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Sunday, November 4, 2012

R.I.C. E and Running

Megan Seebeck after her marathon

"There is no satisfaction without a struggle first"- Marty Liquori

Treating Sprains and Strains and other running injuries
If you are a runner long enough, especially a long distance runner, you will get injured. I read last year 20% of the runners entered into the New York marathon were injured enough to take a deferment.  As you get older or if you have a condition like CMT, you are even more likely to get injured.  Minor injuries you can treat at home using the RICE method. I got this from Web MD and my comments are in italics.
The gold standard of care for sprains and strains is known as RICE therapy. RICE stands for:
Rest: Don’t put weight on the injured area (this includes not lifting with an affected wrist or elbow) for 24-48 hours, to guard against aggravating the injury further. If you physically cannot put weight on an injured knee or ankle, see your doctor.
If the injury is mild or if you catch it early, you may be able to do "active rest"  Say you have pain when running. You may be able to substitute another activity such as using an elliptical, biking or pool running while the injury heals.  If you are an athlete long enough you will know when you can do this. I also always consult with my sports chiropractor at the first sign of injury and get his agreement. This is while I am under treatment.   I have completed 7 marathons and I have had a minor injury in every one of them I treated with active rest. The active rest helps to maintain conditioning while allowing the injury to heal.
Ice: Put a bag of ice on the injured area for 10 minutes at a time, and then take it off for about 20-30 minutes over the course of the first 24-48 hours. Ice should not be applied directly to the skin. The cold constricts blood vessels and slows down the inflammatory process, easing pain and swelling. Too much time can cause injury, however, so don’t leave the bag on too long.
The ice helps to reduce the inflammation, so ibuprofen may also be helpful. Check with your medical provider.
After the first 48 hours switch to heat following the same schedule. Follow the heat treatment with Biofreeze. My massage therapist recently told me never to treat only with heat to always finish with cold.
Compression: You can either wrap an injured wrist, ankle, knee or elbow in an elastic bandage, or buy a compression sleeve at any drugstore. Like ice, compression helps to decrease swelling.
Athletes have used tape and elastic bandages for years.  Many are also using Kinesio tape. This is an elastic tape invented by a Japanese Chiropractor.  The tape supports the area and can be used on chronic problem areas to support and prevent injury. This tape has become one of my best training tools. Tape only with the advise of a Chiropractor, Physical Therapist or Athletic Trainer.   Amazon has some great books on Kinesio taping for common runners.  I use  "Clinical Therapeutic Applications of the Kinesio Taping Method".
Elevation: By placing the injured area on a pillow and elevating it above the level of your heart, you keep fluid from collecting in the area and decrease swelling.
RICE therapy is particularly important during the first 24-72 hours after a sprain or strain occurs. During this time, you can also take medication to alleviate pain if you wish.
There is a reason runners call Ibuprofen vitamin I. It can really help with minor aches and pains. I take a couple of Ipruprofen PM at night after my long runs.  It really helps with post run soreness that is usually really inflammation.
As your pain and swelling subsides, you can decrease the RICE therapy, beginning to use the affected area again and applying the ice and compression less frequently (often at the end of the day, as swelling and pain tend to flare up after use).
 Catching injuries early and treating right away is key.  As an athlete pay attention to your body.
That means dealing with even minor aches and pains using the R.I.C.E. method.  This method works for any type of injury. It is one I learned as a member of the National Ski Patrol and use often. Hope you find it helpful for all your injuries.

Chris Wodke
Founder & Manager Team CMT

Team CMT is a group of athletes and supporters working to raise awareness and to find a cure for CMT. We have  107members in 17 states and 4 countries If you wish to join us visit our web site. 

CMT or Charcot-Marie-Tooth is the most commonly inherited peripheral neuropathy. It affects over 155,000 Americans (as many as MS).  It is a disease of the nerves that control the muscles. It is slowly progressive, causing loss of normal function and or sensation in the lower legs/feet and arms/hands.

Symptoms include; muscle wasting in the lower legs and feet leading to foot drop, poor balance and gait problems Atrophy in the hands causes difficulty with manual dexterity.

Structural foot deformities such as high arches and hammer toes are common.

Poor tolerance for cool or cold temperatures and many people have chronically cold hands and feet.

Additional symptoms may include fatigue, sleep apnea, breathing difficulties and hearing loss.

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