Medi-Dyne® Celebrates 20th Anniversary Medi-Dyne Healthcare Products is proud to celebrate its twentieth year as an innovative manufacturer of products that…
Medi-Dyne® Celebrates 20th Anniversary Medi-Dyne Healthcare Products is proud to celebrate its twentieth year as an innovative manufacturer of products that…
5 Reasons why you should stretch in the morning Growing up in the dance world stretching was essential for a…
Posted on April 24th, 2018
Cycling season is upon us and it’s time to get energized and think about new approaches to your health and well-being— to change, to grow, to challenge yourself.
With that in mind, here are some tips on getting your body ready from head-to-toe.
First set some goals for your cycling. Goals help you maintain motivation, especially one that’s within reach. Maybe you want to do your first triathlon or commit to a new PR. Reach out to friends or cycling groups to ride or train together. Need inspiration? The Cyclist’s Bucket List by Ian Dille has ideas for you. Or search online for websites related to cycling.
Your bike set-up is important to keep your back healthy, but an incorrect bike fit isn’t likely to be the only factor in lower back pain.
What is? Well, muscle fatigue may play a role. The back and abdomen are the weakest link for the majority of cyclists. Cyclists have strong leg muscles but don’t have the core and back strength to support their leg power. If the core is weak you lose power to the pedals.
To strengthen your core and back you’ll need to do some work off the bike. The best thing you can do is stretch. The CoreStretch was originally developed for Physical Therapists to help patients achieve a lower back stretch by using the body’s natural traction. It’s now available for personal use and eliminates the guess work while stretching.
You would think that the evolving technology in cycling shorts would eliminate the need for a protection barrier to prevent saddle sores. Unfortunately, this is not the case in many situations, such as: long rides, indoor training, where you’re on the saddle a lot; and after being off the bike for an extended period. In these cases, you need a barrier. One option is chamois cream but these are messy and also don’t last long. Using a barrier roll-on, like ButtShield, provides a non-messy application that is waterproof and lasts your entire workout. It also contains anti-bacterial and anti-fungal ingredients to help reduce the likelihood of skin infections.
Don’t forget that basic hygiene helps too, like getting out of your shorts and into the shower as soon as possible.
There’s no way around it; if you spend long hours on your bike, parts of your body are going to end up hurting. This is especially true for your legs and feet which are doing most of the work. Together all of the following muscles contract in sequence, allowing you to pedal:
Want to help those muscles work together? Focus on building off-the-bike leg strength, stretch after your ride, and get deep muscle massages frequently. An affordable way to get a the impact of massage is with a tool like the RangeRoller. This is a do-it-yourself massager that prevents injuries, aids in recovery, and increases blood flow. I use mine in the evenings for a few minutes while watching TV.
And lastly, what about your feet? We tend to forget about our feet until they fail and start to cause us pain. But there may be some simple preventative solutions to keep them healthy and increase your cycling power. First, invest in a trusted cycling shoe that fits. A good shoe will effectively transfer power to your pedals and keep your feet comfortable and supported. To keep your feet pain free and dry, use a blister prevention product like BlisterShield in your socks. I find BlisterShield especially useful in damp or hot conditions to prevent foot sores.
Following these simple but effective head to toe steps will get your body in shape now and keep you pedaling all summer long.
Jen Charrette is an avid road cyclist and mountain biker. She travels full time with her husband Randy, 2 sons, and 8 bikes. They chase summer while homeschooling and working remotely. You can find them online @pedaladventures or www.pedaladventures.com
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Posted on March 13th, 2018
by Joe Humphries
It’s difficult to argue against the benefits of exercise; several studies have shown a correlation between exercise and life expectancy. According to a cancer.gov article, those who are physically active often live 3.4 years longer than those who lead a sedentary lifestyle. That being said, there are a few key principles that you should become familiar with before embarking on your fitness journey. The things that we do leading up to, and after, the gym will dictate how much we benefit from exercise. Good nutrition is essential if you plan on getting through a strenuous workout; so, fuel your body with healthy and nutritious meals. Also, be sure to stretch before you begin your workouts. Why is stretching so important? Well, there are a number of benefits; this is the perfect time to not only warm up your muscles but to also improve your range of motion. Taking a few minutes to warm up will allow you to get the most out of exercise and can help prevent injury.
What does stretching entail, exactly? Stretching involves mobilizing your joints. During this process, muscle temperature increases and the body’s nervous system becomes fully engaged. To better contextualize this statement, imagine starting up a car on a very cold day; you would want to make sure that your vehicle is primed and ready to go before embarking on your journey.
Of course, stretching doesn’t stop simply because you’ve started a few working sets; to maximize your workout, you will want to stretch in between sets and after your workout. This form of stretching is referred to as “static stretching.” The name is derived from the stretching style, whereby you stretch and hold that particular position for a few seconds. Static stretching is great for reducing lactic acid build-up; if you’re unfamiliar with this term, lactic acid is that burning sensation that you feel after fatiguing a particular muscle. This burning sensation can be attributed to a build-up of lactic acid in the muscle, by stretching and holding that stretched position (usually 10-30 seconds) the lactic acid will begin to dissipate. Lastly, a post-workout stretch is great as the body cools down; stretching after a workout improves flexibility and reduces cramping.
Honestly, there is no one way to stretch; the key is to stretch properly, which could mean incorporating dynamic, passive, or active stretching into your workouts. So, let’s break these concepts down:
∙ Dynamic stretching– this is where you move your body through a series of challenging movements, which will, in turn, increase your range of motion.
∙ Passive stretching– this is where you incorporate equipment like ProStretch Plus, as well as body weight exercises, into your routine.
∙ Active stretching– this is where you contract one muscle while allowing the other muscle to relax.
Although these concepts may sound challenging, they ensure that you get the absolute best out of your workouts. Whether you’re trying to lose weight, build muscle, or simply looking to get toned, stretching exercises are critical to your success. So, if you’re not already stretching before, during, and after your workouts, hopefully, this article has encouraged you to start.
Joe Humphries is a contributing writer and media specialist for Orangetheory Fitness. He regularly writes for health and fitness blogs with an emphasis on high intensity interval training.
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For additional stretching tips, read Getting a Safe and Effective Tight Calf Stretch.
For tips on how to avoid injury, read Scariest Word for Runners: Injury.
Posted on September 13th, 2017
Shin splints typically occur below the knee either on the front outside part of the leg (anterior shin splints) or the inside of the leg (medial shin splints), and almost EVERY athlete has experienced them. They usually occur in beginning runners that increase their mileage too quickly or veteran runners, who add speed work, change of terrain or too much volume to their workout routines. Basically, shin splints are always caused by TOO MUCH TOO SOON.
There can be a number of imbalances happening at once which make the cause of your shin splints hard to pinpoint, but here are a few of the main causes. Overpronation (a frequent cause of medial shin splints), inadequate stretching, old shoes or shoes that are not right for your body and foot type, excessive stress placed on one leg or one hip from running on cambered roads or always running in the same direction on a track, and the most common, doing too much too soon.
It is hard to define what a shin splint is since there is no end-all consensus among sports scientists and doctors. Most believe they are small tears in the muscle that’s pulled off the bone, an inflammation of the thin sheath of tissue that wraps around the tibia, or shin bone, an inflammation of the muscle, or some combination of these. The most common symptom for shin splints is pain in the medial area (the inside of the shin) or anterior area (toward the outside of the leg). So while the experts can’t agree on what they are exactly, they do agree on how to treat them.
Sadly, most experts agree that you should stop running completely or decrease your training depending on the extent and duration of pain. Then during the acute phase, you need to ice your shin to reduce inflammation. The best method of icing is freezing water in Dixie cups and doing an ice massage on the area. After you bring the inflammation down, here are some other treatments to try:
1) Stretching: Stretch your Achilles if you have medial shin splints, and your calves if you have anterior shin splints. The best way to do this is to use the Pro-Stretch by Medi-Dyne. You can also gently stretch your shins by kneeling on a mat, legs and feet together and toes pointed directly back. Then slowly sit back onto your calves and heels. Push your ankles into the floor until you feel tension in the muscles of your shin. Hold for 10 to 12 seconds, relax and repeat 3-5 times.
2) Strengthen: In a standing position, balance on one leg and spell out the alphabet on the floor or in the air with your toes. Do this with each leg. Another great strength exercise is to alternate walking on your heels for 30 seconds with 30 seconds of regular walking. Repeat 4-5 times. These exercises are good for both recovery and prevention. Try to do them three times a day at least 3x a week.
3) Compression: Compression binds the tendons up against the shaft of the shin to prevent stress. So if you continue running and reduce your volume, wrap your leg before you run. You can use either tape or an Ace bandage, starting just above the ankle and continuing to just below the knee. You can wear compression sleeves or compression socks too, my favorite are Cho-Pat Calf Compression Sleeve or the Shin Splint Compression Sleeve. Just make sure you keep wrapping your leg until the pain goes away, which usually takes three to six weeks.
4) Cross-Train: Cross-Train for a while to let your shin heal. Swim, run in the pool, elliptical, strength train or ride a bike. When you return to running, increase your mileage slowly, no more than 10 percent weekly.
5) Proper Shoes: You need to wear the correct running shoes for your foot type. Go to your local running store and have an associate fit you. Typically, overpronators should wear motion-control shoes. Severe overpronators may need orthotics. When you find a pair or two that are comfortable and work for your feet, make sure to buy two pairs and alternate wearing them to vary the stresses on your legs.
6) Terrain: Avoid hills and excessively hard surfaces until shin pain goes away completely, and then re-introduce them gradually to prevent a recurrence. If the roads you run on are cambered, run out and back on the same side of the road. Likewise, when running on a track, switch directions.
Luckily, shin splints can usually be dealt with quickly by looking at your training and your biomechanics. Just make sure you do more than just ice and take inflammation pills. You won’t prevent re-injury unless you find and fix the underlying cause.
Meghan is a USA Track & Field coach and a RRCA (Road Runners of America) certified distance coach. She is a certified personal trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine and a level 3 USA Cycling Coach. She has over 12 years of experience teaching spin classes, weight-lifting, and group exercise. Meghan is also experienced runner, ultrarunner, and triathlete competing, winning, and placing in 5Ks, 10Ks, half-marathons, marathons, ultra distances, and triathlons. She also holds multiple state Powerlifting records. Learn more about Meghan www.trainwithmeghan.com
Medi-Dyne is proud to have Meghan as an Athlete Ambassador.
* Consult your doctor for proper diagnosis and rehabilitation.
Posted on May 17th, 2017
Knee pain can be debilitating, but there are ways to treat it so you can become pain-free once again. You just need to know the underlying cause before you can get treatment for your discomfort. So take a look at the most common causes of knee pain, along with some effective treatment options that can get you on the road to recovery.
Your knee contains a firm, flexible type of cartilage called a meniscus. When you injure this part of your knee, it’s called a meniscus tear. This is one of the most common types of knee injuries, especially among athletes who play sports like football, soccer, volleyball or any activity that requires you to quickly switch directions while running.
The symptoms of a meniscus tear include a pop when the injury occurs, followed by knee pain, swelling and difficulty either straightening or bending the leg. While a small meniscus tear may heal on its own with the help of some rest, ice and an elastic bandage, more severe tears often require knee surgery.
Aside from cartilage, your knee also contains ligaments that connect the thigh bone to the bones in the lower leg. It’s common for athletes to tear or sprain the ligaments, especially the anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL. This is another knee injury that may occur when you suddenly switch directions while running, which is why you might often hear about ACL injuries among famous football and basketball players.
Like the meniscus tear, you might notice a pop when you injure a ligament in your knee. It may be followed by pain, swelling, limited mobility and the inability to put any weight on it. The most important step for treating this knee injury is to let the area rest, along with applying ice to it and supporting it with an elastic bandage. Many people end up also needing either physical therapy or surgery to repair the ligament.
There are a few types of arthritis that affect the knee. The most common type is osteoarthritis, in which the cartilage in the knee is gradually worn down. This can lead to knee pain, swelling, stiffness and limited mobility. Another type is rheumatoid arthritis, which is an autoimmune disease that results in inflammation of the tissue near the joint. Post-traumatic arthritis is also a common cause of knee pain, and it occurs after you’ve injured your knee in some way and damaged the cartilage.
The symptoms of arthritis can make the knee swell, hurt, and feel stiff and hard to move. The treatment for this cause of knee pain depends on the type of arthritis and symptoms that are present. But it generally includes medication to reduce inflammation and pain, the use of knee braces and bandages, physical therapy, or surgery.
If you were in a car accident, experienced a fall or had some other type of trauma done to your body, it’s possible that your knee pain is caused by a fracture of the knee bones. If the pain is severe and you cannot walk, you should talk to your doctor to find out if you’ve broken a bone in the knee, such as your kneecap.
If it turns out your knee is fractured, you will likely need a cast and crutches so the bone can heal over time. Eventually you should be able to get the cast off and start using a knee brace or compression sleeve to support the area when you walk.
In fact, you can often reduce knee pain of any kind by providing extra support with a knee strap or compression sleeve any time you plan to be active. Fortunately, there are lots of products on the market that can relieve your knee pain. Your doctor can advise you before you choose the right one.
Visit www.cho-pat.com to learn more about pain solutions for knee pain.
Posted on November 15th, 2016
The holiday season is once again upon us and if you are like me, you struggle with what to get your loved ones. I always want my gift to be well received, but I look for other details as well; for example, can I get it from a local business? Is it made in the USA? Would it be useful to them? Would they even want it? No wonder people say the holidays are stressful!
I picked out ten gifts that I think your favorite athlete would enjoy and secretly won’t return behind your back.
I stumbled on Five1Five Signs medal holders a couple years ago and am a huge fan. Their signs are unique because they are hand painted carved wood signs, not just vinyl letters like most other signs. I have one in my office and I have given out a few as gifts and people really love them. These signs aren’t just for runners, but for swimmers, gymnasts, triathletes and more. Contact Andy and you can have it personalized so your favorite athlete can hang their medals proudly!
When I was a runner, I would do the majority of my running in the dark by myself, especially when the time changed in November. I was ALWAYS decked out head to toe in reflective gear, lights, and bright colors, but all that gear wouldn’t have saved me from an attacker. Tiger Lady is safety at your fingertips. It is small, light weight, and needs no batteries or charging. I had no issues running with it and it made me feel A LOT safer no matter where I was. I carry it when I’m not running as well so instead of holding onto my phone in my hand, I replaced with a Tiger Lady. No one coming up to attack me would suspect that I had a self defense claw in my hand. To activate the three claws, all you have to do is close your hand and make a fist. The retractable claws protrude between your knuckles ready to meet your attacker. I feel confident and very Wolverine-like when I have my Tiger Lady.
The RangeRoller is no joke. It gives you a a deep massage that you wouldn’t believe! The roller gets in the inner and outer layers of muscles and tissue to help break up and eliminate scar tissue, increase circulation and is effective getting out those nasty knots from just about anywhere. My husband, myself and even our dogs love it!
I think Road ID is probably the number one item that every athlete should have because it can save your life. They make these bracelets for adults and children and they make them in a variety of styles and colors. Your personal and medical information can be accessed from medical personnel through their website. They will be able to access your emergency contacts, your doctors, insurance information, medications, allergies, surgeries, and so much more. You can go online and update it anytime you want. If you don’t have one, GET ONE! It will give you and your loved ones piece of mind when you are out on the roads.
CopyCat Yoga Mat
I came across the Copycat Yoga Mat on Etsy and I thought this was such a cool product. I was a disaster at yoga and never knew where to put my hands and feet for poses. I’d feel frustrated and miss instructions on breathing or other information. In class, I felt self conscious and I think this mat will really help adults and children learn yoga with confidence. Not only does the mat show foot and hand placement, but it shows different poses like Triangle and Halfmoon. The mat is non toxic, eco friendly, phthalate and latex free, SGS tested and certified. It is extra thick (1/4″ which is twice as thick than a standard yoga mat), extra long (72″ x 24″ which is 4″ longer than a standard yoga mat) and self adjusts to work with any height.
If your favorite athlete complains of achilles tendonitis, ankle pain, back pain, calf strain and tight calf muscles, arch pain, plantar fasciitis, heel pain, ball of foot pain, tight hamstring pain, IT band syndrome, and/or shin pain, then the Pro-stretch Plus is going to help them. It helps give you an effective and comfortable stretch that will help prevent future injuries. You are going to save them so much pain, aggravation, and frustration, plus YOU won’t have to hear them keep complaining about their pain every time you talk to them. It’s a win-win!
I came across the Shwings a few years ago and immediately fell in love with them. They have over 150 styles in all different colors and will make all your shoes look unique and fun! They have wings, lighting bolts, skulls, butterflies, and even mustaches! They have been featured in magazines such as InStyle, UsWeekly, Parents and more. They are a perfect stocking stuffer for kids and adults of all ages. I have three pairs myself!
“The Long Run” by Matt Long
I’m constantly talking about Matt Long and his inspiring book, “The Long Run”. While bike riding, Matt was hit by a twenty ton bus making an illegal turn and his bike “sliced him open like a can”. He needed sixty eight units of blood 10 hours after the accident and was in the hospital for five months. Every bone in his left leg was broken, the right side of his pelvis was shattered, as well as his right shoulder and severed multiple arteries. He would endure over forty operations and the doctors weren’t even sure he would walk again, let alone compete. Matt’s book describes his intense and painful recovery and how he was able finish the NYC marathon three years after the accident. This story is incredible and I’m not lying when I say that I read it at least once a year.
2Toms SportsShield Towelette
Ah, chafing, every runners nightmare. Since I was bigger runner I had lots of chafing issues and after a particular run while training for the NYC marathon last year, I realized BodyGlide wasn’t going to cut it. As I silently screamed in agony in the shower after a long run, I decided to try some new products. I came across 2Toms SportShield Towelettes during a Runchat, looked at their products and decided to try their towelettes and roll on. Since I’ve tried them, I haven’t had any chafing issues. NOT ONE. I’m particularly fond of the towelettes because they are small and portable. I had been known to unwrap one and stick it down my bra for long runs just in case I’ve missed a spot.
BackBeat Fit Bluetooth Headphones
I actually won a pair of these BackBeat Fit headphones and I’m a huge fan. When we joined Rex Wellness Center earlier this year, I wanted a pair of wireless headphones because my wires kept getting caught on the machines and weights, it drove me crazy. It was easy hooking them up with my phone so I was happily watching Parks and Rec while on the bike or listening to JT while using the weight machines. I found they were easy to use, comfortable and the sound is fantastic. It definitely drowns out crying babies and overly talkative adults on airplanes.
What is on your wishlist this year?
About Jen Haught: Jen grew up in Manchester, NH and then moved to the Raleigh, NC area in 2003 with her husband and two dogs, Jager and Sammy. She likes reading, make up, coloring, hiking, hockey, working out and being lazy.
Jen has overcome her share of injuries and health and fitness struggles, but enjoys inspiring others to live their best happy, healthy lives.
Posted on November 11th, 2016
Here at Medi-Dyne, one of our most popular products at is our 2Toms SportShield. We have heard some pretty wild uses of SportShield so I went around and asked our coworkers, our friends, and our families to tell me the various uses of our 2Toms SportShield. The answers we got, some serious, some not so serious, were great! So without further ado, here are 70 ways to use SportShield!
What we found out is that SportShield can apparently be used for almost anything! While they all certainly sound fun, we feel the need to say try at your own risk! We hope you guys enjoy all of the different SportShield uses as much as we do!
Did we miss any new uses? Let us know!
Read more about SportShield here!
Posted on October 21st, 2016
Every runner has an injury threshold and it is different for everyone. Some people can run 120 miles a week and some can only run 20, but if you exceed your threshold you are asking for injury. Most runners get injured because they do too much, too soon, too fast. Training errors are the number one cause of self-inflicted running injuries. When you rush the process of building up mileage or try to run too fast your body does not have time to recover and handle the increasing demands you are inflicting on it. Most doctors, physical therapists, and chiropractors will tell you to build your mileage by no more than 10% a week, which is a general rule, however, you may only be able to build by 5%. Each runner is different so make sure you listen to your body and KNOW YOUR LIMITS. It’s a good idea to alternate hard and easy days to give your body the recovery it needs from speed workouts, long runs, hill training etc. Make sure you incorporate rest weeks into your training plan every three weeks and keep a detailed log of your mileage and how you feel after your runs so you can recognize when problems start to occur.
Don’t run through pain. The majority of running injuries come on gradually and can be stopped if you catch them early. This means a shorter recovery period. Aches and pains do come with running but persistent aches and pains do not. If a pain causes you enough discomfort that you alter your gait, it’s time to stop. Take 2-3 days off, cross-train if you need to and then test out your “injury” gradually. If you’re pain free, get back to your normal routine. If it still hurts, you may need to see a doctor and find out the root cause of the pain, or you may just need more time off.
It is very important for runners to have strong hip and core muscles. When you strengthen your inner and outer thighs, your butt, and your transverse abdominis (stabilizing abdominal muscles) you increase your leg stability all the way down to your feet. Lying leg raises, inner thigh raises, clams, planks, and side planks are great exercises to add to your training program.
Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation are great when you have aches and pains in your muscles and joints. These four things can help relieve your pain, reduce swelling and send blood to those tissues to help speed the healing process. However, many runners neglect the REST part of the equation and continue to run then ice, then run the next day and ice again. This may take the pain away for a short time but you are not giving the tissues any time to heal before you are pounding away at them again. Elevating and compressing the area with a bandage or towel will also help reduce the inflammation. Then make sure you REST the next day and give your body a chance to heal, rather than running and prolonging the injury. Do not take NSAIDs except for acute injuries; instead try turmeric pills or anti-inflammatory foods such as salmon, blueberries, or leafy greens.
If you are always running a cambered road you are putting more pressure on your one leg over and over and over which can easily lead to hip and knee problems on that side. Also the road has no give to it and when you land all that impact (2-3x your body weight) is going right back into your legs. Try to do some of your runs, especially your long runs, on level surfaces and if possible soft surfaces such as crushed limestone, trails, even a bike path. The treadmill can also offer a forgiving surface if you can stand the boredom.
There is such a thing as too much speedwork and too much racing. Those efforts are near max and can be very hard on your body and your mind. Doing speedwork twice a week then racing on the weekend does not give your body or mind sufficient rest. Even elite runners limit their speedwork to no more than 5-10% at 5K pace and no more than 20% at tempo or threshold pace. A good rule of thumb for racing is to take one day of recovery for every mile raced.
Running is very hard on the body, 2-3x your body weight with each stride, make sure you take at least one day of rest each week and consider making one of your run days a “cross-training” day. Cross-training can improve your muscle balance and work muscles that you never knew you had. Activities such as swimming, cycling, elliptical and rowing will improve your aerobic fitness and even help your running.
If you have an injury, take this opportunity to make the best of it. Ask yourself what can I learn about myself? How can this time off help my running in the long term? What CAN I do… swim? Bike? Strength? PT?
Try to find the cause of your injury, muscle imbalance? Shoe? Training? Nutrition? But be prepared to come up empty and to heal up and return to running without knowing the cause of the pain that made you stop. This mind set will enable you to get through your injuries with less stress and anxiety. The most important thing is to accept that time is the only real healer, and try not to layer extra stress and anxiety onto the injury experience by grasping at healing measures like ultrasounds, electric stem, graston, steroids, acupunture etc. and expecting miracles from them.
Meghan is a USA Track & Field coach and a RRCA (Road Runners of America) certified distance coach. She is a certified personal trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine and a level 3 USA Cycling Coach. She has over 12 years of experience teaching spin classes, weight-lifting, and group exercise. Meghan is also an experienced runner, ultrarunner, and triathlete competing, winning, and placing in 5Ks, 10Ks, half-marathons, marathons, ultra distances, and triathlons. She also holds multiple state Powerlifting records. Learn more about Meghan www.trainwithmeghan.com
Medi-Dyne is proud to have Meghan as an Athlete Ambassador.
Posted on May 13th, 2015
Illiotibial band syndrome (IT Band Syndrome / ITBS) is one of the leading causes of pain in athletes whose sports involve running. The estimated incidence rate for athletes is believed to be between 5% and 14%.
Traditionally, believed to be an overuse injury, IT Band Syndrome is often described as being caused by friction or rubbing of the iliotibial band (ITB) over the lower part of the femur as the knee extends and flexes. Sufferers of ITBS typically experience pain along the outside of the knee joint. This pain is sometimes accompanied by a clicking sensation which is the result of the IT band tightening and snapping across the joint during physical activity. ITBS usually starts with tightness, and untreated, can become very painful. Pain from ITBS is typically experienced on the outside of the knee or lower thigh and can be made worse by activities like climbing up and down stairs, getting out of a car, or running up or down hills. A person with ITBS may also feel tenderness in the knee tissue when applying pressure.
It’s believed then that the continual rubbing of the IT band over the outside of the femur may cause swelling, pain or a stinging sensation on the outside of the knee. Recent studies, however, have focused on the frontal and transverse plan mechanics of the knee and lower extremity, suggesting that atypical hip and knee mechanics are the primary factors in development of ITBS.
Studies comparing runners with IT Band Syndrome to healthy runners found that the IT Band Syndrome group exhibited significantly greater hip adduction and knee internal rotation than the control group, leading researcher to reconsider the role of hip and knee in running mechanics. Subsequent studies have focused on the importance of running mechanics, providing evidence that gait re-training with step rate manipulation may be important for the treatment of IT Band Syndrome. The jury is still out on whether gait re-training is the key to curing ITBS, however, most reports did find that traditional strengthening of the hip abductors and flexibility exercises do contribute to a successful outcome.
ITBS Prevention & Remedies
Because the most notable symptom of IT Band Syndrome is typically swelling and pain on the outside of the knee, many runners mistakenly think they have a knee injury. It’s critical to rule out a knee problem or other serious injury. Ensuring proper gait as well as strength and flexibility of the hip abductors can be the most effective ways to prevent IT Band Syndrome.
IT Band Syndrome can become extremely painful and debilitating and can sideline a runner completely if not treated in its early stages.
Some risk factors for developing ITBS are:
To prevent being sidelined with ITBS, it is best to prevent ITBS before it happens or to identify it in its very early stages. Suggestions for preventing ITBS include:
If an athlete begins to notice IT band pain, they should take steps to treat their ITBS before the pain increases. Some steps to treat ITBS include:
Step 1: Immediate Relief – Reduce Discomfort
Step 2: Long Term Healing: Stretch, Strengthen & Massage
Given the relevance of gait, hips positioning and knee rotation to ITBS, it is important to keep the posterior chain strong and flexible with a goal of improving alignment and restoring the workload back to the appropriate muscles.
Stretching exercises targeting the gluteus medius, piriformis, vascus lateralis, gastroc and soleus will help to ensure flexibility along the posterior chain.
The patented StretchRite features a non-elastic strap which makes it easy to perform each stretch properly and effectively.
Strengthening exercises include focus on the hip abductors, which can include: lateral leg raises, clamshells, hip thrusts, and side
Medi-Dyne’s Advanced ITBS Solution available at the Medi-Dyne store.
Posted on May 13th, 2015
Runners knee or patellofemoral pain syndrome (PFPS) is the term used for non-specific pain that involves pain behind or around the kneecap, pain when you bend the knee, especially when walking, squatting, kneeling, running, or getting up from a chair and in some cases, pain that’s worse when walking downstairs or downhill. Pain can be sharp and sudden or dull and chronic. Not just found in runners, this syndrome is one of the most widely diagnosed in individual whose work or activities involve significant running or knee bending.
Functional risk factors for Runner’s Knee can include:
• Over use
• Prior injury
An extremely common condition, a diagnosis of Runner’s Knee (PFPS) covers a range of usually vague symptoms of pain ‘in’, ‘under’ or ‘behind’ the kneecap. While there is no consensus on exactly what causes PFPS, a recent study in Medicine & Science in Sports &
Exercise found hip weakness and instability to be a contributing factor. Additional research supports initial rest, minimizing impact, and
stretching and strengthening the supporting muscles can reduce pain. In the case of runner’s knee, research shows positive results from
introducing routines focused on glute, hip flexor/extensor and quad strength as well as hamstring and hip flexibility.
Individual experiencing early stages of Runner’s Knee pain can take steps to provide immediate relief and long-term healing.
For reducing the pain of Runner’s Knee, after initial rest, reducing discomfort during activity becomes an important aspect of recovery.
Cho-Pat’s® Original Knee Strap™ stabilizes and tightens up on the kneecap mechanism by applying pressure upon the patellar tendon below the kneecap. For many suffering from Runner’s Knee, this compression reduces or eliminates inflammation and helps prevent knees from giving out while still allowing full mobility.
For others looking for greater coverage and support, compression sleeves like the Cho-Pat® Dynamic Knee Compression Sleeve™ provides light-weight support-oriented compression in a sleeve that both stabilizes the knee and reduces the inflammation caused by Runner’s Knee.
STRETCH AND STRENGTHEN
The patented StretchRite® features a non-elastic strap which makes it easy to perform each stretch properly and effectively. Six ergonomically-shaped handgrips offer a comfortable non-cinching hold and make it simple to adjust tension during the stretch. The handgrips also serve as visual feedback helping athletes safely stretch and monitor their progress.
Strengthening exercises should include focus on the hip abductors.
1. TFL/Glutes (lying side leg lifts, resisted side steps; glute bridge)
2. External Rotators (lying clam raise)
3. Quadriceps (straight leg lifts)
For Runner’s Knee, massage and myofacial release can often relieve muscle tension and create tissue mobility contributing significantly towards increasing flexibility. RangeRoller®’s unique design allow you to use both the TriggerTreads™ for increasing circulation as well as the end of the RangeRoller handle for releasing trigger points. For increased flexibility, circulation and performance consider massaging the:
• Tensor Fasciae Latae (TFL – at the bending point of the hip)
• Vascus lateralis (outside quad)
Medi-Dyne’s Advanced Runner’s Knee Solution available at the Medi-Dyne store.
Posted on March 23rd, 2015
Tight Calf Stretches
Our earlier blog post, Tight Calf Solutions, covered why flexible calves are critical to both performance and preventing lower leg, ankle, Achilles tendon, and foot injuries. It also outlined Medi-Dyne’s 2Steps™ Solutions for a Strained or Tight Calf which focuses on a regimen to provide both immediate relief and long-term healing with the goal of putting you back on your feet and at peak performance.
An important part of that process is to introduce a regimen of tight calf stretches because the best way to treat tight calf pain is to keep it from happening in the first place. Many times, an effective tight calf stretch can improve lower extremity strength, balance, and flexibility; and increased muscle flexibility reduces the risk of lower leg injuries caused by tight calf muscles.
An effective way to allow improvement in lower extremity strength, balance and flexibility is to use the ProStretch Plus. The ProStretch Plus is a unique enhancement tool that was originally designed for physical therapists and delivers a safe, effective solution for performing tight calf stretches. It has been proven to provide a deep stretch that increases flexibility along the entire inter-connective chain which helps deliver a lasting solution for tight calf muscles.
ProStretch Plus is perfect for the gradual, controlled stretch needed to increase the flexibility of tight calf muscles and prevent future injuries. With a proper ProStretch Plus flexibility program, muscles and tendons actually begin to lengthen. Learn how to best stretch and strengthen your lower leg and prevent tight calf symptoms using the ProStretch Plus by downloading the ProStretch Plus Stretching Guide here.
Watch here how to use the ProStretch Plus to reduce calf pain and achieve an ideal tight calf stretch.
Another Medi-Dyne tool that is ideal for getting a great tight calf stretch is the StretchRite. The StretchRite’s patented system features a non-elastic strap which makes it easy to perform each stretch properly and effectively. It is not only ideal for tight calf stretches; it also is good for stretching and conditioning every major muscle group in your body, including your arms, shoulders, torso, and legs.
The StretchRite makes it easy to individualize a stretching program and monitor progress because it features six ergonomically-shaped handgrips that offer a comfortable non-cinching hold and make it simple to adjust tension during the stretch. As flexibility improves, advance to the next handgrip position to increase the stretch. Click here to download the instruction manual and view instructional videos for the StretchRite.
Downward Dog – Some yoga poses are ideal for performing tight calf stretches. Get down on all fours with hands spread flat on the floor under your shoulders. Walk your hands forward slightly on the floor and spread your fingers apart to allow for a broad base of support. Push your hips up toward the ceiling and tighten your abdominal muscles. Try to keep your heels on the ground and gently try and straighten your knees. This pose should be held for 15-30 seconds.
Posted on November 13th, 2014
You train for weeks, often months for a race. With the finish as your goal, you plan for everything – except mid-race injuries. Sure, every race has 1st Aid Stations but often they are not anywhere near where you are when you need help. But RaceGuards are!
Race Guards puts CPR/1st Aid trained (often medical professionals) staff on the course, running right alongside those who need them – wherever they are along the course.
Founder Andy Voggenthaler, an endurance sports enthusiast for over 20 years, has seen a lot of injured and fatigued runners along the way. It was his stopping to help a fellow racer who later passed away that started him thinking about how he could help.
Voggenthaler, a San Diego resident, originally tested the idea in March 2012 at the Finish Chelsea’s Run in San Diego. Sent out in teams, Race Guards paced the race with the runners so that help was right there when needed. Thirteen runners were assisted by the EMT’s, physician assistants, and doctors who volunteered during that initial race. “The interesting thing that happened at that race was that the Race Guards were all so enthusiastic and excited to have helped,” said Voggenthaler.
Once the need was determined, he proposed the idea to his then employer AIG who provided a scholarship to get the concept off of the ground. Today, Race Guards works with “blue chip” partners and sponsors to staff races across the US.
The Race Guards goal is simple: Get more people to the finish line. Race Guards must be certified in First Aid, CPR and AED operation. They serve as first responders to get participants back on track to finish the race whenever possible. Every Race Guard 1st aid kit contains 2Toms BlisterShield and SportShield. “We use 2Toms all of the time,” noted Voggenthaler, “If we can get to racers when it’s a hotspot – before it’s a blister – it’s perfect.”
RaceGuards relies on BlisterShield and SportShield but the truer testimonial may come from the RaceGuards staff. Andy Voggenthaler and fellow RaceGuards personally use the product. “I swim in the cove a lot,” noted Jeff “BodyGlide used to be the product of choice until I tried 2Toms SportShield. Now, that’s all I use under my wet suit. I now use 2Toms BlisterShield in my shoes to prevent blisters and SportShield to prevent chafing when I run”.
Next time you sign up for a race ask if RaceGuards will be there!
Medi-Dyne is proud to have the 2Toms brand as part of the RaceGuards team.
Posted on June 30th, 2014
A lot of our customers want to know more about insoles, whether they are suffering from foot pain or they simply want to feel more support in their shoes when running or participating in some other type of workout. Insoles serve many different functions, including pain relief, shock absorption and more. People with plantar fasciitis, for instance, often find relief from using them.
In order to provide as much information as we can, Medi-Dyne recently added a section on insoles to the Frequently Asked Questions of our website. The questions include:
Questions to Ask Yourself
In order to find the right insole that meets your exact needs, however, you have to ask yourself a few questions as well, such as:
If, for example, you have some sort of structural misalignment in your foot, you may want to look for insoles that provide more support. Even if you don’t have foot problems, the chances are good that you’ll still benefit from added support.
Medi-Dyne’s RoadRunners insoles both store and release energy, helping to improve your performance by reducing fatigue and protecting your feet from shock. If you would like more information or order a pair, visit our e-store or call 1-800-810-1740.
Posted on May 22nd, 2014
If you’re a cyclist and you’ve ever had to deal with friction burn you know exactly how painful this condition can be. It can drive you completely out of a competition, and even if you’re on a recreational ride it can quickly turn a great time into a miserable experience. By knowing what causes this condition and how to treat it, you can get off the sidelines and back on your bicycle that much faster.
There are several reasons why friction burn can take place. Here are some of the more common ones:
You’ll know fairly quickly if you have been victimized by a dreaded friction burn. For example, you’ll see an inflamed skin abrasion on your inner thigh, groin area or on your buttock. You may also see a lesion that looks like a small crater or a blemish that appears to be a pimple.
One of the best things you can do to gain quick relief from friction burn is by simply resting. However, if you need to get back on your bike as fast as possible, try our 2Toms® SportShield®, which can help ease any discomfort you may be experiencing.
Medi-Dyne carries a wide range of products that are designed to not just treat injuries suffered due to physical activity, but also to help you prevent them from occurring in the first place. Check out our e-store or call us at 1-800-810-1740 to learn more.
Posted on April 30th, 2014
If you’re an athlete or you work out on a regular basis, pain is simply part of the equation. Different types of athletic activities, of course, pose a greater risk for certain types of injuries. Gymnasts and dancers, for example, tend to suffer from shin splints and weak ankles while runners will be more susceptible to knee and hamstring problems. If you suffer from shin and ankle issues on a regular basis, you need to look into ways of providing more support to the area so that you can continue to pursue the activities you love.
Shin splints and weak ankles can put you on the sidelines because of pain. If you’re a dancer or gymnast, you know how much of a shock you put on this area of your body time after time. If you have shin splints, we don’t have to tell you how much pain each impact can cause. In order to lessen that shock, sometimes you need extra help in the form of ankle, arch and heel supports. These can help cushion your shins and disperse impact so that you can get relief.
If you have weak ankles, they can rob you of your confidence when performing any sort of gymnastic or dance activity. If you are worried that your ankle could give out at any time there’s very little chance that you’ll be able to perform at your best. There are several different reasons this problem occurs, including:
No matter what the reason, the best way of overcoming the problem is by making sure your ankles are properly supported so that you can withstand the repeated pounding this area of your body takes.
Medi-Dyne offers its Tuli’s® Cheetahs ankle and heel supports to give you the confidence you need to perform at your peak. By combining shock absorbing technology of form-fitting heel cups with the reinforcement of a durable, lightweight neoprene ankle support, this product is not only comfortable but also durable. These supports will stand up to whatever pounding your routine can dish out. If you’d like to order this product or learn more, visit our e-store or call us at 800-810-1740.
Check out this video to learn more how Tuli’s Cheetahs can provide relief for shin splints and weak ankles.
Posted on April 28th, 2014
One of the best ways of recovering from an extensive workout is multi-layer massage therapy. It not only feels great, it provides several tangible benefits to your body as well. Whether you have it performed by a professional or you use a massage therapy roller, it’s vital to your ability to recuperate and be ready for your next exercise session.
Multi-layer massage therapy helps to eliminate scar tissue that may have accumulated after previous injuries. If your muscles are stressed, oxygen and nutrients can’t get to where they need to be. As a result, inflammation allows toxins in your muscle tissue to build up, contributing to a great deal of pain. A deep massage loosens the muscles, thus breaking up and releasing those toxins. Once this happens, blood is allowed to circulate freely, providing your muscles with essential nutrients.
If you have tension and knots in your muscles, multi-layer massage therapy can work them out. However, in order to enjoy all the benefits of this reinvigorating, refreshing experience, you also need to employ correct posture and use other relaxation techniques.
You could spend hundreds of dollars or more to have a professional take care of your massage or you can get the RangeRoller from Medi-Dyne for a fraction of the cost. This massage therapy roller benefits not only the upper and lower layers of muscles, but also the connective tissue. Maintaining the health of the inter connective chain is vital to your ability to get the most out of your workout regimen, and the RangeRoller, we believe, offers the deepest available massage from a roller.
Among the many benefits provided by the RangeRoller include:
Check out the Medi-Dyne e-store or call us at 800-810-1740 if you would like to purchase or learn more about this product. Watch the video below to see the RangeRoller in action.
Posted on April 14th, 2014
If you test your body to the extreme, it’s basically a given that you will suffer some sort of injury. There is no more grueling athletic endeavor than competing in a triathlon. While finishing one can obviously create an incredible sense of pride, there are several triathlon-related injuries that you’ll probably have to deal with at one time or another. Here are some of the more common ones.
A lot of people may not immediately consider shoulder pain among the most common triathlon-related injuries, but competitors know better. You can experience either a dull ache, a sharp pain or something in between. This is, of course, due to the activity you perform during the swimming portion of the competition – especially during the freestyle stroke. You can avoid this problem by using light dumbbells or resistance bands to increase your shoulder strength. If you do experience pain, try to rest the area, massage it and apply ice so that any potential swelling will be kept to a minimum.
Iliotibial (IT) Band Syndrome
This results in tightness or pain below the joint on the outside of the knee. The IT band helps to stabilize your leg, so a problem can leave you hobbled. If you increase your mileage suddenly during training, you can aggravate the band by causing too much friction between it and your femur. Use a roller massage to help stretch your muscles and break down knots if you have an IT band problem.
Even if you aren’t feeling a great deal of pain below your calf and above your heel, don’t ignore it. If you don’t have this problem addressed, you could quickly have a chronic issue. You can treat the problem by using a tendon strap to reduce stress and promote healing. To avoid the issue, make sure you strengthen the stabilizing muscles in your lower leg. You should also stretch your calf muscles thoroughly before and after your training runs.
Medi-Dyne offers several products that can help treat some of the more common triathlon-related injuries. Visit our e-store to learn more or call us at 800-810-1740.
Posted on March 25th, 2014
While athletes have long known that massage therapy can help relieve pain and promote recovery, scientists really didn’t know why it worked. However, a group of Canadian researchers may have found the answer.
Scientists at McMaster University in Hamilton, according to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) website, have discovered evidence that massage therapy sends anti-inflammation messages to muscle cells, blunting pain in a manner similar to that of anti-inflammatory pills. The website cited an article in Science Translational Medicine, a journal which published a study that looked at the effects of therapy versus no treatment in 11 men who were athletes. The study, according to the CBC website, also showed that the anti-inflammatory signals helped muscle cells to produce mitochondria, which convert food into energy.
One of the most convenient and effective ways to get the massage therapy you need is by using the RangeRoller™ from Medi-Dyne. This product is designed to target trigger points and knots, providing a deep massage for both the inner and outer portions of tissues and muscles. Not only does it provide immediate relief, it also promotes long-term healing through the following methods:
If you suffer from fatigue, muscle pain, cramps, spasms or similar conditions, the RangeRoller can help prevent injury and also help your recovery from high-stress workouts. If you are interested in ordering this product, visit the Medi-Dyne e-store or give us a call at 800-810-1740.
Here’s a video that shows how the RangeRoller works and how you can benefit from its use.
Posted on March 19th, 2014
With Spring Training in full swing throughout Major League Baseball, people are getting excited about the upcoming season. Children and teens who play the game in youth leagues are even more amped up. If you have a young pitcher at home who is champing at the bit to hit the diamond, you want to make sure he doesn’t overdo it and risk developing serious issues down the road. Arm problems such as elbow tendonitis are common among young pitchers, so you need to keep a close eye on any pain your child may be experiencing.
One of the most common injuries among Little League pitchers is known as “Little League elbow,” or medial epicondyle apophysitis. This injury occurs due to overuse of the growth plates that are located on the inside of the elbow. Because these growth plates (known formally as apophyses) are not as strong as the muscles that attach to them, stress placed on the plates can result in inflammation, pain and swelling. The child should not be allowed to throw if he is experiencing this problem, because continued throwing could cause the growth plate to separate from the bone.
Typically, this injury also results in pain while batting. The child will probably experience pain while performing everyday activities as well. You may see swelling and a reduction in range of motion. If you notice any of this, have your child checked by a specialist as soon as possible.
As a young pitcher moves into his teens and his growth plate closes, he becomes more susceptible to developing elbow tendonitis. Typically, the condition can be treated with rehab and rest. Although it can result in a great deal of pain and tenderness on the outer portion of the joint, it is usually not a very serious problem.
Medi-Dyne offers the Cho-Pat® Elbow Compression Sleeve to combat elbow tendonitis by helping heal the problem through compression and warmth of the joint. It can be used either before, during or after a throwing session. Our StretchRite® is great for providing treatment both before and after activities. If you would like to order these products or learn more, visit our e-store or call us at 800-810-1740.
Posted on March 17th, 2014
When you invest in Medi-Dyne’s CoreStretch, you’re investing in lasting relief from pain. Whether your back is bothering you or you have any one of a number of different conditions, this device will provide you with an effective, deep stretch that will help your core muscles and relax tissues as well. This will not just reduce pain, but will also increase your range of motion and help prevent other injuries from occurring.
The CoreStretch is particularly effective if you have a troublesome back. Back pain is, of course, an extremely common occurrence, with most people suffering from it at one time or another. The CoreStretch has 10 different sizing options and three levels of fitness, and can be used in nearly any environment. Whether you’re at home or at your physical therapist’s office, at work or on vacation, it is light enough and convenient enough to be taken anywhere.
The CoreStretch provides relief from pain by delivering a refreshing and revitalizing back stretch. This can be very important if you have recently suffered a back strain due to suddenly making an awkward move or trying to lift an object that was too heavy. By taking action as quickly as possible – whether that means going to the doctor or using the CoreStretch to find relief – you may be able to prevent further pain.
But back pain is but one of the problems that can be treated by the CoreStretch. Here are some of the others:
Check out the video below for a detailed explanation of how to use your CoreStretch. If you have any questions, contact Medi-Dyne online or give us a call at 800-810-1740.
Posted on March 4th, 2014
This is the 10th and final article in a series highlighting some of the most common injuries suffered by runners.
The term “plantar fasciitis” can be scary to runners and for good reason. If this injury gets bad enough it can be so debilitating that you can’t do much of anything remotely resembling physical activity for several weeks. Weekend warriors and pro athletes alike have been felled by the condition. However, if you’re well informed, you can spot the signs of this issue and you can also take steps to alleviate the symptoms. Medi-Dyne wants you on the road, not on the couch, and we have several ways to help you fight this condition.
Plantar fasciitis occurs when the band of tissues connecting the toes and heel bone (the plantar fascia) start to tear, resulting in severe irritation and inflammation. Not only will you have trouble running, you’ll even find it hard to walk or even stand. Here are some of the risk factors that can lead to this condition.
If you notice a stabbing pain in your heel, or you have pain that gets worse after you’ve stood for a long time, there is a good chance you have plantar fasciitis. It is very important that you talk to a doctor to help determine the right course of action for treating the condition.
There are several ways that you can find relief from plantar fasciitis. Step into the Medi-Dyne 2Steps Pain Free Zone at your favorite sports retailer and you’ll not only find information on this and other conditions, you’ll also find products that can help reduce your discomfort. There you’ll find the ProStretch Plus™, which will provide a deep stretch that will increase the flexibility and range of motion in your plantar fascia. Visit our e-store or call 800-810-1740 to learn more.