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Dr. Joe’s Tip of the Month - Mobilize Swelling!!

Apr 16, 2013

 Dr. Joe’s Tip of the Month 

Mobilize Swelling!!

 Injury Swelling


The Inflammatory Process occurs in the first 72 hours following an acute injury, or re-aggravation, and is the body’s natural healing mechanism. This process brings floods of essential healing Macrophages & Growth-Factor (clean-up crew & building blocks) to the injured area, but end up ‘swelling’ the tissue with excess bi-products (waste). This excess swelling is what needs to be cleared from the area as soon as possible to restore optimal function!


Ex) Sprained Ankle or Muscle Strain (Tear)

  • Both will incur a flood of these essential biochemicals, causing swelling and/or bruising of the injury site.
  • The Lymphatic System (network of vessels carrying waste away from affected tissues for excretion) is required to clear the bi-products (waste) from the area in order to decrease tissue distension & restore functional mobility to the joint, muscle, capsule, etc.
  • The Lymphatic System is ONLY driven by the ‘Muscle-Pump Effect’…therefore MOBILITY OF INJURED TISSUES A.S.A.P. IS KEY!!


Post-workout Swelling  

[I.e. ‘Muscle-heads’ staring at their swollen biceps during curls]


Muscular-Circulatory Profusion is an abundance of blood flow to working muscular tissues during and immediately following intense physical exertion. Blood is shunted by the body to these muscles to provide energy & oxygen, while sometimes this arterial vasodilation (arteries widening to deliver more blood) exceeds the venous return of the blood back to the heart, causing increased pressure and distension of the tissue.

  • The resultant ‘swelling’ is often mistaken for short/tight muscles by the athlete, for which they incorrectly feel the need to stretch, but no shorten fibres/muscles exist.
  • To clear the excess swelling from the area the ‘Muscle-Pump Effect’ and gravity should be utilized to help push the blood out and restoration of optimal function.
    • Ex) Forearms feeling like they’re going to burst with excessive gripping.

              **Rest hands above your head & wiggle your fingers/wrists.

Dr. Joe Foglia  DC, BHK (Hons), CSCS, ART®
 Island Optimal Health & Performance
#103-1808 Bowen Road
Nanaimo, BC  V9S 5W4
T: 250.753.9449
F: 250.753.9409


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