• Proper Steps for Wrapping an Injured Wrist and Hand


    Wrists and hands are susceptible to injury and are quite vulnerable to pain. A wrist injury can range from a minor sprain to a medical condition such as carpal tunnel or arthritis. The best way to treat one of these injuries is to wrap the wrist and hand to prevent them from further damage and to get pressure on the wound in order to reduce swelling. Compression also acts as a pain reliever and aids in the healing process.

    Here are 4 proper steps to take to wrap your hand and wrist properly:

    Step 1: Start From The Hand

    Your first wrap should be around the hand. Start just below the knuckles, and begin wrapping around your palm so that the wrap goes completely around the hand and meets back at the starting point. Ensure that you've created a tight first wrap that provides compression without restricting blood flow. If you start the wrap sloppy, the rest will likely be messed up and inefficient.

    Step 2: Securing the Wrist

    Each overlaying wrap should cover the previous one by about 50%. After you've completed a couple secure wraps around the palm, do a wrap below the thumb that covers the wrist. Make sure you do a couple secure wraps around the wrist before coming back up to the hand for an extra layer.

    Step 3: Stabilizing

    You should now have a secure wrap around the hand and wrist and can begin stabilizing the compression. Complete several wraps below the wrist as you go a few inches down your arm. This will prevent the wrist from being able to move. This is an important step because our forearm muscles can still move the wrist if it hasn't been stabilized.

    Step 4: Secure the Wrap

    Some wraps will come with a clip or velcro ends that makes it simple to secure the wrap. If these aren't available, you can also tuck the end of the wrap into itself to hold it tightly in place. Movement can cause your compression wrap to become loose, so it's essential that you only use this as a temporary solution until you find something more secure.

    The amount of time it takes to heal will vary depending on the severity of the injury. A typical sprain takes two to three days to heal up, and if it takes any longer, be sure to call your doctor. Putting ice on an injury is another way you can prevent swelling to help speed up the process.

  • When Should You Consider Doing Heat Therapy?


    Thermotherapy is more commonly known by the name 'heat therapy'. Heat therapy is the application of wet or dry heat to injured areas of the body. It can also be used on areas of the body that suffer from diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and other painful conditions.

    Heat therapy is designed to aid the body’s own natural pain healing process. It can be useful for the treatment of conditions like:

    • Joint Stiffness
    • Muscle Pain and Spasms
    • Chronic Pain

    As well heat therapy can aid in the treatment of other conditions that are less associated with pain like:

    • Poor Blood Circulation
    • Toxin Buildup in the Body
    • Increase Oxygen

    Heat therapy is most commonly used to aid in conditions like:

    • Arthritis
    • Herniated Disk
    • Pinched Nerve
    • Cartilage Injuries
    • Planter Fasciitis Injuries
    • Bursitis

    There are several forms of heat therapy that include:

    • Hot Cloths
    • Hot Water
    • Ultrasound
    • Heating Pads
    • Hydrocollator Packs
    • Whirlpool Baths
    • Fir Cordless Heat Therapy Wraps

    As you can see, this is a valuable rehabilitation tool. The heat when penetrating the tissue in the affected area raises the tissue temperature, aiding oxygen, nutrients, and proteins to be carried to the area by the blood through a process called 'vasodilation'. Vasodilation aids in providing relief to discomfort in the affected area.

    Another benefit of heat therapy is the increase of extensibility of collagen tissue that. Lack of extesnibility in joints is known to cause stiffness.

    For muscle spasms, shortwave and/or microwave heat can be applied to the area where the spasm is occurring, speeding up the absorption of hematomas, allowing the stiff muscle to relax and stretch.

    Ultrasounds cannot be absorbed enough in homogenous muscles to create extra blood flow. However, for deep tissue injuries, ultrasound is able to penetrate deeper than applying heat directly to the skin of the injured area. After penetrating the skin, ultrasound begins to improve cellular function by causing tiny microscopic gas bubbles near the injured area to expand and contract quickly, speeding up the healing process.

    Heat therapy combined with radiation treatments is also a valuable therapy tool for cancer patients.

    Now, there are several types of products to apply heat therapy (both wet and dry heat). Wraps are one of the more commonly known products. They can come modified to fit shoulders, wrists, neck, ankles, back, and waist and you can find them here at Return2Fitness.

    Finally, heat therapy shouldn't be used on new swollen/inflamed injuries. It should only be applied to injuries that are a day old. For new injuries that're inflamed cold, this should be applied first to relieve the swelling, after the swelling has decreased, a regiment of all heat, or a combination of both heat and cold can be used.

  • Proper Speed Training Techniques


    Many athletes promote the benefits of running and are discovering ways to safely increase their speed.

    One prime example is a variance in the intensity of the run. Experts recommend alternating the speed and distance each day during the week. For example, one run would be a shorter distance that would optimize the speed of the run. The next day would be a longer run that would consider distance rather than speed. A third day would include running an even longer distance. On alternate days, it's recommended just to let the body relax with a slower paced, easy jog. This variation has helped a lot of runners improve their speed and endurance.

    Good running coaches encourage their runners to be consistent in their training. It's important to have a daily regimen that includes some sort of running. Runners who stay with their plan see their fitness level increase annually. Of course, there will be days where a full run won't be possible. Even a little alternate training that day's beneficial. If too much time's taken off from training, the runner can quickly get out of shape.

    While alternating the intensity of running each day, experts also recommend that runners alternate the full intensity each week, which is called step cycling. The runner simply starts out week one on a manageable level and increases it during week two. Week three employs the strongest endurance and week four lowers the workout for a recovery. The body builds up stamina safely while having some rest periods. Some less-experienced runners may want to alternate a hard week with a recovery week. It just depends on the individual.

    There are also maximum benefits to be gained by running a hilly terrain a couple times in the alternating weeks. Uphill running improves the leg muscles and trains the body in better breathing techniques. Even if a runner doesn't want to do a whole run on hills, small intervals of uphill running or sprints can be incorporated into any run of the day.

    The prudent runner will also take advantage of core strength training and speed sprinting. If used consistently, these techniques can help runners improve their speed and endurance. As always, they should keep in tune with their bodies and talk to their doctors about any concerns.

  • Protect yourself from chronic Achilles pain

    Achilles pain explained

    If you’ve ever experienced pain in your Achilles, then you know that it can become a huge hinderance on every day activities. The Achilles tendon is what connects the calf muscle to the heel bone in the lower leg and it is one of the largest and most used tendons of the human body. Regular stress on the tendon is very common.

    Achilles tendon conditions are commonly found in people who spend a significant time standing on their feet. The tendon has very little blood supply, so it often doesn’t recover well from stress. People who suffer from flat feet or no arch should be especially careful since a greater amount of stress is placed upon the Achilles during regular activity. Degeneration of the Achilles (Achilles tendinosis) can begin if the tendon is regularly overused. That is why it is extremely important to refrain from activities and rest when the Achilles is inflamed (tendinitis).

    Symptoms of Achilles tendon condition

    • Soreness where the Achilles tendon meets the heel bone
    • Stiffness or weakness in the lower leg
    • Pain in the calf or Achilles after running or exercising that worsens over time
    • Pain during sprints, distance running, or stair climbers
    • Swelling that is visible on the Achilles tendon
    • A creaking sound can be heard when the Achilles tendon is touched

    Reduce Achilles pain

    Stretching your calf and hamstring can reduce tightening in the gastrocnemius muscle (above the knee), which is an underlying trigger for Achilles pain. Lunges and toe stretches are an easy and good option. Stretching is critical to reducing the strain in an unhealthy Achilles. If stretching isn't enough, using a dorsiflexion night splint can be a useful tool, as it will stretch the muscles as you sleep.

    protecnightsplint Night Splint by Pro-Tec
    ProStretch - Double by Medi-Dyne
    ProStretch Plus by Medi-Dyne ProStretch Plus by Medi-Dyne
  • Athletic Taping Explained

    Athletic taping is a technique which offers prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of sports injuries. Specifically, it has been recognized by medical professionals as one of the top preventative measures for reducing injuries in impact sports.  However, it is still important to have your injury accessed by a professional before applying this technique.

    A physical therapist will usually be the one to access the injury to determine if taping is recommended. Aside from prevention, tape is often applied to manage symptoms of chronic injuries such as shin splints, achilles tendonitis,  patella-femoral syndrome, ankle instability, turf toe, and limb pain and strain. If the injury presents with an abrasion, rash, or allergic reaction then taping should be stopped until the skin has had time to heal. Removing hair from the surface will help to reduce skin irritation and pain during removal of the tape. 

    Proprioception, the body's ability to sense movement within joints, may also increase with the use of taping. Many clinicians have reported that athletes find considerable value in the enhanced proprioceptive feedback it provides during activity. In sprains, taping will also help limit movement of the joint while still supporting the compromised muscle.

    Benefits of Taping:

    - Provide added support to muscles, joints and ligaments.

    - Immobilize joints to aid in pain prevention

    - Enhance blood circulation to prevent joint and muscle swelling.

    - Provide added protection from impact during sports activities.

    - Prevent re-injury by providing kinesthetic feedback to the joint.

    - Keep bandages in place for abrasions and open fractures.

    Choosing What Tape to Use:

    Since Tapes can be used for a variety of conditions, choosing which ones to use will usually depend on the need. There are tapes for the Ankle, Elbow & Arm, Foot, Knee, Shin & Calf, Thigh, and Wrist & Thumb. Return2Fitness carries top brands like LP, McDavid, Mueller, and OPPO. Colors and sizes vary by product.

    Elastic Bandage by LP Elastic Bandage by LP
    MaxWrap by LP MaxWrap by LP
    max wrap by LP Max Wrap by LP

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