Knowledge

Compex to the rescue (EN80)

Overdid it . . . again

By Hammer Nutrition

We all have an injury now and then. Oftentimes these injuries require that we miss some of our regular training while we recover from the damage done. Compex EMS can be a very useful tool to get you back in the training game more quickly and better ready to handle a decent level of training when the time comes.

I'm fortunate enough to be able to talk to many Compex users. A good number of these athletes wonder why there isn't more promotion of the fact that Compex has benefits in addition to warming up, building strength and endurance, and recovering from training. I'm taking their advice and reporting on some of the ways that Compex can be effectively used to quickly get back in the game.

Recovery after surgeries and procedures

Let's look at more serious exercise-related injuries, ones that require a procedure to correct. In the case of post-arthroscopic surgery, an imbalance in the amount of strength in a muscle group, left to right side, is dramatic. This is measured pre- and post-surgery by the level of stimulation required to elicit a given degree of muscular contraction on a fine scale from 1 to 999 on a Compex NMES unit. The imbalance comes immediately post-procedure. While recovering, being unable to train normally will result in some degree of atrophy or loss of tone. Compex can return the affected limb to pre-procedure strength levels quickly - sometimes with just a few sessions - without putting any load on the affected joint.

Labral tears, tears in the cartilage that lines a joint's articulating surface such as in the hip and shoulder, are on the rise, likely because the diagnostic techniques have improved. These tears can be repaired, but often leave the athlete at a very reduced level of activity during the recovery process. One can imagine that training the muscle after injury of a joint is possible with Compex because the injured joint need not move or support any kind of weight-bearing load.

Injuries to muscles and tendons, and chronic soreness and tightness

Injuries that may or may not take an athlete away from training can be treated by training the muscle in the injured area. Two common injuries are very effectively treated with Compex.

The iliotibial band, or IT band, is commonly overloaded by athletes who rapidly increase the training load. Hill climbing while running or cycling can cause IT band inflammations. A rapid increase in the distance of a long run is another culprit. The injury is often managed well with rolling the side of the thigh on a foam roller, though some athletes do not get the relief they need even with multiple treatments daily.

Compex is very effective at treating this nagging injury. Its frequencies are specific to motor neurons that stimulate muscle fibers to contract. These frequencies will not affect other tissue. When Compex is used on the side of the thigh, the muscle around the pads contracts, but the IT band itself does not. This movement of the muscle, but not of the connective tissue, breaks the adhesions that form between these two tissues and causes the pain on the outside of the knee. The thigh muscles will work much more efficiently if they are not bound to the IT band. The healing of the tissue is aided by an increased blood supply that accompanies the opening of the arterioles, feeding blood to the contracting muscle.

The benefits from treating the plantar area of the foot with Compex are the result of the same principles mentioned above; move the muscle, don't move the fascia connective tissue surrounding the muscle, and break the adhesions while increasing the blood supply to the area.

Injuries that benefit from increasing blood supply to an area can be treated with Compex. Tendonitis can be difficult to recover from, partly because tendons are not well supplied with blood. Bringing blood to the area with a Compex unit speeds recovery.

Chronic soreness and tightness are problems that aren't necessarily considered to be injuries, like sore neck and shoulders, tight and sore lower backs, tight hips and calves, and tender compartments around the shins; all of these respond well to Compex treatment. There are a number of programs that help with these issues. The Active Recovery and the Recovery Plus programs have two stages: the flush and the endorphin production. The flush stage of the program squeezes the blood out of a muscle's capillary beds. The waste products from exercise are flushed away, and there is room for fresh blood that supports the work done to recover. The endorphin production is the "feel good" part of the program. Heavy or dead feeling muscles feel lighter and fresher, and the muscles will relax once treated. If a muscle is tight and sore, this stage of the recovery programs will help a great deal. The Massage program is all about promoting endorphin production. Knotted muscles and muscles that are sore to the touch will feel light and supple as the pain melts away.

We all fall prey to our bodies' complaints about the amount of work we've done. In a whole variety of ways, Compex is a therapeutic training tool that will get you back in the game and doing what you love to do - getting out there and moving your body! HN

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