Over the years at Mobility Plus we have seen many sides of personal healthcare. Fads, myths, and misunderstandings run abound in this arena. Some of them are downright scary!
So, we want to address a few of the most popular ideas that haunt our dreams at night….
1. Inflammation and swelling are bad.
Most people equate swelling and inflammation with evil goblins attacking our system creating pain and dysfunction. It’s SO NOT TRUE!
Both inflammation and swelling are our body’s reaction to an insult or injury. Don’t shoot the messenger here, correlation does not equal causation.
When you injure any of your soft tissue your body will send helpful little workers to clear the injured pieces and repair what remains.
These workers are transported from storage to the area with fluid, which fills the area to give them space to do their jobs.
To the outside eye this looks like a swollen ankle or wrist, but it is TOTALLY natural and necessary!
You DO NOT want to stop this process right away. Trying to ice a freshly injured area is literally stopping those little workers in their tracks.
Now, if you have a chronic injury, something that happened without incident over time, that is a completely different story.
Chronic insult to tissue can result in a state of constant inflammation to the area. Once again, the body is attempting to heal the area using inflammation as a tool.
The idea that stopping inflammation will stop the injury is viewing the problem backwards.
Instead, you need to correct the cause of the insult, negating the need for the inflammatory reaction.
2. Ice cures everything.
I can see how many people would think that. Something hurts, you put ice on it, you don’t hurt anymore! Seems simple.
Here’s the thing.
Ice is great at numbing nerve endings so that you just don’t feel pain signals, even though the injury is still there.
So even though ice makes you feel better, it is by no means healing your injury.
See #1 to understand why icing an acute injury can actually impede the healing process by reducing the helpful swelling process.
This might be the hardest one for many people to accept.
Tendonitis = swelling of the tendon, most often associated with chronic overwork injuries.
The problem with this term is that your tendons don’t swell when they’re chronically injured.
Studies have now exposed that tendons grow bigger in diameter in order to meet the demand being placed on them.
The increase in area we perceive as swelling is actually physical increase in size of the tendon.
Instead of breaking down, they build up.
It’s one of the many amazing features of the human body that we misinterpreted for many, many years.
Instead, we now call it tendinosis or tendinopathy.
There are a dozen possible causes of tendon injuries, discovering the true cause takes a practiced clinician (hopefully one who doesn’t call it tendonitis any more).