The Essence of Recovery
by David Milner
I remember in 2007 when I first wanted to learn what at the time I knew to be Tricking. It was a program created by Team Ryouko called “ XSD “. In the first few months of attempting btwists, and front tucks off blocks, learning bkicks and cartwheels, I remember having an annoyance in my knees.
There was pain in them, and it hurt to walk the days after training. It wasn’t until one day that I noticed a small chunk of bone was moving around in my knee cap that I realized I had a big problem and that I needed to fix it.
I ended up missing my belt grading in exchange for my knee surgeries for “osteochondritus dissecans”, the removal of bone spurs. The first of many injuries and time spent off training I would have to endure.
I ended up quitting XSD when I got back, not for any other reason than to pursue what I learned was my true love, Tricking. Allen Keng, a hero who still today, his open gym program I attend, Friday Night Madness.
Introductions to injuries aside, I think many will remember their first injuries.
Throughout my experience I have had many injuries, and as a result, gained a lot of insight on how to handle them. They are in a way beneficial. So I really want to ensure that if ever set back, to maintain strength and hope of returning, coming back stronger !
Here are quick links and their corresponding write ups to everything I know so far, 11 years later, about injuries, rest, recovery, prevention, healing and more.
- How to respond to an emergency
In the instance that yourself or someone receive an injury:
As the person who witnesses an injury, provide first aid assistance ( by means of obtaining Ice, Bandages, Pain Killers, an AED, or call for an authority figure to assist) as well as contacting 911 for critical injuries. Notify parents / guardians and proceed to ensuring speedy treatment. Be sure to ask the recipient if they give permission to be treated, first !
If you are the one injured and alone, and you happen to still be alert / conscious, you’ll want to take away all pressure from the affected area, observe for a change in colour, size, shape, apply the appropriate medical supplies, as well as if serious enough, contact 911 and request for immediate medical assistance.
- Stay off the injury. Do not continue to put stress on it or it will not heal, and could potentially make it worse.
- Acute vs Chronic Injury
Acute injury is an instance that takes place as a direct result of an action. Chronic injury forms over time, with repeated stresses that target an area and whether it down.
These different forms of injury require different methods of treatment.
Acute injuries will require immediate response. This means going hard on ice, hard with anti inflammatory foods, applying pressure, putting no stress on the area.
Chronic Injuries have a similar course of action though require a greater endurance of treatment, with the addition of having to break up scar tissue.
Scar tissue will form on chronic or improperly treated acute injuries. It inhibits blood flow to the area, preventing it from receiving the necessary nutrients it requires to heal adequately.
- Physiotherapy & Helpful Therapies
The point of physiotherapy is to determine exactly which area is compromised and provides exercises to help either stretch or strength the affected area or areas around it to facilitate in the healing and recovery process.
There are other therapies also that assist in the healing process.
Massage, Chiro, Sauna, Cryogenic, Accupuncture, Shockwave, Soundwave, Accuball, Yoga / Stretching, Cupping, Theragun, Infrared Heat, Heating Pads, EMS / TENS machines & I’m sure there are more.
I personally have only had experience with a handful of these, all of them have their pros and cons. I would recommend to research, experiment and come to your own conclusions.
Many physiotherapy clinics will have these machines or offer these services.
What all of these do, in essence, is break up scar tissue, and stimulate cellular regeneration. They increase blood flow to the area.
Diet is a very personal topic to cover. I personally am a vegan since 2011.
In essence, getting blood flow to the area is the key to healing any injury. That blood, needs to be high quality. Oxygenated, nutrient rich, with the least amount of toxins present. This will assist in giving the damaged cells the necessary nourishment they need.
Foods that are particularly great for reducing inflammation are:
- Dark Leafy Greens (Kale, Collards, Spinach, Rapini, Chards, etc)
- Alkaline Fruit (Avocado, Olive, Watermelon, Fig, Apples, etc etc)
- Spices (Ginger, Turmeric, Clove, etc)
- Berries (Acai, Blue, Wolf, Rasp, Cran, etc)
- Seeds ( Flax, Chia, etc)
Hydration is essential. I drink minimum 4L of water per day, not including any other liquids.
Sleep is essential. It’s where most of the recovery occurs. Aim for 8-10h, minimum 5h.
- CBD Oil
- Pain Killers / Ibuprofin
If there is pain, stay off it. Ice, reduce inflammation and promote recovery by stretching, massage, sleep, healthy food and water. You want nutrient rich blood flow going to the area.
Strengthen and Physiotherapy around the injury and return to your sport stronger !