What is the voodoo floss? What does it have to do with performance? Well Dr. Kelly Starrett whom we interviewed in an earlier piece could explain it way better than we can so we suggest you check out more on Voodoo Flossing via the Mobility WOD site, YouTube or even in the book Becoming a Supple Leopard.
Basically, this is just our personal demo and experience with using the Voodoo Floss. As we’ve discussed if you have swelling/inflammation from an injury and want to reduce it you shouldn’t use ice. We have now learned that rest/elevation is an good option, movement (if it doesn’t hurt too much) is another and lastly flush the blood out. Moving that blood out can be done a few ways, but, an inexpensive and simple way is to use compression from a Voodoo Floss. They can be found on-line for about $20.
They are a durable long, wide, stretchable elastic latex band which you can use to wrap the problem area and put pressure below and on the injured area. They are something you can put in your bag, take with you etc.
This is an over simplification, but what you are doing with the band is creating some pressure/compression around the swelling and forcing the swelling to start to move out of the area through the Lymphatic System. You are trying to restore movement and blood flow to the area/joint/muscle to get it to heal. Acupressure and manual lymphatic drainage are also other forms to naturally drain the lymph which is the system that carries waste product away from the tissues.
Kelly Starrett recommends flossing an injury like ours for about two (2) minutes several times a day. If you can, move and flex while you have the voodoo floss on so you can get movement and blood flow going. There are plenty of videos on-line to check out if you want to know how to do it. Again we are just sharing how we used it and the positive experience we had.
So as you can see (pictured to the left) there was some serious swelling on that right ankle and foot. We could move it so we used the Voodoo Floss to get pressure on and then proceed to move the foot up and down, side to side, try to flex and relax it all so we can get the blood flowing. We didn’t want to put the wrap on so tight that we lost blood flow, but it was on there pretty tight.
Now we weren’t sure how fast or how well this would work, as we knew from the start it’s a process not a one time panacea. At the time we were putting the floss on; we couldn’t really stand or walk without pain and had limited mobility in that ankle.
So we did the floss. Each time after we took it off there is a bit of relief as there is no pressure, but the part that was amazing was how much more mobility and movement we had in that ankle and that we could actually walk and stand with way less pain.
Over time it starts to become uncomfortable again and so we would repeat the process and each time we would experience an increase in mobility and function, so over the next few days we kept using the floss throughout the day (no ice) and while the swelling went down at a slower rate than anticipate (there were some other health factors that caused that) we did restore the ability to walk and move within a few days.
This experience and using the Voodoo Floss really cemented our belief that "Icing" is not effective for swollen joints and that using the floss/compression and movement are much more effective way and faster way to restore function to those injured areas. And for most of you that means playing again! For the price we think its something you all should get for your trainer's kits or keep in your kit bags.
We used the floss from Rogue Fitness, but you can find other options on-line.