Working graveyard shifts in the back of an ambulance for 5 years familiarized me with two things; tourniquets and nasty sprains. Never had I thought the two would converge as a treatment in my later years as a mobility doc.
The way we treat sprains, immobility and swelling has changed. One of our favorite techniques is at the heart of this blog known as compression or Voodoo wraps. Made most popular by Dr. Kelly Starrett @MWOD and has since trickled into boxes, gyms, clinics, and most anywhere people are trying to optimize healing and performance.
What are Voodoo / Compression Wraps?
The wrap looks and feels pretty much like the inner tube of a bike tire. Think of a strong latex tourniquet. The name voodoo though makes most people's heads tilt, and so I give kudos to their marketing team.
The band is wrapped tightly around the joint and tissue of concern for 3 minutes while the client actively moves through as MUCH range of motion as possible.
Compression + movement is brilliant science. However, I find my patients drifting off as I attempt to describe neural flossing, myofascial glide, the benefits of skeletal muscle ischemia and lymphatic decompression. Often to understand its mechanism and benefits, you have to experience it.
Essentially we are dehydrating the tissue by squeezing all the blood and lymph out. While your tissue is under tension, the client is asked to move through a given range of motion and/or roll over a mobility tool. The wrap is then removed and fresh blood bathes the porous tissue creating a mechanical pumping action.
What does compression wrapping accomplish?
- Increases mobility
- Perfuses tissues
- Increases movement quality
- Improves healing time post-injury
We use the wrap as a treatment post-injury (sprains/strains) or as a preventive mobility tool to prep for whatever movement language you speak (weight training, spinning, paddling, squatting, etc). If your joint feels tight, cranky, and restricting movement, make sure you add Voodoo wrapping in your mobility toolbox.
Dr. Travis Johnson DC - Doctor of Chiropractic - Movement & Mobility Specialist | San Diego | Your Healthy Spine | Functional Movement & Wellness