Sports Injury Treatment – Beyond the RICE method
Not Every Sports Injury Treatment is Created Equal!
We have something to add to the “RICE” sports injury treatment method.
People laugh when I use the words “pain-free” and “athlete” in the same sentence. It seems as an obvious contradiction of terms, but it is not only possible, it’s easy to achieve!
Being a Pain Free Athlete is Possible….in fact that’s what we are all about sharing with you in our many blog posts and with our FFT system.
It is understood that exercising causes muscles to ache and puts stress on joints. And when pain begins you are told to use the “RICE” method — Rest, Ice, Compress and Elevate — for the area of injury. See our post as to why icing is now not recommended for sprained ankles.
But you’re an athlete; you don’t want to rest! So you keep going and the pain gets worse and often times to the point you are forced to stop the sport you love.
Repetitive stress on your muscles requires treatment of the muscle fiber knots that place tension on the tendons and joints.
Getting back to basic anatomy will help to unravel the misconceptions that plague both athletes and non-athletes alike. Once you understand the logic of why you are feeling pain, you will know exactly what needs to be done to immediately release a muscle-related pain anywhere in your body.
The most challenging part of relieving your pain is finding the source location; the treating/releasing part is easy!
First Let’s Discuss How a Joint Moves:
A muscle originates on a bone, merges into a tendon, and then the tendon crosses over the joint to insert into a movable bone. In some cases, such as the tiny muscles between the ribs, the muscle goes directly from bone to bone.
When the muscle contracts it pulls on the tendon. The tendon then pulls on the moveable bone causing the joint to move. All joints have two (or more) muscles that determine the degree and angle of movement. While one muscle is contracting, the other muscle must relax and stretch.
Example of How a Joint Moves:
To apply this principle of how a joint moves let’s look at the quadriceps, hamstrings and the knee.
The quadriceps originate on the front of your pelvis, merge into the patella tendon and cross over the knee cap to insert onto the front of your shinbone. When the quads contract your leg extends straight.
The hamstrings originate on the back of your pelvis, go down the back of your thigh, with the tendon crossing over the back of the knee inserting on top of the shinbone. When the hamstrings contract your knee bends.
When your quads contract your hamstrings must stretch. When your hamstrings contract your quads must stretch. The smooth interaction of these two muscles are required to fully bend your knee and straighten your leg.
If your quadriceps are tight they pull up on your kneecap, the quads can’t stretch and you can’t bend your knee. And if your hamstrings are tight you cannot extend your leg.
Finding the Source of the Pain – the Key to Any Sports Injury Treatment
Pinpoint the area where you feel the pain.
Determine what muscle inserts (begins) at that point.
Place pressure with your fingers along the entire length of your muscle until you find a tender or painful bump – this bump is the muscle knot that’s causing tension in the muscle and is pulling on the insertion point at the joint which is creating your pain.
Hold pressure on that muscle knot for about 30 seconds and then continue holding the point while you gently stretch the muscle for another 30 seconds.
Do this several times and you will be amazed at the relief you feel at the joint!
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