As a marathoner, inflammation from overuse of muscles is a part of the territory. While this generally is a short term inflammation process, I thought a couple of evaluations common to runners of this process could have analogies to the markets. Exercise and strengthening is generally a form of creative destruction. You cause minor tears in the muscles to promote growth. And blood flow and cash flow to risk or non risk taking would appear on the surface to have similar effects to overall health.

First a few general rules I use as to when to not run or stop your exercise routine:

1. When there is a fever present, sore inflamed muscles with a fever, produce counter productive exercise, increase the muscular weakness due to flu. An in some cases can cause permanent damage to the heart. A systemic failure can reverse the creative destruction process.

2. When overuse such as during a marathon, where you hit the wall, causes massive damage. However, much healing and increased blood volume can be achieved by mild running before the pain recedes and while you are still weakened.

3. When the pain causes your form to deteriorate, to the point of causing other injuries. Minor tendon swelling can often be run through, with the exception of the Achilles. But tendon pain generally is a sign to look for the cause. The usual first cause is a worn pair of shoes. Many committed runners have a difficult time accepting the advice to stop running, simply because it alleviates the symptoms, without finding the underlying cause of the inflammation.

4. When inflammation is caused by something foreign to running, say a car accident, cancer etc.

Second, when it is good to use ice versus heat to improve the healing.

Ice is good for inflammation caused by pooling or coagulation of the blood. Because it decreases the blood flow to the inflamed spot. This would include inflamed tendons, sprained ankles, or an achilles injury. Whereas heat is good for muscles that are "knotted" because it increases the blood flow. This would include torn muscles or tense shoulder blades or neck muscles.

Dean Davis responds to point 3:

This is seen often in baseball pitchers, where general fatigue, a twisted ankle or some other distant physical insult, causes a change in the pitcher's form such that it leads to a devastating injury in the throwing shoulder, wrist or elbow. Compensation that destroys good form is a constant worry for the pitcher.


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