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Recovery and Beyond (long post)



If you got a problem and you're not icing it, it's not a problem, you're lying to yourself. Roughly what KStar was saying. Short. Honest. True. Thanks, guy. When I was in my college practicum as an athletic trainer, we had tons of athletes complain of injuries. They also did not want anything more than TufSkin 'n tape on that bad boy.

I'm a lover of cryotherapy. After practice, I'd go soak in the cold whirpool for 15-20 minutes. I miss it :( I find myself not doing much in terms of prevention and rehabilitation. When you have the convenience of a training room, it is easy. It doesn't mean I'm out of options. I've decided to make my own training room. It's not really a room, but a collection of therapeutic modalities to aid in healing. Here's what I think makes a good at home training room.

1. Portable fanciness - If you've never used one and never had a health care professional educate you on its use, do not bother. What am I talking about - portable TENS and IFC units.

2. Cold whirpool - Don't have room for a motor? Just get a trough or use a bathtub. Ice machines may be hard to come by. Bags of ice in a refrigerator can help. If you don't have the room for a large bath, use a bucket. You will not be able to immerse an entire body in there, but treating ankles becomes a lot easier.

3. Ice cups - This comes in a disposable variety, they are called Dixie cups. You can go the way of the video and use ice cubes. I find these melt quickly. Back to the cups - you fill them up with water and freeze. You can tear and peel to expose the ice when you are ready to use and as the ice melts. I'm also part hippie, so investing in some reusable ones is not a bad idea.

4.Athletic tape - I stick to plain, white tape. Colored tape has runny dyes or is harder to tear. Store it in a cool, dry place. Generally, I stay away from fancified tapes.

5. Prewrap - I like prewrap because I don't believe that every surface on the body needs to be touched by tape. I like for my tape to be able to slide over friction points rather than pull that skin with it. I find this especially helpful over torn calluses.

6. Adhesive spray - With #5 mentioned, I do like adhesive spray. It keeps tape tacked on when you sweat.

7. Band-aides - Get all kinds. Get cheap ones and get expensive ones. You can never have enough.

8. Bandages - I mean ace/elastic wraps. These wraps are not strong enough to create/support joint stability. They're meant to squeeze out swelling. Wrap it in a way that pushes the swelling to a larger area. Give it a better chance to be "picked up" by the lymphatic system. I've seen people wrap an ankle so all the swelling gets pushed towards the toes. Really? Why bombard the smaller area with more crap than it should have in the first place. That shit doesn't belong there!

9. Scissors - Medical scissors, the weird shaped ones that have a lot of length but not a lot of blade. Invest. They do wonders for cutting tape without cutting skin.

10. Disinfectant - You can spring for the fancy ones or just use a 10% bleach solution. This is a "must" for anything reusable, like a bucket. Certain formulas are good for in between uses, like in whirpools. Also, disinfecting wipes for both equipment and skin helps prevent the spread of germs (i.e. ringworm). I like Athletic Body Care.

11. Padding - I mean stuff like mole skin. There's fancy visco-gel materials too. Great for customizing soft protection over tender spots.

12. NSAIDs - I'm not a fan, but I hear they do good things :)

This is not an all inclusive list. It really isn't. It doesn't include all the bug sprays, sun screens, and other fancified things I geek out on. However, it's enough to get an idea of how to take care of people without having a staffed training room. Take care of yourself, take care of your friends. Keep the people in your gyms moving.

One more thing - someone asked me why we try and fight the body's natural path to healing. The body has evolved to a certain point. It's like eating Paleo, we do it because the body has evolved for that style of eating. The normal caveman didn't do Crossfit or triathlons for the "fun of it," never took a fitness test, and probably wasn't keen on maxing out multiple lifts in one session. If you follow the Primal Blueprint Fitness or workout for health and longevity, you can probably get away with less care. If you've dosed your routine with more, you've just told your body to go fuck nature. Training for performance is not the same as training for health. You want to run longer than a bear would spend chasing you. You don't just want to be able to haul a small kill back to the cave, you want to haul an elephant across the street. You will tweak normal Paleo eating to get there, why not go beyond normal recovery too?
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