Manage your Pain

Musculoskeletal pain is a normal part of living an active life and training, and we can manage it with simple techniques. First we must define it on a scale of 1-10. If the pain is a 5,6 or lower we should first apply ice packs in the broadest area possible. Pain=inflammation=heat. Ice for 20 minutes. The first 5 minutes may burn if the ice pack is cold enough. After 5 minutes, the inflamed tissue will gradually lose sensation and go numb. The ice shuts down the pain receptors of the nervous system. After 20 minutes of icing, you should apply massage to the tissue or lightly stretch it. Both massage and stretching will reintroduce heat, so you may follow the movement period with another round of icing.

Apply massage first in the broadest manner possible, using the biggest tool. I usually start with a hard foam roller- I’ve got an Axis closed-cell foam roller, a grey (firmest) Thera-Roll and a black (firmest) Rumble Roller. I also have a collection of other tools: lacrosse balls, field hockey balls, The Orb, The Orb Extreme, The Orb Extreme Mini, Beastie, a Beastie Bar, The Stiff Stick, Tiger Tail and a Theracane. The purpose of using these tools is start with large areas of muscle groups and progress down to increasingly smaller areas of treatment. You’ll be “finding your body” through this self-treatment and an excellent guide to use to familiarize yourself with your anatomy and the precise techniques of massage and trigger-point therapy is The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook, 3rd Edition, by Clair Davies and Amber Davies

REMEMBER- if the muscle hurts at level 7-10, ICE IT FIRST! It will hurt less to work it.

More on therapeutic stretching later. Good night.


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