Hey, this is Dr. Steve Gangemi, and in this video I’m going to talk about what you do if you get injured.
So remember when you injure an area, compression is going to be your best treatment option when it comes to healing up that injury as quick as you possibly can. So don’t constrict the area, just compress it.
The other thing a lot of people like to do when they injure an area, aside from icing, which we know is a bad thing, is to stretch the area. When you injure muscles, when you injure tendons, they elongate, though, and they need to be held back together. They need to join those muscle fibers, that fascia and that connective tissue back together. Those muscle fibers, these little areas, muscle fibers called sarcomeres, need to join back together to heal up, and if you’re chronically stretching an area to try and get more range of motion in there because you feel like you need to break up some adhesions and stuff like that, that’s a completely bogus idea. You need to let those muscle fibers line back up and heal back up so you heal a lot faster. I’ve seen all too often that people are chronically stretching areas and they have weakened the muscle fibers, they’ve weakened the tendon where it joins to the bone, so the injured area is not healing because they’re chronically stretching it, and they’re chronically re-injuring and preventing the area from healing up. So compress, don’t stretch.
And the other couple of things that you definitely could consider doing is elevating the area, and especially keeping the area actively moving, actively mobile. So don’t think that by… You know, if I hurt my shoulder, I don’t want to be stretching my pec, say, or my shoulder to these great degrees, but I also don’t want to stabilize it with a brace or not be using my shoulder because it hurts too much. Of course, you don’t want to be causing yourself more pain and injury to an area, but I want to be using that area, that injured area, as much as I possibly can and keeping active mobility in there to prevent a chronic problem from happening.
That last part of the R.I.C.E. acronym, that elevation part, can definitely be beneficial when you’re compressing. In other words, if you did injure your ankle, if you sprained an ankle, elevating that, especially while you sleep at night, that might help out. It can heal it up a little bit faster, along with some compression, especially in those early couple days of injuring an area.
But think about compressing. Think about keeping that area active but not too active, and I think you’ll see your pain diminish a lot quicker and the injury heal up a lot faster than you could ever expect.