Voodoo Floss aka Compression Band Therapy
Compression Band Therapy (CBT) appeared in the last 10 years. It aims to:
- increase range of motion
- improve muscle mobility
- decrease pain and
- potentially increase recovery rates.
What happens during the process? A latex-based elastic band is wrapped tightly around the area of discomfort. While you have the band on, the area is moved in all directions either actively (by yourself) or passively (by someone else e.g. therapist). The whole experience lasts about 1min. not bad right?
But does it actually work? We have found good therapeutic results, subjectively. Objectively, there is very limited research behind it and the research there is, apart from mainly being in Spanish, seems to mostly come from CrossFit websites rather than critically appraised articles.
And actually, in terms of evidence, it is booming with anecdotal research done not only by CrossFit fanatics but also different healthcare professionals.
There are two main theories of how it works:
Fascia is another type of soft tissue. We could say it looks a bit like thick clingfilm that wraps and separates the different structures in the body. Like clingfilm it seems to have the bad habit of “sticking” (adhering) to itself. With the voodoo floss, we are combining compression (through the use of the band) and the movement, creating a friction that is thought to be able to break down the adhesions in the fascia.
By compressing the tissues in a specific area, we can block the blood flow for a limited time. When we release the band, it increases the blood flow to the area, allowing oxygen and nutrients to access the area whilst getting rid of waste. This is also the theory behind a lot of massage techniques.
With the combination of these theories you would be able to increase range of movement, decrease pain and tightness as well as increase recovery rates.
Personally, I use it for my forearms and it has seemed to have helped with my “clicky wrists” and slight Repetitive Strain Syndrome. Fancy giving it a go?