Athletes will be familiar with the abbreviation: P.R.I.C.E. (Protection, Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation), but is that the only method for a speedy recovery for sports injuries? Or is it a case of “you can’t fight nature” and that it will only be with time, that an injury will heal. Being a Hockey player who has previously represented North England, and the small town of Richmond, I have found it difficult-more in recent times- to survive a season without injury. Both indirect and direct factors to why athletes can get injuries are: Overuse, over stretching and sometimes under stretching of the Muscles, hard impact knocks (which can cause three different types of bruising: Subcutaneous (beneath the skin), Intramuscular (within the muscle) and Periosteal (bruising of the bone), Age, Gender, previous similar injuries, and also: previous fitness.
The Job of R.I.C.E is to “relieve pain, limit swelling and protect the injured soft tissue” (Source from SportMedicine) but that only suggests that R.I.C.E is a temporary measure to reduce the time it takes for the whole injury to recover and therefore is not very efficient. Another useful tip is: to see a therapist who is skilled in A.R.T. (Active Release Techniques). According to Dr. Sommers, it is “the best therapy to reduce scar-tissue build-up and to promote ideal muscle length through the healing process”-especially for soft tissue (Source: http://www.ttfatloss.com/faster-recovery/).
“But what about for broken bones?” you may ask. It seems unlikely that anything but time can heal a broken bone, but apparently this is not the case. Have you heard of Magnetic Therapy? If not, then no worries because I’m about to explain it:
What it is: Magnetic Therapy/”Magnotherapy”/Physical Field Therapy are used as stimulation for bone healing using magnets. It also works alongside some infrared products to promote a quicker recovery for bone injuries. It can also relieve muscle spasms and sprains.
How it Works: For the best bone healing, you need:
- A good blood supply after injury
- Adequate stabilization
- Sufficient new tissue formation
As weird as it sounds, the Magnetic Therapy relies on the water inside our bodies. The magnets can stimulate the water which can then cause the water molecules to line up with the magnetic fields (supplied by magnets). This in turn gives the broken bone a structure to help it heal. It also helps get oxygen (from the blood) to the fracture, and it regulates the nervous system (hence enables stabilization). Other advantages/benefits of this process include:
- Relieves pain
- Increases mobility in arthritic joints.
- Eases stress and depression.
- Promotes sound sleep.
- Reduces bruising, inflammation and swelling.
- Increases the body’s resistance to infection.
- Improves circulation around the body.
- Assists removal of waste products from the blood, i.e. Lactic acids, calcium, cholesterol and fat deposits.
- Stimulates organ vitality and energy levels.
- Improves overall health.
- “It works well with other treatments since it has no known side effects” (Source: Jim Lane, a man who has experienced magnetic therapy : http://www.magnetic-therapy-living.com/bone-fracture-healing.html)
Most importantly, it accelerates the healing of bone fractures, torn muscles, ligaments and tendons.
Why it Works: Water is present in almost every cell in the body and molecules containing water can store and re-ermit electrical energy which means it works well alongside magnetic fields. Water molecules are also known to have an orderly structure and so when they are aligned by magnets; they help control the healing of the bone more efficiently than if the bone was left to heal naturally.
Over the next decade, new ways of recovery for sports injuries will be discovered. In the meantime, if you have an injury, the best advice is to see a Doctor about it: be conservative! I had a Hockey injury (went over on my ankle and heard a cracking noise) just over two months ago. Fearing it was broken, I saw my Doctor. It turns out it was only a sprain but he reckoned it could have taken between 3 weeks and 3 months to recover!!! Unbelievable Jeff!