Compex is a brand of electrical muscle stimulator that is popular among endurance athletes. Tollakson owns a unit and uses it not so much for daily recovery, but to treat incipient injuries and prevent them from getting worse.
“If I get back and my hamstring is sore, the first thing I’m going to do is ice it; the second thing I’m going to do is stick the Compex on it to increase the blood flow around that area,” he said.
There is no clear line distinguishing normal tissue trauma incurred during exercise and the beginning of some overuse injuries. Many overuse injuries, most notably patellofemoral pain syndrome, which is an overuse injury of the knee characterized by pain beneath the kneecap during activity, start when muscle or connective tissue fails to fully repair itself between workouts, allowing damage to accumulate. Thus, there is no clear line between this particular aspect of recovery and injury prevention. So, in using his Compex to nip injuries in the bud, Tollakson is also using it for recovery, in a sense.