Being injured is no fun. Whether you are lucky enough to call the mountains here in Morzine / Avoriaz home or just visiting for a short break, injuries suck!!! We all want to be performing at our highest level – on a mountain bike, road bike, in the pool on foot or on the rock. So what is the best way to manage being injured and how can you prevent the injury returning? Here’s my handy list of ways you can promote recovery.
- Heat / Ice Combination
Let me explain further. Injuries come in stages. The first stage is immediately after the injury. Expect pain, swelling and bruising. The area will feel tender and may be difficult to move. It is at this stage that RICE is key!
What is R.I.C.E?
RICE stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation. The pillars of starting the healing process. Rest is an effective way to not injure the area further. The area will at first be weak and range of moment will likely have been reduced. Ice is how we encourage the swelling to reduce. By decreasing the blood flow to the area it not only helps with pain relief but also to stop the injury swelling further. Never apply ice directly to the skin and apply for 10-15 minutes then remove and allow your skin to return to it’s normal temperature. Compression helps with keeping fluid away from the area. A bandage wrapped around the injury helps ease pain and reduce further swelling. Elevation is again a swelling prevention. Keeping your injury elevated above the level of your heart will reduce fluid going to the injury and help with drainage. Continue using the RICE method for 2-3 days (48-72 hrs).
What does Protection mean?
This is what it says, protecting the area! This can be done with a sports strap. Keep pressure off the area and don’t put it in a position that can potentially damage it further.
How do I do a Heat/Ice Combination?
Injuries generally enter the second phase after 3 days (72 hours). The swelling will have started to reduce and any bruising will begin to look quite colorful! Once your swelling has gone down, a combination of ice and heat can be used to encourage blood flow rich in oxygen and nutrients to the injury. Alternate, first heat, then ice 15 minutes of each.
What kind of Movement?
Movement is your friend. Once the swelling has reduced it’s really important to re-introduce some movement to the area. You will have likely lost some range of moment in phase 1. It’s now time to get that back. Light stretching and exercise can be done, you want to tire the area but NOT create pain. Your range of movement will gradually return until you reach a point where normal exercise for you can start again. As you feel strength returning, resistance bands can be used to rebuild strength.
When you are at the stage of increasing your range of movement, Sports Massage will then further encourage your recovery. Sports Massage will also help assess your progress and find any inbalances which are still occurring.
It’s not unusual to get an injury – professional or amateur. Being injured here in Morzine, Avoriaz or Les Gets is rubbish when it happens, but with the correct recovery plan you can be back on your bike, feet, rock, skis or pool in no time!