The METH Method – Movement, Elevation, Traction, and Heat
METH is an acronym for Movement, Elevation, Traction, and Heat. This method doesn’t cut off blood flow to injured areas, which puts you at risk for additional injury due to decreased sensation in the area.
Mobilization is to get some range of motion back in the injured area. For shoulders belly button to butt is great. Gradual amounts of movement can guide muscles and joints back to function. Staying active is a great way to mobilize your body, but staying within pain-free ranges of motion and pain-free intensity levels make this step highly effective.
Elevate the injury when you are resting. Feel free to put your sprained ankle on a chair instead of letting it rest on the ground while you sit at your desk. Left on its own, your injury will swell more than you want it to.
Traction is a method used to encourage healing. Muscles and joints like to elongate and have space between attachments. Assisted movements, say from a strap or partner can induce temporary but therapeutic space between compressed joints. Of course, too aggressive or too much time under traction can overstretch connective tissues!
Heat encourages blood flow to an area rather than stifling it. Blood flow to an area in the right amount invites more oxygen and nutrients to healing tissues. Too much heat or too long of an exposure to hot packs can also induce inflammation! 20 continuous minutes of heat is adequate most of the time