inflammationI woke up this morning at 6AM to the sound of my alarm.  As I hopped out of bed, a sharp pain stabbed into the inside of my right ankle.”Yep…” I muttered to no one in particular, “Too much sprinting on concrete.”  You see, the gym I teach my Taekwondo classes in is basically a concrete slab with a short, dense layer of carpet on it (a special kind of gym carpet you can play basketball on).  Problem is, there’s no forgiveness on your joints.  I should have taken precautions yesterday so it wouldn’t have been so bad today.  Unfortunately, I didn’t, so now I’m stuck limping around the office like a goof hoping we don’t have a zombie apocalypse today…that’d suck.

So what’s a gimpy like me to do?

Well first off, don’t be stupid!  I should have worn shoes for the sprints or taken my class outside to run sprints in the grass.  Sprinting is very high impact and doing it on a hard surface (concrete in my case) is a recipe for disaster.

I should have blunted any potential inflammation that night.  Chances are you won’t feel any pain after the workout.  I sure didn’t.  To be honest, I was afraid my thighs would be too sore to walk properly.  I didn’t give a thought to my ankles.  Whenever you do anything high impact, icing the areas of concern afterwards is a good practice to get into.  This will help reduce inflammation.  A couple of other things that will help is take an anti-inflammatory like Tylenol and a fish oil pill.

Let it rest.  Unfortunately for me, I have a standing workstation so I just have to grin and bear it.  If at all possible, wrap up the affected area and let it rest.  Ice it every few hours for no more than 10 minutes and pop some more Tylenol and fish oil.

The next night is the night for the cold/hot trick.  Mr Miyagi would be jealous.  This technique works great for sprains, bruises, swelling, and general inflammation.  There’s a little setup required.  Here’s what you will need:

  • 2 med-large buckets
  • Bag of ice (technically optional but recommended)
  • Hot and cold water
  • Epsom Salt (optional)

Fill up one bucket with water as hot as you can stand and add the Epsom salt.  Fill the other with ice water.  Stick the affected area in the ice water for 1 minute.  After a minute has passed, immediately put it in the hot water for 3 minutes.  After 3 minutes, back it goes into the ice water.  Repeat this process for about 15-16 minutes.  Just a warning…it’s not pleasant and your nerves will be screaming when you switch from bucket to bucket, but boy does it work!

While little things like this are not serious, they can set you back a day or 2 of training while you’re recuperating.  It’s best to prevent the issue to begin with but if the injury is unavoidable, knowing how to properly treat it will get you on your feet and training as soon as possible.

Got any tips of your own that you use to recover from an injury faster?  Leave them in the comments section.




9 thoughts on “Inflammation

  1. Hi, Jacob,

    here’s what my chiropractor told me. (it’s a variation of ice but no hot so probably more pleasant & easier)

    ice for 10-15 min.
    wait for 45 min to 1 hr



    do this thrice/day at least

    (it worked for my back injury; i recovered fully in 3 weeks)



    • Hey Pam, thanks for the idea for a variation! Yes, I could definitely see that being more pleasant. Will have to try this in the future and see how effective it is compared to the ice/heat method.

    • Haha! Thanks for the well wishes. I have a feeling that I will have ample opportunities to test it out. I am not one to take it easy when it comes to training and sparring.

  2. Onions! I’ve heard raw is best, but if that’s not possible (hot date, etc.), sauteed is fine, just make sure you eat lots of them. Onion poultices have been used for a long time as an anti-inflammatory for horses.

    If you’re into BJJ or other grappling arts, onions’ side effects might even give you an advantage, if you know what I mean….

    • Love me some onions but have never considered their anti-inflammatory effects.

      Fortunately for me, I’m married so my wife will just have to deal with it…no need to impress.
      TKD isn’t typically a close contact sport (compared to BJJ), but I’ve been known to get into the clinch after a round of kicks. Perfect time to say “hhhhhiiiiiii…hhhhow you doing?” 😉

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