Summer is in full swing and with the warm weather most of you are going to be spending more time outside. Whether its running, cycling, hiking, or starting a landscaping project, these activities come with a risk of injury.
When an injury does occur soft tissue like muscles, ligaments or tendons are damaged. This occurs through a macro or micro trauma. Macro is a large trauma usually resulting in a fracture, dislocation or laceration. Micro on the other hand is commonly referred to as an overuse injury. These would include tendonitis, bursitis, muscle strains and even disc bulges. Due to the constant repetitive stress, tissues break down over time and become weak. This also leaves them susceptible to macro trauma due to the weakened state of the tissue.
Folks who have an injury from a macro trauma or one that is repetitive in nature respond very well to specific corrective care. These individuals my require stretches or general rehabilitation in addition to their regular spinal corrections. The key to bouncing back to full recovery is to make sure the body has time to heal and most importantly help to facilitate the healing process.
A popular method that a lot of people use to treat an injury is called the PRICE method of injury treatment. PRICE stands for protection, rest, ice, compression and elevation. Each of these stages is pretty self explanatory so I won’t go into to much detail, however the main goal of this process is to control inflammation. Don’t get me wrong; too much inflammation can be a bad thing. It can cause tissues to swell, increased pain, and excess scar tissue to build up in the injured area. However inflammation is actually a good thing. You need it in order to heal properly.
Once a tissue is damaged via micro or macro trauma the inflammatory process begins. Inflammation and edema rush into the area over the course of 24-48 hours. This brings in vital nutrients, oxygen and blood cells to begin the healing process. In addition, inflammation and edema will flush out damaged tissue cells and bi products of the healing process and actually help to protect the damaged area. When the area is inflamed it will be hot, painful, red and swollen.
Research is showing that sticking to the PRICE method of injury treatment may not be the “best” technique for full recovery. The reason for this is because PRICE focuses on reducing inflammation and immobilizing the injured area. Research is showing that the opposite is needed. Using ice to reduce inflammation and then heat to increase inflammation along with controlled movement is what helps to recover faster. Think of this hot, cold, movement combination as a pumping action to flush out the injured area. The PRICE method interferes with the inflammatory process by reducing it all together. View this time when your injury is inflamed as the first and maybe most important step in the healing process. If this initial phase of healing is completed properly it will ensure that you bounce back to 100% or in some cases even better than you were before the injury.