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recovery during and after long car trip

travel recovery

This is a machine translator and does not work to the same quality as a human translator

Have you ever been on a long car trip?

and had about this much room?

Did your ankles finish up like this?

Are your legs tight and sore and ankles swollen-you are lucky

They could have finished up like this!

Heading towards Deep Vein Thrombosis

It is especially noted amongst airline passenger by the term 'economy class syndrome' although is is also known to affect first and business class as well.

It is also found however to affect anyone who sits down without moving for a long time and in hospitals many people have been known to have died from it after being left lying down too long after operations

The basics of swollen ankles and deep vein thrombosis

The veins are blood vessels that take used blood back towards the heart-they have one-way valves in them so the blood can't flow back the way it came

In the legs there are different veins with different purposes-

Superficial veins which also act as a blood reservoir

Joining veins which connect them through the muscle tissues to the deep veins

Deep veins through which the majority of used blood is sent from the lower legs back to the body

The blood is made up of many parts-including clotting agents which cause the blood to form a plug and block the ends of the vessels in the event of injury
Small quanties of clotting agents are always present in the blood and are usually removed by cells in the liver

It also has anti-clotting agents to prevent it doing this until it is needed-both agents usually balance each other out-but if the balance is altered in favor of the clotting agents, blood clots can form in the vessels

Once it starts and there is nothing to stop the clot, it just keeps getting bigger and if any of it is broken away, it can block blood getting back to the heart and beyond and eventually cause death.

Internal contributors' to deep vein thrombosis

The surfaces inside the veins are usually smooth and free of defects to allow the free flow of blood through them, but this can change when there is an infection or there has been an impact.

When movement over many hours is restricted the blood moves slowly; the clotting agents are not being removed from the blood so they may hang around the damaged area and start the clotting process.

As the blood passes the rough patch slowly the clotting agents can take this for an injury and start clotting platelets can down they can concentrate at the rough spots and form clots which get bigger and bigger.

External contributors' to deep vein thrombosis
Young people can be affected through external factors so they do not escape either; drugs, alcohol, young women take the birth control pill, bruising on the legs caused by impact of bags, playing games, and doing high risk activities.

Certain groups of people are in the 'at risk' of developing deep vein thrombosis because of reasons they can't help-but others place themselves in it

  • Age

  • Family history

  • Taking drugs for medical conditions such as high blood pressure

  • Poor leg circulation

  • Recent operations

There are other contributors to this problem

  • Not Moving

  • Dehydration-not drinking enough fluid during the flight allowing the blood to thicken

Swollen ankles

Sitting down without moving for 3 hours and longer can have the effect of slowing the blood circulation

When used depleted blood reaches the ankles and just sits there stagnating ; lymph fluid starts to separate from the used blood into the tissues spaces; as it can't be pumped up the legs back to the body the ankles swell

If you don't use it you lose it!

Another contributor to both problems

Gravity and the weight of blood in the body

Water is subject to pressure-the deeper it is the more pressure there is at the bottom; on the surface the swimmer feels none, but the deeper they go the more it affects the body as the pressure increases

The term for this is Hydrostatic pressure (Hydro-water Static-standing still) and is measured in millimeters Hydrostaic gravity (mm Hg)

Blood in the body is similar; in someone standing, the pressure at the head is almost non-existent, but at the lowest part of the body the feet, the pressure is higher because of the weight of the blood

Head -10 mm Hg

Feet +90 mm hg

To keep the circulation in balance in the legs, what goes down should go back up-the same volume of blood should come out of the legs as goes into them.

To maintain this balance and pump the used blood back up the body against gravity, the body has developed a pumping system

The Calf Muscle Pump

The calf muscle pump forces used blood against gravity up the legs back to the body for recycling by alternately putting pressure on the venous system and releasing it

As the muscles squeeze, they open the valves, letting blood pass through them; when the tension is released, they close stopping the blood flowing back down towards the feet.

Oxygen depleted blood is progressively moved from the lower legs back up to the body where it is re-nourished with oxygen and nutrients and sent back out again to various parts of the body through the arteries.

All pumps need power to work them and the calf muscle pump is no exception; this is provided by the calf muscles themselves applying pressure to and releasing it to the veins; in this way used blood is passed through one-way valves against gravity back up the legs.

When the calf muscles are not working, the pump is not either-it has become inefficient

Problems caused by calf muscle pump inefficiency include

  • Poor circulation

  • Lymph system inactivity

  • Venous return reduced

Sitting in one place-the muscles do not move and provide power to the calf muscle pump

If You Don't Use It You Lose It-It Could Be Your Life

While there are systems available to help minimise the chances of developing a Deep Vein Thrombosis, the most important way is to actually move!

Making the most of the micro space you have

The car passenger may not be able to get out of the vehicle and move around as much as they would like-but they can make the most of the room they do have by turning it into a mico gym

To turn your seat Micro Seat Space into a Micro Gym-all you need is a strap!

First aid is needed for leg muscles

The faster the legs receive help, the faster they recover but it is important they get it as soon as possible before soreness and stiffness limits what can be done with them.

There are ways to give the legs first aid-

Recovery takes different forms-
Passive and Active

Passive Recovery for legs

This means letting the legs have their own way and letting them fix themselves up

-10 mm hg

+90 mm hg

Lying on the back with the legs higher than the body to help fluid drainage back to the body may help relieve them by reversing the effects of hydrostatic gravity.

Because it needs time to wait for this to happen this may eat into valuable trip time.


Turn the accomodation when you get there into a Mini Recovery Center

How much room do you need?

The chair next to the bottles (foreground) was my mini recovery center in Montreal at the 24 hour world championships- I lived and worked from it

Active recovery-means taking a pro-active role in helping the calf muscles to recover and the secret to a faster recovery is to reduce input/output required through-


  • Simplicity

  • Predictability

  • Consistency

This is applied using the latest in non-technical, non-invasive 'cutting edge' solutions to fatigued aching legs relief

Light Manual Muscle Relaxation-Do It Yourself recovery

Advantages of using Light Manual Muscle Relaxation

  • No disrobing

  • Works with the muscles not on them

  • No oil used

  • Non invasive

  • User friendly

  • Easy to learn

Turns Your Accomodation into a Micro-Recovery Center

In 2008 the World Run Project starts-I am the Muscle Recovery Specialist as part of it and expected to be on the road with the 2 runners for a fair part of the distance.

In Australia it is very difficult to get sponsors unless you already have a big name as a star-

For support crew who do cannot supply glamor it is impossible.

There are not enough funds to cover my time away so I am making my many years of knowledge available to the public.

Buying a manual form me will defray my costs of being involved in the world run project, and at the same time let the airline passenger share the experience of a recovery similar to that of the world runners at a very affordable price.

$20.00 a manual

The Micro Gym and Mini Recovery Center is available in PDF format for download now!

Win Win!

It is very difficult for the long distance passenger to win any races as they are competing with themselves and their circulation on a per flight basis, but in this situation everyone wins.

With your support I get to on the World Run and the passenger gets the very same recovery system I will be using on World Run 2!

Some References

Michael's methods of massage and blister care helped me to stay mobile throughout the race and to recover quickly afterwards. His techniques are safe and gentle.
Unlike some treatments, which put the runners and walkers at risk of muscle tears or infection, Michael's techniques are gentle, safe, reassuring, and highly effective. They enhance comfort and flexibility, build confidence, and promote success.

This booklet will help others to learn and practice Michael's methods. It is recommended reading for everyone who walks and runs and who wants to go further, go faster, or just to enjoy life more!!'

SANDRA BROWN 1996 Ladies 1000 Mile World Record Holder

1999 Ladies 100 mile Race walking World Record Holder
"I know that your massage kept a number of competitors in the event. The cold weather of Saturday afternoon and night certainly got to many of the walkers and your prompt action had them back in the race after a short stop.
In years past, that would have ended up as a non-finish. A number of walkers were able to keep going for the full 24 hours on the basis of your expert help."

Tim Ericson Secretary Australian Centurions Club

'I have known Michael Gillan for many years and have always got quick relief for my aches and pains from the stretching he performs'.
CLIFF YOUNG-75-80 24 Hour World Record Holder (150.07 kilometers)

A word from Jesper Olsen World Runner about Light Manual Muscle Relaxation
"If I hadn't had the qualified help from the excellent masseur Michael Gillan, taking several thousands of km out of my legs, I could spare myself the effort!"

"My crew for the current stages, Michael Gillan, has proven to have other talents than the quite taxing job of taking care of all the requirements of a really tired ultra runner!
He has since years back been working on a new approach to stretching and muscle-rebuilding for ultra runners. I have the last two days tried his careful stretch and massage, and a bit to my surprise the muscles are beginning to feel like before the start back in Greenwich, London!!

Usually I doesn't take massage as the legs of an ultra runner will often be quite sore during the long time events (and especially in an multi-year event like this...), and getting a massage can at times cause more injury and cramping up than good. For example my last massage was some 12 000km ago when I ran the 12-hour competition in Finland. And so far that has been the only one.

But Gillan came with best recommendations from my main contact in Australia, Phil Essam, who besides being vice president in the Australian Ultra runners Association has heaps of good knowledge to share. And this new kind of mild massage for ultra runners is definitely one of the good tips! There should be a fair chance that I actually get fresh enough to do some decent running at the 6 Day Race that I have coming up in Colac from the 21.November. I quite look forward to that, even though I can't expect to make a top class result :-)"

He won! 756.2 kilometers (Jesper holds the record for the longest run in history over 26000 kilometers and the first person to run around the world

Taken from

Do not self diagnose-before having any treatment at all on legs that look similar to mine after a long flight, it is strongly recommended that any underlying cause of them is investigated by medical professionals-the first stop is to the doctor.

It is also recommended that if you have legs like the ones shown in the photos above after a long flight that you seek medical help

The photos above are of my legs-I did not go!

Why not?

Because I am a stupid old man who is prepared to take calculated risks-I only did it the once-on the way back to Australia I used Light Manual Muscle Relaxation every 3 hours or less-

I did not include the photos of them after the flight because there was nothing wrong with them

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