Non-Ice Modalities for Healing: Electrical Stimulation, Immobilization, Cryotherapy, Anti-Circulation Training & Anti-Inflammatory Drugs

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By Leo Shveyd, Co-Owner of Advanced Wellness

Each of these topics deserves its own blog post. That being said, I thought I would be remiss if I didn’t mention them here.

Electrical Stimulation

An electrical stimulator uses electrodes that are attached to or near the injured area and powered by an electrical stimulator. This produces contraction of the regional muscles and promotes blood circulation. The advantage of this procedure is that after placing the electrodes on your body and turning on the machine, this method requires very little physical effort. This is why I refer to compression, elevation and electrical stimulation as “the lazy man’s movement”.

Injury Immobility

Once we understand the power of movement (both right and lazy), we can’t help but understand dysfunction and dysfunction, as well as the harms of immobility in many cases. without further intervention. Of course, bracing, casting and immobilization can help with broken bones, used as a way to reduce weight in the painful area, protect the area from blows or bursts and help avoid painful movements. However, not being able to move and rest can make a bad problem worse. We must do better!

Cryotherapy: Using Ice-Baths as a Stressor

Cryotherapy, using ice/cold to provide stress, possibly psychological, is perfectly acceptable. Please do not do this while “injured” or immediately after an athletic effort, in hopes of improving healing, recovery and/or athletic performance, respectively. Keep your training session and cryotherapy as far apart as possible. Current thinking in the industry is to give at least 1 hour between relevant sessions. So, with cold water immersion: do it for mental training but keep it away from sports training. And again, don’t use it to heal or recover.

Blood Flow Restriction (BFR) Training.

Blood flow restriction (BFR) training is done using elastic bands that restrict blood flow from the organs back to the heart. BFR training causes the muscles to contract harder to pump blood back to the heart, stimulating the lymphatic drainage system. While I’m by no means an expert on BFR, it makes sense why it would speed up healing and allow you to go into some seemingly low-impact sessions as a way to heal and/or recover while you can’t train due to injury.

Using Anti-Inflammatory Drugs to Promote Healing

Finally, anti-inflammatory drugs are a bigger problem than ice. While ice works on the local tissue where it is applied, anti-inflammatories affect the whole system (eg organs, etc.). Do they have a place? Sure, but people throw them out like candy without understanding the effects on their body, healing, recovery and athletic performance. (In addition, many people are not aware of turmeric and other natural remedies, and their anti-inflammatory properties. When taken in the right amount along with black pepper and fat soluble, research shows that turmeric is as effective as medicinal drugs in dealing with inflammation … without side effects bad.)

Summary of Injury Healing Options Without Ice

1. Proper Movement (isometric loaded to load, using three planes of travel)

a. Loaded Movement

b. Isometric movement is loaded

2. Movement of the Lazy Man

a. Electrical Stimulation

b. Blockage of blood flow

c. 2 Minute Compression

d. The heat

e. Height

f. Correct Combination of 2b., c., d., and e. above.

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