Show your muscles some PEACE and LOVE
As a chiropractor, even though I “crack” joints in the body at times during treatments, my predominant focus is on muscles and the active treatment of them to get you into tip top shape. If you ask anybody what to do after you hurt yourself, you’ll likely get the “put some ice on it” answer. While in theory this is meant to help decrease swelling so you can function, is decreasing the swelling actually healing you?
A better question is also to consider why the inflammation is occurring. When you injure yourself, your body is very good at locating the site of injury and causing an inflammatory response. This response, despite being painful and swollen, is actually a great way for your body to clear out the dead tissue as a result of the initial injury, so you can lay down healthy, stronger tissue in the days and weeks ahead. A similar approach that I use to re-create this response in treatments is acupuncture. Inserting acupuncture needles into the site of injury can cause this inflammatory response locally, which helps create the same environment to lay down healthy tissue in subsequent treatments.
But, take it with a grain of salt. As stated previously, using ice is important at times so you can function, aka. get through your daily activities, because no one can do anything with an inflamed golf ball sized joint when you’re trying to walk or lift throughout the day. Therefore as a guide, a fantastic post recently by the BJSM Blog highlights what to do in the acute stage (PEACE) of a soft tissue injury when there’s more inflammation, and more importantly, what to do in the healing stages (LOVE) afterwards to lay down that stronger tissue