Thursday, July 11, 2013

Healing Injuries With VooDoo

So on Monday I was out running and I'm not really sure what happened, other than the fact that I didn't pick my foot up or something over an especially rough patch of asphalt, but before I knew it was falling toward the pavement. Broke the fall with my kneecap. Lovely. It hurt, but not that bad, so I brushed myself off and finished my run, which was maybe 8 more slow miles... I didn't think it was very serious, given I was capable of running on it. Clearly nothing broken or anything.

That night it swelled up (of course) and felt really stiff. I didn't do much to address it and figured it would be better on Tuesday.

It was not better on Tuesday, but I went and spent ~3.5 hours biking and running up and down Tantalus anyway, because that's what my Training Peaks schedule told me to do. Somehow I justified to myself that it was okay b/c this was not a chronic injury, just an acute one... So while it hurt with every pedal stroke and every running step (especially downhill OMG stabbing pain) I didn't sense that I was actually doing further damage. I was just thinking I needed to stay tough and deal with the pain and eventually it would go away. In hindsight I know that is not a super bright way to think but that's how my athlete brain works (Interestingly that is NOT how my coaching brain works... I have two brains, didn't you know??)

So Wednesday morning I woke up and it was showing a pretty big bruise and swollen up like a grapefruit. I went to swim but felt like a gimp and was just in one of those feeling sorry for myself PMSy moods so I didn't swim with my normal training partners just flopped easy on my own and tried to not push off the walls because that hurt. I got home and fessed up to my coach via email because I was thinking that 2 bike rides that day prob wouldn't be possible smart. His response was classic... "You pay me to guide you through these things when they happen, not two days later..." Lol. Point taken. I will also say that it drives me nuts when my athletes hide this type of info from me too but remember, I have two brains.

Anyway, I thought I'd share the magic method I used yesterday to fix myself in a single day. I no longer believe in ice/ibuprofen to manage acute (or chronic) inflammation. If you have 20 minutes and are interested in why, here's a good explanation. Anyway, instead, I spent most of the day wrapping my knee up tightly with this Voodoo band. In that video at the bottom of that page, Kelly does a nice explanation of how to use the band, but I'll tell you how I used it... basically I wrapped my knee up as tight as I could, left the band on there for ~2' while walking around or trying to move it some, then released the band, let blood rush back in, waited 5-10', then wrapped it again, repeat. Easy for me to follow this protocol since I work at home in my pajamas... so I basically spent the whole day doing that instead of riding my bike. And guess what? Inflammation disappeared. This morning, while the bruise was still visible, the pain was almost completely gone!

So there you go. Only one missed training day! I was able to just push all my sessions back by one day and I'm back on track now. If something like this happens again, I'll be diligent about managing it with repeated Voodoo band immediately, not 2 days later when I email my coach. :)


Run Gunn Run said...

I saw this the night before KS 70.3when I started having ghost niggles in my calf (oops I didn't tell you). An EMT camping across from us SWEARS by these! Awesome, so glad you are feeling better!!

mtanner said...

An old tube works well too! Yes firm believer in this!

GoBigGreen said...

Probably just irritates the bursa which usually heals up in 48 hours :)

Kiet said...

Not the post I was expecting, I was hoping to read about some crazy Jamaican chicken head voodoo! Your two brains fits in nicely with my current post.