Odds and ends: injury remedies, etc
First, this is a great post from Studio Veena, about how to treat various pole-related maladies:
One thing I will add is a tidbit of advice sent to me by Drea, which she got from a blog by Aerial Amy – for pole burns on the tops of your feet (from climbing), instead of using a bandaid to protect them, use a hydrocolloid bandage. She swears by them. They should be available at Walgreens and the like, although I had a hard time finding one at CVS the other day.
As far as my own treatments go, I do follow some of what was suggested in the Studio Veena blog. If I have poled particularly hard, I come home and set up an Epsom salt bath. Target has some great Dr. Teal’s salts in different scents – I like the Eucalyptus – for about $7 a bag (6lbs). However, if you don’t care about scents, Costco offers a 12lb case of unscented Dr. Teal’s Epsom salt for the same price. I think I use about 3 cups in each bath. I once read that the bath water should not be over 100 degrees, but that was for using the salts to treat skin issues (they can also be therapeutic for things like psoriasis, I think).
I do have Arnica lotion – purchased from Whole Foods (also available in gel form) – and I have had Traumeel recommended to me, but have not picked up any to try it (if you’re in LA, Erewhon Market is supposed to carry it). I also used the Arnica pills (the kind that dissolve under your tongue) – again, Whole Foods – while I was training for PPC. A bonus factoid about Arnica: it can be used as an under eye treatment to reduce dark circles/bags/puffiness (according to the internet). I also have a foam roller at home, to work out any tight muscles – it hurts like hell sometimes, especially if you’re really tight, but it can help release some of the tension, especially in the thighs. I haven’t quite worked out how to use it effectively on my back/arms/shoulders (which, sadly, is what tends to need it the most). Massages are always great, although I can’t usually afford them. 😉
I always seem to have grip issues now that I’m conditioning for aerial – my hands only have so much strength in them each class. Kelli, one of the lovely instructors at The Pole Garage, told me to start cross training with weights at home, to help build the other muscles in my arms. She was having the same issues, so much so that she began to have pain radiating along the bones in her forearm (which has started to happen to me), and once she began cross training, it went away. I do wonder if this is because I’m heavier than would be ideal for doing aerial – my body hasn’t quite caught up to the strength it needs to have to support itself. Which sucks. I hate dieting. I love food. But, I also hate feeling squashy and the fact that the majority of my pants don’t quite fit like they used to.
Now, regarding training…I haven’t done a damn thing in the last two weeks because of my hand injury. It’s still not back to normal, which I guess should not be a surprise, but it is frustrating. There is still pain in the area of the bite, and although the puncture wounds are healing well, they do still hurt. What is more troubling to me is that I don’t yet have full mobility – I cannot fully extend my left arm in every direction. Specifically, if I extend my arm and try to move my hand up (i.e. back of the hand moved back toward the forearm), I feel a tug in my hand. I need to begin to slowly stretch it, but it worries me – I already have decreased strength because of it, and my hand begins to ache if I do anything for too long – like folding laundry (laaaaaaame). I’ve taken a few right-handed spins on my home pole, and I can do them, although not that well because I’m not conditioned on the right. It does help that I am right-handed in real life, so I have some coordination, but it feels weird to take pole that way. I have to think about everything twice before I do it. I’ve tried to do some pull ups on the pole, but I don’t have much grip/strength, and I haven’t been back to class yet. I am hoping to go next week and see what I can do, even if it’s not my usual amount of work. On the plus side, I now have an excuse to not do planks in the warm up! Yay! (Sorry Drea – truthfully, I rarely do them anyway because they mess with my wrists so much.)
It is incredibly frustrating to not be able to use my hand normally. Even just walking around bothers it sometimes. I find that if I am out and about, it tends to ache the longer that I am walking around. Despite this, I’ve gone on a series of really long walks in my area with my boyfriend, in order to get some exercise – I live very close to the hills in two directions, so we’ve been exploring new streets and finding some of the fun secret staircases in the area (something I love to do). It’s not pole, but it’s something to keep active until my hand is fully healed. I haven’t pushed anything with my hand, mostly because I am afraid of doing more damage.
Fair warning, these are all photos of my injury, so if you’re squeamish, maybe don’t look. 🙂