Athletic Bag Essentials Part II

As I tried to prioritize the most important items I've carried in my athletic bags over the years, I really struggled because each item has been important at some time. Let's face it, when you are competing you never know what or when some nagging injury will occur. The important thing is that you have it when you need it. None of the competitors I know want to quit unless the injury is really "major league". I think you'll agree that the following are essentials.
The item I've used most often for different applications has been the good old ace bandage that you can get at any drug store. I like the 4 inch width the best because it can cover more area with less sliding around like smaller size do. The newer versions use velcro at the end of the wrap so you don't have to use those old pointy clips that scratched your skin.The newest product is the cohesive elastic bandage (shown on the right). The cohesive elastic bandage is a stretchable wrap that sticks to itself. The bandage easily conforms to your body joints large or small. It features special cohesive material that will not stick to your skin or hair, just itself, so removal is painless and easy. It can be easily hand torn so there is no need for scissors or a special dispenser. The old standby is standard athletic tape which I've used often in the past for sprained ankles. Team athletic trainers are "artists" with athletic tape and use it for any number of injuries and protective devices. [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="115"]cohesive elastic wrap Cohesive Elastic Bandage[/caption]
When you get done with your athletic activity it's important to apply cold to your sprain or strain. Cold therapy reduces pain, inflammation and swelling. If ice is not available, I'd recommend an instant cold pack which offers immediate cold without refrigeration or freezing. Simply squeeze the bag to activate and the bag will turn cold. If ice is available I use an economical ice bag that safely holds cold water, crushed ice, or ice cubes for quick and easy cold therapy. Use your ace bandage to hold the ice bag against your injured body part. Another option is a combination ice bag with an adjustable neoprene wrap which enables hand-free application of cold therapy. The thermal neoprene wrap maintains the the required temperature longer and provides adjustable compression with the use of strong Velcro closures.
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="91" class=" "] Instant Cold Pack[/caption] [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="125" class=" "] Ice Bag[/caption] [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="120" class=" "] Multi-Purpose Cold Wrap[/caption]
I may be a little over cautious, but I also carry a basic knee brace and a simple ankle brace in my bag at all times. But hey, that's me because those seem to be the joints that I've had the most trouble with. Last but not least, I always have a supply of anti-inflammatory tablets in my bag (I use Ibuprofen). They work great to relieve joint pain.   About the Author: Bruce is the president of Return2Fitness, an online sports medical resource and product center. His "entrepreneurial spirit" has resulted in the founding or acquisition of 20 companies during his 39 year career. Bruce is not a medical professional so please consult your local specialist before making any changes in the treatment of any injury or condition. Thanks for reading my post! For more information connect with me: Return2FitnessEmailLinkedInFacebookSquidoo  

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