Von Wafer is just a cool sounding name. I just like to say it. Von Wafer. Say it to yourself…Von… Ok this is silly, I really should be in Grade One. For the last couple of weeks I have been a “Grade One”. I’ve been dealing with a Grade One Calf Sprain. and like many injuries a calf injury is graded by in it’s severity. With a Calf Sprain – Grade One, you’re usually out for around 2 weeks, Calf Sprain – Grade Two and you’re looking at least a month. With a Calf Sprain – Grade Three, let’s just say that you’ll need to see a doctor. This is a serious injury and you should let him or her advise  you. It’s a good idea to be careful with diagnosing a calf sprain as it’s the kind of injury that comes back to haunt you, as my story will tell. If you’ve got any more than slight discomfort after a week or so get a professional to take a look at it.

In my case I initially though I’d just “run it off” and play through the injury. This was a bad decision. The calf got tighter and the pain even worse. I didn’t feel comfortable jumping off the leg and sometimes had sharp pains deep in the calf. After a week of this I could tell that this injury just wasn’t going away, it was getting worse.

Luckily the treatment for the Class One is pretty standard. Apply the R.I.C.E, that’s Rest, Ice, Compression and keep the injury Elevated. You should cycle through this procedure at least a couple times a day. Add a little bit of the magic of aspirin (for the swelling) and you’re through the hard part of a Class One Calf Sprain.

With an injury like this, the muscle gets tight and wound up. You can feel that the calf needs a good deep massage to help it along. It just needs to unwind. You’ve now the perfect opportunity visit that new Chinese massage salon on the corner. Ask for the “Sports Massage” with “Release” ;)

So after a couple days of R.I.C.E I started to try to stretch it out. It was very, very tight. It wasn’t going to move. I tried to massage out the kinks in the  calf muscle using my knuckles. This was slowly working, it just wasn’t very effective. Luckily I had a new tool to test out, a stick massage roller. Basically a stick with padded rollers on it.

With all the blood rushing to the calf it needs what I eventually found out to be called a “myofascial release”. With a self massage tool you can work into the painful areas and ease out muscle tightness at your own pace and you’ll also do it frequently. But be advised, this approach requires that you put yourself through a bit of pain. Some people find this to be nice. For me, I just try to embrace the pain knowing that it’s getting the healing on it’s way.

As expected there are lots of similar competing  products for what is basically a stick with foam around it.  There’s the “The Stick” (yup that’s what it called) and the “Tiger Tail” and even some “mini versions” as well. These products are all basically the same.

The Pro-Tec Foam Massage Roller is 55cm long with foam handles on either side with a cylinder with four foam bands. The nice feature with this roller is that the bands can be moved along the cylinder so that both small and large areas can be worked on. This also means that you’ll be able to work around a problem area with better precision and not require a “mini version”.

To finish the story, after one week I returned to light play. Every day I’m doing some extra stretching and one cycle of R.I.C.E with a couple of sessions with the roller massager. On each day I can feel the progress and effectiveness of this treatment. The added benefits of a frequent and rigorous sports massage are evident, and this tool has proved to be very handy. I simply “roll out” problem area’s as required. After less than two weeks the pain and tightness in my calf is gone.

I’ve now a good reason to test out some nifty looking calf supports and sleeves. Are these really more than “fashion” support? And the connection of all this to “Von Wafer”? He’s a hot shooting NBA guard who’s struggled with calf sprain injuries throughout his career. After selling out our first batch, The Pro-Tec Massage Roller is now back in stock and available on WayandPath.com. Buy it here!

 

 

 

 

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