How is it that when there is inflammation or swelling or other pain inducing circumstance to joints or muscle that more often than not (at least for me) that by placing a compression bandage or hard plastic Ace bandage brace at the point of pain, that the pain can be eliminated or greatly reduced.
I’m getting pain in the brachialis or the brachioradialis area where it crosses the elbow. If I wrap it, no problem, hammer curl or pull ups are o.k.
If there is something there to cause pain, whether swelling or fluid build-up, why does compression reduce discomfort? It?s seems counter intuitive to place more pressure on an area all ready inflamed.
I know?boring topic, but I?m curious.
Boring topic? This is what I went to school for. I personally am fascinated by it. Injury sets off a cascade of events. To make it short, the first thing your body tries to do is rush blood to the area. You feel pain for several reasons, either direct injury to a nerve or changes in the environment around the nerve (including acidity and changes in oxygen saturation). Blood is rushed to the area of injury in order to bring new cells to help rebuild the area.
The swelling of the surrounding tissues and influx of more cells changes the environment around the nerve and pain is the result. My personal thought process is that it is a unique phenomenon meant to inform you to avoid the area so that your body can do it’s job and repair it (this can be good and bad sometimes as activity can also help injuries heal faster so immobility can often work against you).
By putting pressure on the area, you keep the environment from going into flux which keeps those surrounding nerves from being activated and causing more pain. Once pressure is relieved, the environment changes with the influx of more cells, water and oxygen…leading to a sensation of pain due to injury.
I hope I explained that well enough. If you want more detail, let me know.