If you've ever had a sports injury, you will have heard the term RICE. It stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation. But Dr Mirkin - the doctor who created the original RICE protocol, now says he was wrong and that both ice and rest may delay recovery. Instead, healing requires increased blood flow so that cells and proteins can enter the damaged area and start to do their repair work. Incrediwear does just that: our sleeves and braces reduce swelling by increasing blood flow, speeding up the recovery process. Pros on the EF Education First Pro Cycling Team know this and are now all using Incrediwear to recover from muscle fatigue, overuse injuries and crashes.
EF Pro Cycling Rider, Mike Woods, taken by Jojo Harper
Cycling is a very safe and healthy activity, unless - of course - you’re a professional racer. Endurance athletes, like cyclists, are three times more likely to experience overuse injuries than those in strength sports. Plus, they have the added risk of travelling at super high speed on dangerous roads in incredibly close proximity to other athletes. It all adds up to a long danger list and, unfortunately, Pro cyclists spend a large part of their career recovering from injury.
The good news is that Incrediwear is changing the game with 46% faster recovery times than conventional treatments. By reducing or eliminating inflammation before it starts, it allows the increased blood flow to target cells that need oxygen and nutrients to rebuild tissue quickly.
So what can you do if you’re also injured? Here is an injury recovery protocol that begins with four basic steps:
1) Stop the swelling
Depending upon the type of injury, controlling inflammation hastens healing, so your first response should be to reduce or eliminate swelling before it starts. But ice is a bad idea. It has been proven to delay healing and interfere with athletic performance, along with some other potentially harmful side effects.
Instead, use an Incrediwear sleeve, which has the semiconductors germanium and carbon embedded in the fabric. It cools the body and limits vasodilation, which causes flooding in the tissue and consequently swelling. The midlevel infrared waves released by Incrediwear’s fabric push the tissue swelling into the lymphatic system to minimize heat buildup, swelling, and blood pooling.
EF Pro Cycling Team Rider, Rigoberto Urán, with Incrediwear Founder, Jackson Corley. Taken by Jojo Harper.
2) Seek professional advice
If you don’t know, or if you're speculating what kind of injury you have, you may risk further injury if you’re treating yourself incorrectly. A professional will be able to accurately assess your injury and put you on the right road to recovery.
3) Educate yourself
Once you know what your injury is, educate yourself about it. Learn its causes, its treatments, and most importantly, how to prevent it from happening again. With overuse injuries related to cycling, it’s essential to evaluate your bike as well since many overuse injuries can result from a poor bike fit.
4) Listen to your body
Learning to listen to your body is key to any successful injury recovery plan. Tuning into your physical sensations should become a habit whether you’re injured or not since listening to your body will give you valuable feedback so that you can perform better.
Distance runner Emily Trost getting some much needed recovery in with the Incrediwear Ankle Sleeves
Doing too much too fast can lead to re-injury so know your limits and when to hold back to prevent further injury from happening.
Injury Recovery: the Healing Phase
There are a couple of goals you want to aim for during the healing phase of recovery. Increasing your range of motion and rebuilding strength around the injured area is one of them. Your body heals best when in motion; mobility promotes blood flow, and the increased circulation helps bring more oxygen and nutrients to the target area, which optimizes the body’s natural healing process and accelerates recovery.
The fabric technology in Incrediwear’s recovery knee sleeve, hip brace, and leg sleeve releases negative ions when stimulated by body heat. These negative ions activate cellular vibrations that increase blood flow and speed. This means that your body is benefiting from increased circulation even while at rest with Incrediwear.
Ultimately you’re in charge of your recovery and there are a few things you can proactively do on your own to aid your recovery. These include:
- Getting a minimum of eight hours of sleep
- Minimize inflammation further with an anti-inflammatory diet
- Improve your muscle mobility with specific exercises designed to mobilize tight muscles that restrict movement and impair your performance.
- Dedicate yourself to your recovery. Any athlete can tell you about marginal gains related to sports performance, even if your rehab seems monotonous at times, marginal gains related to recovery add up over time until you are fully-recovered.
Injury Prevention: Step out of the injury cycle
Only when you’re injured can you truly appreciate what it feels like to be healthy. Or put in another way, once you recover from an injury, you’ll do almost anything to keep yourself from getting injured again.
Here are some preventive measures to help you do that:
- Don’t rush your recovery – Instead of focusing on your end goal to get back on the bike (or back out on the field), take the time to heal, be patient, and stay focused and positive – injury recovery is a process.
- Minimize future risk – Identify mistakes that led to your injury and implement a prevention plan for both training and racing.
- Get you bike fitted – A proper bike fit is the most common recommendation for avoiding overuse injuries.
- STRETCH – Maintain flexibility to avoid tightening your muscles over time, particularly the IT band for example, which can lead to knee and back pain
When you’re injured, recovery must instantly become your main priority. Incrediwear has your back (and your arms, legs, shoulders and hips!). Incrediwear’s recovery sleeves and braces can be worn 24/7 and have been scientifically proven to increase blood flow to optimize the body’s natural healing process throughout the night and day – dramatically accelerating the rate of recovery from injury and workout.