Connect13 Day 2 – Part One: Inflammation is Good For You (Except When it's Not)

edf5a162dfYesterday was all about fascia,  today is all about muscle. Well muscle and fascia. Muscle and fascia, muscle and fascia… go together like Boris and Natasha? Okay, back to the drawing board with that one and let's get on with what you came here for. 9:15 AM: Acronym alert! Professor Steinacker laid out the formation of DAMPs – Damage Activated Molecular Pathogens that arise a a result of exercise and gives the data around acute and chronic inflammation. You do want acute inflammation in training, that's part of the body's cycle.

He also explained that cold therapy is a DAMP, and called for the judicious use of it. In small doses it is effective, but the key here is brevity and proper application  which varies with the type of injury.

The professor works with the Olympic rowing team here, and it is again very nice to see a lecture that has both the research and the practical applications. On the question of how much training one should do he mentions a trainer he knows who says: "When there is blood in the urine, that's when I know they are training hard enough."

I think I'll be staying away from that guy. I think Herr Steinacker will too.

9:52 AM: Jonathan Peake from Queensland is up next to talk about the roles of cytokines and myokines in inflammation and regeneration. Among the many studies that he sites there is one from 2011 by Takagi that conclusively shows that the use of NSAIDs after exercise inhibits protein synthesis.

10:30AM: James Tidball wraps it all this inflammatory talk with more dynamically presented data and one thing that really jumps out is a 1991 study by Misha showing that NSAIDS can slow muscle healing.

So the main takeaways here are:

1) A certain amount of short-term inflammation is natural in training and exercise (so get used to it).

2) NSAIDs can be effective in the short term for more extreme inflammatory states resulting from injuries and such but long-term use will actually impede the healing of muscle tissue.

High Noon:  In a really nice move all the poster presenters are given 5 minutes to explain their research to us. Though I know this sort of thing is not always possible, I would like to see more of this kind of inclusion at more conferences.

Coming up later – tendon storage capacity and Benno Nigg owns with the lowdown on barefoot running!