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Ouch! Now what???

by Dr. Molly King 

Ouch!  You’ve sprained your ankle, tweaked your back, or twisted your knee and IT HURTS!  Now what?!?!?

Movement is medicine!  In the not too distant past, the standard treatment for a musculoskeletal injury was immobilization or bedrest.  We now know that lack of movement makes sprains and strains take LONGER to heal.  Gentle range of motion, muscle stabilizing exercises, and light cardio will help you maintain mobility, support the injured area, and reap the pain-relieving benefits of activating your endogenous opioid system (built in pain management)!

Ice is not so nice?  For years we’ve heard that you need to minimize inflammation immediately after an injury by icing and using anti-inflammatory medication around the clock, but emerging research proves this isn’t the case.  Did you know that inflammation is the first step in the healing process and takes 3-7 days to complete?  By stopping this first step, you can delay full recovery. Rather than stopping the inflammatory process, we want to encourage an optimal environment for faster resolution of this process – minimizing swelling, maintaining range of motion and strength, and making sure you are getting high quality nutrition, sleep, and fluids.  (Fear not, ice and anti-inflammatory meds can still be used as needed for comfort!)

Deep Blue products support a healthy inflammatory response*

Do I need to see a doctor?  For most injuries, the answer is no!  The vast majority of musculoskeletal injuries will resolve with home management within a few weeks.  

Of course there are exceptions to this rule.  If you suspect a fracture (pinpoint tenderness over a bone, audible snap, or visible deformity), head to your nearest ER or urgent care for an x-ray.  If your injury has not resolved within 2 weeks, or if it is a recurring injury, your first stop should be a doctor of physical therapy – the musculoskeletal primary care provider!

While primary care physicians are an important part of the healthcare team, they need to know a little bit about a lot of things so that they can direct the patient to the expert provider.  They may only get a few weeks of education on orthopedic injuries – doctors of physical therapy get 3 years!  And fear not – you can see a physical therapist without a physician’s referral!  

Dr. Molly King is a doctor of physical therapy and certified athletic trainer at Inspired Athletx, a sports medicine and athlete development company located in Plymouth, MN.  She earned a doctorate of physical therapy degree from The University of Iowa and an undergraduate degree in Athletic Training from Gustavus Adolphus College.  She also minored in coaching at Gustavus and is an American Sport Education Program certified coach.

Molly specializes in manual therapy, dry needling, corrective exercise, and bridging the gap from injury rehabilitation to sport performance enhancement.  She has worked with clients and athletes from youth to professional, including football, volleyball, tennis, basketball, and baseball athletes, as well as swimmers, gymnasts, horseback riders, and runners.  She believes in building a strong foundation of mobility and stability, while integrating sport specific exercises early in the rehabilitation process to get you back in the game as rapidly as possible.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.

Immune Support

I’m back! After a way too long break, I am back to writing. I don’t know about you but this whole pandemic thing has thrown my life into a bit of chaos. I needed to shift, well, everything to this new way of life. What didn’t change is my focus on health and wellness. It just became a lot more intense.

So, for this first Wednesday Wellness I want to talk about immune support. This has been my most talked about subject since March, second only to mood support which I will talk about next week.

First I want to know. Are you taking care of yourself? Are you drinking enough water? Are you moving your body and are you keeping a positive mindset? These things will do a TON for your immune system. I don’t know about you but I know that in the beginning of this pandemic I was eating way too many sweets, I might’ve even perfected my cinnamon rolls. But now I’m going to suggest that we lay off the sweets. Sugar will destroy your immune system. Does this mean cut out all the fun that life has to offer? No it just means to cut back and be conscious of what you are consuming.

Now for some helpful tips that are a lot easier to do than cutting out sugar completely.

1. Add citrus oils to your water. Citrus oils like Lemon, Lime and  Grapefruit are some of my favorites. This will not only help your water to taste great but will help your body eliminate unwanted extra in your body. Internal use naturally cleanses the body and aids in digestion.

2. Use OnGuard daily to support your body’s immune system. You can use it aromatically, topically and internally. I like to put a drop or two of OnGuard on my feet every night and every morning. I use the OnGuard Cleaning products and the OnGuard hand sanitizer. There is a lot of research that has gone into OnGuard but for a quick (and educational) project that was done by a 5th grader check out this blog post.

3. A new Fav of mine to support my immune system is Stronger. I know it says it’s a kid’s blend but it is strong enough for an adult, you just need to apply it more often…no problem as I LOVE the aroma! I roll this on my neck, wrists and feet.

This is a good start, for more information on how to support your immune system, please check out some of my other blogs AND come to a free educational class. We have a bunch of them here!

I look forward to helping you along your journey of health and wellness.