So after my 10 mile run on Tuesday morning I noticed some slight pain in my right knee. I felt fine during and immediately after the run…it was only when I got to work that it began hurting. I went on with my day and put ice on it for about 10 minutes that night. It was a little tight when I woke up yesterday so I was sure to do a good warm-up before running my intervals. Knee loosened up and I was pain free during my run and swim. Started hurting again during the day yesterday, so I iced it again last night. This morning it was worse…and it hurt for the entire 135 minutes I was on the bike.
The only part that hurt is my knee cap. No pain on either side of my knee and it especially hurts when I bend it (thus the pain on the bike). So do I have a serious injury or is it something that I can work through? I plan on stopping in to see my PT buddy tomorrow to find out!
This sudden knee pain got me to thinking about treating injuries. What injuries should you ice and what injuries should you apply heat to?
The rule of thumb is to apply ice an acute injury and heat a chronic injury. Ice constricts blood flow to muscles. As the muscle cools, the amount of blood in the muscle diminishes as the constriction process pushes it out. This is great to help reduce bruising, swelling and discomfort. As the muscle warms and the blood vessels expand, new blood comes rushing in and cleans the debris left behind from the injury and stimulates the healing process. It is recommended that ice is only applied for 10 minutes every hour. The more often the cycle is allowed to transition, the faster one’s body can recover from an acute muscle injury (injury having severe onset and a short course).
Moist heat is a great treatment tool for chronic muscle injuries (injuries persisting for a long time). Moist heat applied to the injury site opens up the blood vessels allowing blood to flow more freely. So next time you are dealing with an injury…make sure you are treating in a way that will get you back on the road!
2h15m on the bike. Nothing fancy, just a good, long aerobic ride in zone 2.
Avg HR = 127 bpm
Max Hr = 145 bpm
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