What happens to the tendons during exercise?
Tendons are rigid structures that constitute the connections between muscles and bones. The tendon itself cannot expand or shrink. Movement is caused by the muscle that the tendons are attached to. During acute overexertion or overstretching, the tendon is damaged. Other causes can be a kick from another horse or tapping one leg with the other. When tendons are damaged, antibodies are transported in fluids, causing a visible fluid accumulation. This process, however, will also damage healthy tissue. To prevent further tendon damage, it can be useful to slow down this natural healing process, without impeding it. The blood supply in tendons is poor compared to other bodily structures. This makes nutrient supply and toxin disposal more difficult, causing a longer recovery. It’s therefore in your best interest to tackle tendon injuries as early as possible, or to pre-emptively support the tendons.
What about the muscles?
When muscles are not sufficiently prepared for a heavy workout, or when training is more intense than usual, tears can appear in the muscle fibres. The body reacts to this by sending antibodies to the affected areas. This causes an infection reaction. When there is muscle damage, substances are released that activate muscle nerves. This causes muscle aching and stiffness. Muscle aching usually sets in about 12 hours after the workout, and is at its worst after roughly 24-48 hours. The muscle fibres recover from the acute damage after 3-4 days, but can sometimes take up to 4-6 weeks to truly fully recover and emerge stronger. By accelerating the muscle recovery process, new heavy efforts can be done earlier as well. That’s why it’s advisable to use Cavalor ® Muscle Cooler at events that last several days.
Cooling down, essential for healthy tendons & muscles
Just as it is with warming up, cooling down should be an essential part of every training. The muscle metabolism that is set in motion needs time to settle down again. Finish your training or effort with a 10-minute low-intensity trot. This ensures that the built up lactic acid can be broken down again. It’s important to cool the legs properly afterwards. Cooling with water or ice is essential because this reaches all the way into the tissues beneath the skin. Cooling reduces swelling, but it can also help with quick pain-relief as it desensitizes the nerves that conduct pain of 86% and would certainly recommend it to friends or acquaintances.