t ime limit s, t he colour will quickly ret urn and any lines will soon fade. 0 Once t he band is removed t he fresh oxygenat ed blood can reach t he injury sit e, bringing wit h it t he nut rient s and chemicals necessary t o kick-st art t he recovery process. This may cause some mild inflammat ion, but at some point t his is part of t he healing process. Ice is init ially used on an injury, mainly for pain relief, but oft en as an effect ive way t o reduce or hinder inflammat ion. This is ok init ially, but t he frust rat ing t hing is t hat you do need SOM E inflammat ion as part of t he healing response, so by const ant ly icing during t he recovery/rehab phase, you are act ually prevent ing t he healt hy blood and lymph flow required (as ice will slow down flow). The ice will prevent you from moving fully t oo, t hus delaying t he healing process even furt her. Ice is useful t he first few days of an injury, and cert ainly whenever t he area is mildly re-injured during rehab. If Im loading an injured sit e and t herefore causing planned t rauma t o creat e an adapt at ion response (get st ronger!) a lit t le icing aft er t raining is a sensible idea. Id alt ernat e t his wit h heat t hough as t ime progresses, so as t o encourage blood flow and relaxat ion.

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How you can use Band Compression


Ok, so we just spoke about using t he bands for joint injuries when swelling is present . The following rules should be followed as far as applying t he band: Compression for Swelling around injured sit e Wrap t owards t he heart , st art low and move up; for example for ankle sprains, st art just above t he t oes and t hen move upwards, covering t he ankle area. Get t he at hlet e t o move t he joint s/muscle group as much as possible t hrough t he maximum range (t he band rest rict ion will prevent an excessive range of mot ion in overly lax joint s where ligament s have st ret ched).

Creato r o f Mo bility WOD, Kelly Starrett c alls the them Vo o do o Bands , thank to the magic al res ults s een!

Here are a few ideas for the ankle sprain example:


I recommend t oes t oward floor and up t o t he ceiling (alt ernat e plant ar/Dorsiflexion) first . Next , some inversion t o eversion (inst ep inwards t owards ot her foot , t hen out wards, away from ot her foot ). Then some circles, clockwise, t hen ant i-clockwise (make t he circles as large as possible). If movement is limit ed, do what you can and look upst ream/downst ream (for example, some leg movement , knee flexion/ext ension can help encourage a reduct ion in swelling around t he ankle t hrough some venous and lymph flow). Check t his example of band compression on an at hlet e dealing wit h t he aft er effect s of a sprained Ankle. It been useful for encouraging a healing response in t he superficial fascia and deeper fascia t hat is suffering from t he effect s of scar t issue. To fully heal it will be import ant t o get full Range of M ot ion back and build st rengt h in t hat full range. It will be a good idea t o use a resist ance band t o open up t he ankle joint so t hat you can get in and work some mobilit y where impingement s may t ypically prevent you from get t ing int o cert ain areas/angles.

For any compression band work, safet y wise, if your skin is going dark blue and you are going numb, it best t o remove t he band! Keep and eye on excessive t ingling, pins and needles and avoid keeping t he band on for longer t han 2 minut es.

Key safety tip 2 minutes max at a time with the band on.
Ok, so hopefully t hat gives you some food for t hought about Compression and just how valuable it can be in your quest t o accelerat e recovery and get back int o t raining.

What bands can I use / Where can I buy compression bands?


You can buy ready-made bands easily online; in t he UK and Europe, you can get t hem from Rogue Europe and Wolverson Fit ness: ht t p://www.rogueeurope.eu/voodoo-floss-bands.php ht t p://www.wolverson-fit ness.co.uk/Compression-M obilit y-Bands_A1AZ7A.aspx Alt hough I cannot guarant ee t heyll be quit e as good as t he bands above which have been made specifically for t he purpose, you can of course improvise, which is cert ainly bet t er t han using NO compression!

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Therabands can be used if t hey are st rong enough and you can even make t hem out of bike inner t ubes, by cut t ing out t he valve and opening t hem out down t he seam; only down side is t hey are a lit t le more st inky wit h t he rubber smell, more so t han t he special bands. If you have an old t ube wit h a punct ure in t he garage, t his could make t he perfect FREE compression band! Give it a go you have not hing t o lose!

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Ill be sharing ot her examples of how you can use t he band on ot her joint s, like elbows and knees and t o work on scar t issue in t he shins (common aft er st ress fract ures). Next t ime you need t o t reat an injury or sore aching joint s and muscles, give a t hought t o Compression and t he benefit s t his forgot t en warrior can bring.

*Big t hanks t o Hurdler Bradley Reed and Decat hlet e Liam Yarwood of Chelmsford AC for t heir help wit h t he quick video! Speak soon, Daz Read more about t he R.I.C.E prot ocol in a previous post here: ht t p://st rat t onperformance.com/2013/04/14/rest -ice-compression-elevat ion/

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