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Hot or Cold?

 
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Murkona
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Joined: 31 Jan 2005
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Location: Austin

PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2007 7:47 am GMT +0000    Post subject: Hot or Cold? Reply with quote

Yo Doc!

I recently had a physical therapist work on my lower half and not to my surprise this particular therapist did it differently than the last therapist.
It seems that every therapist has a different method, belief and style as to how the legs should be treated.

One thing this guy pointed out I found interesting. He said that soaking in an ice tub on a regular basis is much more beneficial for athletes than jacuzzi, hot bath or anything that increases swelling in the body.

The whole idea of reducing the inflamation in the body, particularly after a brutal event like MTB racing, seems to make a lot of sense.

What's your take on this?
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The Bike Doc
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Location: Corpus Christi and Warda, Texas

PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2007 4:24 pm GMT +0000    Post subject: Reply with quote

Murkona:

Woo-hoo! Total body ice bath! Talk about having numb knuts! You wanted my take... Wink

Seriously, ice application locally to injured areas will help reduce swelling. There is some benefit to ice massaging to strained muscles. I am just a little cautious about total body ice bathing and would rather leave that to card carrying members of the polar bear club. There are several different modalities that have benefits. The ice therapy can decrease swelling. Heat therapy can increase blood flow and speed healing and help reduce muscle spasms thereby making massage therapy more effective. Ice massaging can reduce pain and also help improve therapy. Deep heat by ultrasound can increase blood flow to deep muscle injury and help improve response to massaging and speed therapy. Electrical stimulation therapy can reduce pain and muscle spasm (no self administer Tazers though). Manipulative therapy has a place for treating mucles spasms that lead to malalingment and nerve impingement. Even ice applications to the delicate areas of the sit upons has it's place for reducing pain and swelling for saddle sores. (Please insert your best Chef Engineer Scotty accent here:) Howeverrr, if me bums don't hurrrt, I'm a not a gonna dunk em in no ice bath, cappin! Embarassed

Thanks,
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CoachJoe
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2007 8:37 am GMT +0000    Post subject: idea Reply with quote

I will also weigh in on this one as an experienced and certified Occupational Therapist with a wife who is more than 1/2 completed with her PhD. in Physical Therapy--wish she could answer, but she hates forums . . .

There are many philosophies that exist in the treatment of muscular pain--especially the low back. Use of thermal modalities such as ice, or heat and in what combination of the two should be used, are much debated, but the underlying purpose and effect of each are well understood and accepted, which Bike Doc explained beautifully.

If you had total body pain and swelling to all extremities, then soaking in a total body ice bath may benefit you. If the pain is localized and focussed in just one area (low back), then using an ice cup for an "ice massage" x 10 minutes followed by stretch and tissue massage would be appropriate. There are other therapists who believe in the therapeutic properties of the "contrast bath" where ice application is used followed by warmth or hot pack X 10 minutes which is followed by stretch and massage. This technique promotes getting out the inflammation process (cold) and then relaxing the muscles (heat) and then putting them on gentle stretch without spasm. I am a proponent of using contrast bath techniques when treating muscular spasm, or tension pain. If there is a tear, or damage to the muscle belly ,then heat may be contraindicated due to the swelling and inflammation process that may occur with heat.


Disclaimer--my first question as a therapist, though would not be how to treat your back with ice or heat. My first question would be how did you hurt your back and what can you do to prevent it for next time!? Is it related to muscle strength, or technique in riding? Could you possibly be pushing too much of a gear? Or, did you just tweak it picking up a mud ladden bike to carry over an obstacle . . . ? Is it truly muscular, or maybe a disc impingement which is causing the tightening of the muscles? If you know the "cause" you can decrease the healing time and actually prevent it from occuring again.

Pennies in the pot . . .

Coach Joe
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Murkona
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Joined: 31 Jan 2005
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Location: Austin

PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2007 1:49 pm GMT +0000    Post subject: Reply with quote

For the most part it seems that by cooling down the body after a ride/race, using the icing method, would promote healing by reducing inflamation.

I too believe, from experience, that the "contrast method" is very effective. In the day of my road racing years I used to sit in a Jacuzzi for 5 minutes then move to the pool (65-70 degrees) and stand there for 5 minutes. I'd repeat this half a dozen times and I swear my recovery was improved dramatically. Now that I'm older and not riding nearly as much I'm fighting recovery and I'm speculating that by reducing inflamation in my body my recovery will improve.

Another point of interest to me is mountain verse road racing recovery. There is no doubt that after a mtb race my Monday is a disaster. This is not the case after road racing. I'm sure there are a number of variables such as anaerobic and aerobic etc...but the inflamation variable seems to be more mtb specific which warrants more attention to recovery.
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Racer-ette
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2007 7:40 am GMT +0000    Post subject: Reply with quote

Murkona wrote:
Another point of interest to me is mountain verse road racing recovery. There is no doubt that after a mtb race my Monday is a disaster. This is not the case after road racing. I'm sure there are a number of variables such as anaerobic and aerobic etc...but the inflamation variable seems to be more mtb specific which warrants more attention to recovery.


No medical experience or training here, but I would think that the body takes on more abuse in a mountain bike race. Riding over rough terrain (rocks, roots, dips) and the body absorbing the impact, even on a full squishy, would be more than what your body experiences during a road race. I'm sure the roadies are more worn out after a race on cobbles... ala Tunis Roubaix for us Texans...than your standard road race.
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