Why Voodoo?

May 1, 2015

 

As some of you know I’ve had a nagging wrist injury since before February…I was at near max % of my clean and caught it wrong, compressing my forearm between the barbell and my quad which hyperextended my wrist. After a few weeks of taking it easy no improvement, I got an x-ray and was told it was a hairline fracture and suspected tendon strain. The doc’s advice was to not pump gas with that wrist, but we all know that was the least of my worries. I resorted to no overhead movements for the next 6 weeks to allow the bone to heal…but now the issue is the tendon which has been inflamed ever since the injury. If any of you have had any wrist pain or would like to prevent the nagging injury from occuring, Below is some research I’ve done on the topic – take it with a grain of salt as I am no doctor/therapist, but I have found it works for me and allows me to continue to train through this Games season.

The way voodoo floss works is by tightly wrapping a muscle group or joint while stretching or performing certain exercises to improve mobility and strength in the wrapped area. Essentially, what’s happening is that the constriction prevents further inflammation of joints and connective tissue, as well as constricting blood flow for a bit. Once the voodoo floss is removed, the blood flows back in to the area. For joints with large amounts of connective tissue, such as elbows and knees, this allows the blood to flush away some of the excess white blood cells that are further making the inflamed area worse. This doesn’t cure inflammation based injuries like tendinitis, or prevent all forms of it from ever bothering you again. However, it does provide some relief and allow you to continue training. Any time you are suffering from inflammation based problems like tendinitis or bursitis there is something you are doing that is causing the problem. Until you deal with that, you will be forced to repeat the triage over and over.

Mobility:

The floss isn’t going to make you stronger, but it does change the way the muscles orient themselves when you are doing some types of stretching. What that means is you can intensify the stretch using the voodoo floss. Again, when you take the floss off, you have that rush of blood into the stretched area. The best bet is the rush of blood helps recovery. For a limited time your muscles may be a little larger similar to a bodybuilder pump, but that effect is strictly due to the extra blood post mobility work.

Alternative to RICE:

To deal with soft tissue inflammation issues (see tendinitis above), cryotherapy can make things worse by increasing the permeability of the lymph nodes. Essentially, the excess tissue fluids pour into the inflamed area instead of away.

Instead, the recommendation is to use compression, which can be any compression–including neoprene braces or sleeves. Instead of RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation), the new recommendation (by the guy who designed the voodoo bands) is MCE:

  • Move safely when you can, what you can

  • Compress lymphatics and soft tissues (use bands, muscle contraction, clothing, normatec, etc)

  • Elevate when you can.

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