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Posts Tagged ‘calf pain’

2016 Holiday Fit Gift Guide

2016 Holiday Gift Guide

By Medi-Dyne Ambassador & Guest Blogger

Jen Haught

Happy Holidays Red

 

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.

 

 

Five1Five Signs

 

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!

 

 

 

 

TigerLady

 

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.

 

 

 

RangeRoller

 

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!

 

 

Road ID

 

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.

 

 

 

 

Pro-stretch Plus

 

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!

 

 

 Shwings

 

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? 

jenhaught_biopicAbout 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.

You can reach Jen on Instagram @JenHaught or Twitter @JenHaught79. We are honored to have Jen as our November Guest Blogger and a Medi-Dyne Ambassador.

Welcome to the Medi-Dyne Family Cho-Pat

Cho-Pat, a Welcome Addition

At Medi-Dyne we’re excited to be able to offer you a comprehensive selection of pain relief and prevention solutions that deliver relief, support, and performance improvement for the entire length of your body’s interconnective chain of muscles, joints, tendons, and ligaments.

MD-Family

We look forward to providing you with innovative, easy-to-use solutions that really work! For more information visit www.medi-dyne.com, or connect with us @MediDyne.

Join Medi-Dyne in the Fight Against Breast Cancer

OctBreastCancer_promo_sm

 

Stay Off the Curb: Stretch with ProStretch Plus

If you’ve been relying on the curb for pre-run stretches, there’s something better. The ProStretch Plus enables you to stretch your tight calves, Achilles tendon, and plantar fascia more efficiently than a curb or wall.

ProStretch Plus reaches tough spots like the Achilles, and provides support for controlled stretching. This increases flexibility, range of motion and performance while helping reduce the risk of injury.

Stretching on a curb has limitations:

  • You must stop your stretch and begin again when adjusting the depth of stretch on a curb or wall.
  • To reach all of the areas of the lower leg, you must position yourself various times, in different stretching positions.
  • The curb does not offer a stretch for the bottom of the foot.

 

Stretching with ProStretch Plus is simple and more efficient than a curb or wall:

  • To adjust your stretch on the ProStretch Plus, you simply rock backward until you reach the depth of stretch that you desire— never stopping your stretch.
  • You can fluidly move from one stretch to another with ProStretch Plus; starting with an Achilles tendon stretch, to Gastroc and Soleous calf stretches, even to a hamstring stretch, and ending with a shin splint prevention exercise.
  • The added toe piece helps to place the toes at a state of tension, stretching the plantar fascia on the bottom of the foot—something that the curb is incapable of doing.

Curbs are for tires, not feet. If you want to run and play with confidence, you want to stretch like a pro. ProStretch Plus “foots” the bill.

Professionals Use ProStretch for Injury Prevention

Chain Reaction Injuries

Have you ever sprained an ankle only to find a week later you’re suffering from lower back pain? Then you’ve experienced first-hand how weak links put undue stress on stronger ones.

Weak muscles cause tighter (stronger) muscles to be recruited by the central nervous system in order to perform the same movement. The results are muscle imbalances and “chain reaction injuries”.

ProStretch for Calf Stretches

Pictured: The ProStretch Double (Original Wooden) on the pre-season game sidelines of the Dallas Cowboys. The ProStretch Double Wooden is the heavy duty version of Medi-Dyne’s popular ProStretch Plus. This bigger and stronger version is often used by pro teams, fitness clubs and clinics.

One of the most critical muscles to keep flexible are the calf muscles. Calf injuries or even just tightness can move in either direction of the body’s interconnective chain, causing Plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, knee pain, tight hamstrings or even lower back pain.

Stretching with ProStretch products strengthens and stretches the calf muscles and ligaments in the calf muscles, plantar fascia and Achilles tendon, keeping the lower leg strong, balanced, and healthy!

To purchase a ProStretch, or for more information on chain reaction injuries and injury prevention techniques and tools, visit medi-dyne.com.

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

What is Plantar fasciitis?

Heel pain is one of the most common complaints relating to the foot. Millions of people receive treatment for heel pain each year. In fact, many people live with it for a year or more before finding a solution.

So what actually causes heel pain?

The muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joints in your body act as links in an interconnective chain. These links work together to allow you to accomplish basic motions like sitting, walking, and running.  If any one of these links is injured or not functioning properly the entire chain suffers. For millions of people each year the first breakdown that they realize in their lower leg “chain”, manifests itself as heel pain. When this happens, trauma often occurs in the plantar fascia (arch) and the pain is felt in the base of the heel. This heel pain is a condition known as Plantar fasciitis.

 

How do I know if I have Plantar fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis usually develops gradually, but it may feel as though it has happened suddenly.

People with plantar fasciitis often describe:

  • An incredible pain in their heel when they take their first steps in the morning or after
  • getting up from being seated for a while
  • A sharp, stabbing heel pain
  • A feeling like they are stepping on a small stone
  • Pain that subsides after they’ve walked around for a while

Any one or even all of these symptoms could indicate plantar fasciitis.

What is Plantar fasciitis?

Your plantar fascia is a thick band of tissue which runs across the bottom of your foot connecting your heel bone to your toes. Normally, your plantar fascia acts as a shock-absorber, supporting the arch in your foot. But, if tension becomes too great, it can create small tears in the fascia causing the fascia to become irritated or inflamed.

Ignoring plantar fasciitis may result in a chronic condition that hinders your regular activities. Most importantly, any weak link in the interconnective chain of your lower leg can change the way you walk potentially leading to additional foot, knee, hip or back problems.

Suffering from Plantar Fasciitis? For solutions visit www.medi-dyne.com

How Flexible Are You?

 Test your flexibility with the StretchRite.

How flexible are you? If you are a Coach, how flexible are your athletes?   What are you doing to increase your or your athlete’s flexibility?   Get the StretchRite advantage!

StretchRite is a device to help ensure that each athlete has the necessary flexibility to stay injury free during intense athletic competition. This device enables the athlete to do the type of stretching that normally requires a second person’s assistance.

Joe Dial, former World and American Record Holder for the Pole Vault, and Head Track Coach at Oral Roberts University says:

“Our Athletes are excited about stretching now that we are using the StretchRite program. Flexibility, strength, and leg turnover are keys to maximum performance.”

Read more reviews of the StretchRite at Running Supplement or medi-dyne.com.

TEAMS CURRENTLY USING StretchRite:

University of Arkansas
University of Arizona
University of Florida
University of Wisconsin
Kansas State University
Louisiana State University
University of Oregon
University of Kansas
Illinois State University
University of Nebraska
Oklahoma State University
University of Louisiana
Oral Roberts University
Texas Tech University
Texas A&M University
University of Texas
University of Wisconsin

Transitioning to Minimalist Running

This is the story of how Kabri became a runner, and the tricks and tools she used along the way. Read more about her running story in Part 1 and Part 2.

Part 3: Transitioning to Minimalist Running

Using Medi-Dyne during the transition to minimalist running.

Three years ago, I began training for my very first half marathon. Little did I know that my journey of becoming a “runner” was just beginning.

If you’re just tuning in, I am an advocate of stretching and massage for runners. How do I know all of the benefits of stretching and massage now? And why didn’t I incorporate these great Medi-Dyne products into my recovery and maintenance three years ago?

Well besides the fact that hindsight is always 20-20, I was recently able to put my newly-acquired ProStretch Plus and RangeRoller tools to the test while I was transitioning back to minimalist running. You see, the popular “barefoot” trend requires a runner to build up their foot, ankle and knee muscles. You must build up your muscles and expose them to the shock and stresses that a cushioned sneaker may have absorbed in the past. This transition takes time and patience to avoid injury, and is similar in many ways to the muscle development that takes place while trail running.

After moving to San Francisco over a year ago, I transitioned from running on mostly trails to road running. The city’s hills kept my leg muscles strengthened, but I was quickly losing the strong muscular protection I had built up around my knee and ankle joints.  In order to maintain the muscular support my joints had worked so hard to establish, I decided that I would slowly transition into a pair of popular “barefoot” style shoes. On my first runs I found that first, I absolutely loved being able to feel the road under the soles of my feet—my toes having to grab for the road. Secondly, by landing on the forefront of my feet, my calves were tightening up as quickly and as painfully as when I initially started trail running.

To promote healthy muscle growth and alleviate the soreness, I would do a concentrated stretching routine with my ProStretch Plus after each run, focusing on not only my calves, but also my Achilles tendons. I found that this newly experienced “tightness” would travel down my Achilles and into the bottom of my feet. By simply adjusting the angle and wedge on my ProStretch Plus, I was able to increase the flexibility of not only my calves and hamstrings, but also my arches and toes.

In short, I believe that injury prevention and muscle growth can be facilitated by the proper stretching of overly-tight muscles and by “combing” out the knots that develop in damaged muscle fibers, promoting renewed blood flow and muscle repair. I have found the ProStretch Plus and RangeRoller to be my two key tools for ongoing maintenance in my trail and minimalist road running interests. This year I look forward to setting a new road marathon PR at the Oakland and San Francisco Marathons! Finish strong!

For more information on the ProStretch Plus or RangeRoller visit www.medi-dyne.com.

The Pains of Trail Running

This is the story of how Kabri became a runner, and the tricks and tools she used along the way. Read more about her running story in Part 1.

Part 2: The Pains of Trail Running

Kabri uses ProStretch Plus and RangeRoller for trail running pain prevention.

Three years ago I began training for my very first half marathon. Little did I know, my journey of becoming a “runner” was just beginning.

If you’re just tuning in I’m Kabri, newly self-professed trail runner! For the next year I challenged myself, running and hiking distances from 10k to 50k on the trails in the Bay Area. It took quite a while for my body to adapt to the trails and I believe that many of my challenges would have been resolved or largely alleviated if I had had a ProStretch Plus back then. My lower calves would become so tight during and after my runs that they would cramp. My feet would feel “asleep” with the loss of blood flow through my calves. It was very painful. The ProStretchPlus is ideal for maintaining and restoring flexibility to these tight muscles, and is especially good at focusing the stretch along your inner or outer calf muscles, as needed.

Whether you are a strong road runner, or are completely new to running, running on trails places stresses on the ankle, leg and knee muscles that are not often used. These stabilizer muscles allow your feet to spring over rocks and avoid unearthed roots while streaming down a single-track trail system under your favorite tree canopy. After your first trail run you’re likely to be very tight in your calf muscles and hamstrings as these muscles will have been highly engaged as you picked the most stable path along river beds and steep inclines.

Along with the increased flexibility that I would have achieved by properly stretching my calves and hamstrings, I realize how helpful the RangeRoller would have been to post-run recovery. The RangeRoller provides a deep tissue massage that allows my muscles to repair themselves by breaking up the knotted muscle fibers and allowing fresh blood back into the damaged space.

Climbing and descending hills and mountains goes hand-in-hand with trail running; both the uphill and downhill portions of a run, especially, take a toll on your quads. After my long training runs, I would make an appointment with a masseuse, knowing that large knots would form in my quad muscles that could not be released with stretching alone.  The RangeRoller essentially provides the same service, but is much more convenient. I’ll warn you now – whether by masseuse or RangeRoller – tackling knotted muscles by compressing and stretching the damaged fibers is a painful but rewarding process!

 

For more information on the ProStretch Plus or RangeRoller visit www.medi-dyne.com.

ProStretch Plus: A True Innovation in Pain Prevention

Necessity Is the Mother of Invention

The ProStretch was originally developed by an auto mechanic who was rehabbing a knee injury.  Over time he realized that the brake shoe from a car was the best thing he could find for stretching out his calf muscles, while building flexibility and range of motion back in to his calf muscles and lower leg.   He became passionate about how well it worked, passionate enough to want to share his discovery. From necessity and passion was born The Original ProStretch.

ProStretch Joins the Medi-Dyne Family of Products

In 1998 Medi-Dyne acquired the Tuli’s product line.  In discussions with the original Tuli’s® Classic Heel Cup inventor, San Diego podiatrist Dr. Murray Davidson, we quickly learned how important stretching was to the health of the calf muscles and the prevention of the many injuries associated with the lower leg, including Plantar Fasciitis, Achillies tendonitis, calf strains, and  shin splints.  So we began to look for the most effective solution to provide the long-term relief and stretching that would complement the immediate relief provided by the Tuli’s Heel Cups and other Tuli’s products.  When we found The Original ProStretch in 2003 we knew we had found the best lower leg stretching device available then and for the next 20 years!

Building on Success

As is the case with all Medi-Dyne products, we constantly solicit feedback from medical professionals, professional and amateur athletes, and all users on ways we can improve the product, usage experience, and end results.  While the ProStretch (also known as the StepStretch in some retail outlets) was a great product, it had some shortcomings.

  1. One Size Doesn’t Fit All
    The Original ProStretch is great, but it is a “one-size-fits-all” product.  Unfortunately, people are not one size fits all.
  2. People’s Feet Are Getting Larger
    It’s true. Once, a man’s size 14 would have been considered the footprint of a giant. But what was seen as enormous is apparently becoming quite normal. The average man’s shoe has gone up a full size in the past five years. The Original ProStretch just wasn’t built to accommodate the growing majority.
  3. Room For Improvement
    Many people suffer from Achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, tight calves or shin splints. These pain sufferers were in need of a solution that would maximize the stretch felt along the interconnective chain of the lower leg. We realized that we could improve the stretch by elevating the toes during stretch.

We went about re-engineering the ProStretch to be bigger, stronger, lighter, and customizable, while offering a deeper stretch.   When it was all said and done, the ProStretch Plus was born.   For a complete review of all of our ProStretch products visit: www.medi-dyne.com.

Trying is Believing

We have had more people fall in love with the ProStretch and ProStretch Plus than any other product, simply by standing on it.  Just check out these “before and after” user video reviews.

What makes the ProStretch Plus work so well?  A few things. It is biomechanically shaped to put your foot in the optimal stretching position to get the best results.   Combining that with the rocker bottom, you get the best calf stretch, along with progressive and constant pressure that gives you an unsurpassed lower leg stretch.

Nothing works better, not a curb, not a wall, not a slant board, nothing. The ProStretch has been medical proven to stretch the calf better than conventional methods – Please see the following study posted on our website, “Comparison of Two Methods of Stretching the Gastrocnemius and Their Effects on Ankle Range of Motion Karen Maloney Backstrorn, C Forsyth. B. Walden”.   You can also read unsolicited testimonials at www.medi-dyne.com.

For more information on the ProStretch Plus or ProStretch visit http://www.medi-dyne.com/estore/.

Increasing Calf Flexibility During Marathon Training

The Weekly Buzz: Certified Athletic Trainer and Coach, Nick Zaneto, wanted to increase calf flexibility to prevent injuries during his marathon training, so he turned to the ProStretch Plus to reduce his tight calves.
 

This week’s contributor is Nick Zaneto, ATC. Nick has been a Certified Athletic Trainer for 11 years, serving a variety of athletes at the high school level. He is currently the Head Wrestling Coach at a New Jersey high school  and a personal trainer for a variety of athletes. An athlete himself, Nick plays Inline Hockey and is training for the New Jersey Marathon this May.

After researching products online Nick found Medi-Dyne.com. Nick quickly realized that he has already been using Medi-Dyne products. As an Athletic Trainer, he often uses the ProStretch and Tuli’s Heel Cups and recently recommended the ProStretch to a client with Achilles tendonitis. Nick told us, I have always been happy with all of my products that Medi-Dyne has produced. I’m excited to test the new ProStretch Plus.”

We caught up with Nick after he’d had the chance to use the ProStretch Plus for a while. His feedback?  “I like the calf stretch capabilities of the ProStretch Plus, it has been good to use right after a long run”.  Because Nick is looking to increase calf flexibility during marathon training he liked the deep gastroc calf stretch he received with the ProStretch Plus; “I do find that the ProStretch Plus has stretched my gastrocnemius muscle much better than just using the wall.”

While Nick was pleased with the gastroc stretch he received with the ProStretch Plus, he had concerns whether the calf stretch could be extended to the soleus calf muscle as well. This is easy to do!  A demonstration of the proper technique to transfer the calf stretch up the muscle from the gastroc to soleus is provided online: “Reduce Calf Pain: Gastroc and Soleus Stretches”.

Nick found that the removable toe lift was a feature he was struggling with properly utilizing. The ProStretch Plus toe lift was designed to assist those suffering from heel pain, plantar fasciitis or foot pain. It’s not always needed. The demonstration video, “Getting Started with Your ProStretch Plus”, takes you step-by-step through the process of adjusting or removing the toe lift. It is generally the best practice to begin using the ProStretch Plus without the toe lift first and then add it as needed.

Thank you Nick for contributing feedback on the ProStretch Plus. You can read some of Nick’s training tips on his blog nzaneto.blogspot.com.

 

How do you use your Medi-Dyne products? Let us know on Facebook today! Visit medi-dyne.com for more information on how to use the ProStretch Plus or Tuli’s Heel Cups. Check back next week for more Buzz on Medi-Dyne products.

Let the Training (but not the pain) Begin

Welcome to Craig’s Corner: Running, Stretching, and Training Tips from Craig.

Craig DiGiovanni. VP of Sales & Marketing, Medi-Dyne Healthcare Products. Avid Runner. Wannabe Marathoner.

Now that I’m over 40, being healthy is much harder than it used to be.   I used to think it was cliché but now that I’m living it I get it.  There’s no time for pain or injuries, especially if it impacts my “day jobs” (father, husband, repairman, chauffeur, business person…).  You may be able to relate.

That is where my passion for prevention, and taking that pain away comes into play!

I mentioned my New Year’s Resolution of running a marathon in an earlier post.   Did I mention that I’ve dragged my wife along for the ride?  We decided to train for a half marathon first and then continue to build towards running a full marathon this spring.  It has been a lot of fun so far.   I highly recommend a book that my sister-in-law referred us to, The Non-Runner’s Marathon Trainer by David Whitsett, Forrest Dolgener and Tanjala Kole. It’s done a great job of breaking down the whole process of training for a marathon, giving you a plan, and providing encouragement.

Professionally and personally, I understand the many challenges running presents to the body (especially as you get older and as you add more mileage)!  I’ve always appreciated and used the ProStretch Plus, but maybe not as consistently as I should have.  As I continue the journey of marathon training, I am beginning to completely understand just how effective the ProStretch Plus is for not only decreasing pain, but also preventing pain from happening in the first place.

What I personally love about all of the ProStretch products is that they are simple and THEY WORK!  The first time I brought one home, my wife laughed at it, but of course that was short lived.  The laughing stopped and the “oo-ing and ah-ing” started right after she used it for the first time.   The ProStretch is one of those products where you realize the benefits it offers once you use it.   You can feel it working instantly and it feels good!

Lately, I’ve had a lot of “experience” with what we call the interconnective chain of the lower leg.  This interconnective chain starts with the calf, goes down to the Achilles tendon, and connects to the calcaneous (heel) bone and the plantar fasciia.  The calf muscles have to work hard when you’re doing something as simple as walking, but they work even harder when you are running, jumping, stopping and starting.  In fact, I’ve read that the second hardest working group of muscles we have in our whole body is our calves.   Because the calf muscles have to work so hard, they are also susceptible to overuse and injury.

I first started using the ProStretch to combat shin splints and the beginning symptoms of Plantar fasciitis.   After I began experiencing these symptoms, I was doing a long warm up and some basic stretching before I ran, and then pro-longed stretches (for 30 – 60 seconds per repetition) after I ran.   Adding ProStretch exercises into my warm up and cool down gave me immediate results. I experienced immediate relief, and over 4 weeks total healing.

The ProStretch and now the new and improved ProStretch Plus, are simply the best devices for stretching the calf muscles and the entire interconnective chain of the lower leg. Next week, more to come on injuries of the lower leg.

Thanks for your interest in our products.  We love to hear from “users” so please leave us a comment and let us know what pain or injury you are suffering from.

Runner Overcomes Pre-Race Achilles Tendonitis

Dedicating yourself to training for a race is an accomplishment in and of itself. But what happens when you suffer from pain or injury along the way? Do you push yourself to finish, or do you call it quits? Below is an account of how one runner used Medi-Dyne’s Tuli’s and ProStretch Plus to overcome her Achilles tendonitis pain and cross the finish line.

Runners train for months before a race or event. They overcome obstacles such as mental blocks, increased mileage, adjusted technique, fluctuating weather, and aches and pains to finally get to “race month”.  With just 3-4 weeks to go, the pre-race training schedule often becomes lighter.   The goal is in sight.  Nothing can stand in your way!  It was during this lighter training period, that runner Jenny Welsh began to experience pain in her right Achilles tendon and ankle.

With encouragement from her friends, Jenny signed up for the 2012 Dallas Rock N’ Roll Half Marathon .  This was to be her first half marathon and the next big step in her running goals. During two years of running 5k’s, 10k’s and a 15k, Jenny had suffered her fair share of running injuries. She had overcome minor overuse injuries such as ankle and heel pain, Achilles pain, and IT band pain.  So as she rounded the corner into race month training, she was increasingly aware of the potential injury that the increased tightness in her Achilles tendon, outside ankle, and heel might become.

Jenny using the ProStretch Plus to stretch her lower extremities for Achilles Tendonitis pain.

Three weeks before the race, Jenny began to experience both heel pain and excruciating pain in her Achilles tendon and lower leg.  She immediately began the RICE regimen after daily training, but the pain did not subside. Having previously suffered from Achilles tendonitis, Jenny knew she needed to stop running through her pain. Although RICE helped with the daily pain it just wasn’t enough.  Admittedly Jenny was desperate to reach her goal.  With only one week to go till race day,  Jenny decided to seek out other solutions for her Achilles tendonitis.  A friend suggested she try Medi-Dyne Healthcare Product’s Achilles tendonitis pain relief kit.   It worked!

Jenny contacted us to thank us!  She told us that, “Once I began using the Tuli’s Heavy Duty heel cups and the ProStretch Plus that come in the kit I notice a significant difference.  My pain was much better.” Jenny found immediate relief from both her heel pain and Achilles tendon pain after inserting Tuli’s Heavy Duty Heel Cups into her running shoes. She wore her shoes with the Tuli’s Heel Cups in them the four days prior to the race.  She mentioned that she wishes she had kept them in her sneakers while running the half marathon.  Jenny explained that she loves the ProStretch Plus and uses it with and without the toe-lift (depending on the level of Achilles tendonitis and heel pain she feels) to stretch the bottom of her foot, Achilles, and calf muscles. Jenny credits the ProStretch Plus  in helping her reach her goal by relieving the pain just days before the race.

Jenny (center) and friends running in the Dallas Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon

Congratulations Jenny!  It’s no easy feat to persevere through pain and complete a half marathon. Although the pain hindered her running it did not dampen her endurance. Through the help of race medical professionals and the use of mental techniques like “run a song, walk a song,” Jenny was able to reach her goal of completing the Dallas Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon.

 

Since the race, Jenny has seen a sports medicine doctor who has confirmed the diagnosis of Achilles tendonitis and prescribed rest, ice, and light stretching. She is continuing to use her Tuli’s heavy duty heel cups and her ProStretch Plus to help support and heal her injured Achilles tendon and heel pain.  Injury can take place at any point in a runner’s training.  Jenny’s story reinforces that fact that taking the right steps to prevent or treat an injury can make the difference between race day success and failure.

Are you suffering from Achilles tendonitis pain? Leave us a comment. For more information visit www.medi-dyne.com.

Medi-Dyne Launches the “Weekly Buzz”

We are excited to announce that we will begin publishing stories, feedback, and reviews that have been contributed to us by Medi-Dyne Healthcare Products users.

This summer we set out to obtain knowledge on how medical professionals and athletes view and use Medi-Dyne products such as the new ProStretch Plus and RangeRoller. We sought feedback in the form of question and answer responses, photos, video or simply comments and quotes on how individuals felt and valued the products.  Needless to say we learned a lot.

A great thing about Medi-Dyne is that we are always looking for new ways to use our products; new rehabilitative exercises or even new poses that help reach different areas within an exercise, new ways to dynamically stretch or strengthen, and new situations or injuries that our products help rehabilitate or prevent.  We are pleased to present these responses in the hopes that you will find some benefit in learning how the ProStretch Plus, RangeRoller, and additional products are being used by other individuals and industry professionals.

Many of our contributors treat or have suffered from the following pain and injuries; Heel pain, Plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, Tight calves or calf pain, Shin splints, Tight hamstrings, or IT band syndrome.

Participants have used Medi-Dyne products to help rehabilitate a current injury, prevent pain and enhance performance, prepare for an event or training, etc. We are sincerely grateful for their contributions, and we look forward to sharing their stories and feedback with you.

If you would like to contribute a review, story, or feedback for our Weekly Buzz, please email connect@medi-dyne.com or visit medi-dyne.com for more information.

 

Heel Pain in Children

Remember when you were growing up…children played baseball during baseball season, football during football season and spent most of their time just running around the neighborhood with friends.  These days it’s not uncommon for girls and boys to be playing recreational or competitive sports year round. And in some cases, more than one sport at a time.  That extra wear and tear is taking its toll.

If your child has complained of heel pain, then you are not alone. 

Heel pain in children (typically between the ages of 8 to 14) is a becoming a common complaint.  While it can occur as a result of a specific injury, it is also commonly caused by Sever’s disease, (Calcaneal Apophysitis) an overuse injury that causes an inflammation of the heel’s growth plate.

As children start to experience growth spurts, the heel bone sometimes grows faster than the leg muscles and tendons.  This can cause the muscles to become tight and even over stretched, making the heel less flexible – putting pressure on the growth plate. Over time, this tightness combined with the repeated stress on the Achilles tendon from running and jumping in sports such as track, basketball, soccer, and gymnastics can cause swelling, tenderness, and even damage to the growth plate.

How do I know if it’s Sever’s Disease?

Unlike heel pain from plantar fasciitis (which typically affects adults and often causes heel pain in the morning that feels like you’re stepping on stones), Sever’s disease causes pain at the back and the side of the child’s heel.  The pain is usually worse after physical activity and will typically lessen when the child is not active.  Squeezing the sides of the heel can often be painful.

Only a doctor can diagnose the condition for certain.  Treatment for Sever’s disease often includes:

  • Cutting back on running and jumping activities. 
  • Wearing a heel cup in all cleats and athletic shoes.
    A heel cup can provide immediate relief by cushioning the area of pain and elevating the heel bone which will reduce the pull from the calf muscles on the growth plate.
  • Daily stretching.
    Because wear and tear often begins with inflexibility. It is important to stretch the calf muscles and as tight calf muscles are common in those who suffer from Sever’s.
  • Ice.  Many find using an ice pack for 20 minutes after activity helpful as well.

Once your child is back in the game, it will help to prevent a reoccurrence if they continue to stretch, wear good supportive shoes and use a quality heel cup in their shoes.

Preventing Heel Pain

The same “treatments” that are used to help recover from Sever’s disease can also help prevent heel pain and even Sever’s disease from occurring!  Regular stretching of the calf muscles as well as strengthening of the Achilles tendon will go a long way towards preventing pain and injury.  Making sure that they have supportive shoes and placing heel cups in your athletic shoes and cleats will also help to lessen the impact and improve performance.

Tired Aching Feet? No more!

Tired Aching Feet?  No more!

Traveling, work, and even your daily routine can take their toll on your body, especially your feet.  In fact, the average person takes 8,000 to 10,000 steps a day.  That’s more than four times the circumference of the globe. All that walking and standing in line can result in tired, aching feet.  But it doesn’t have to be that way.  Your feet are designed to bear weight, and absorb shock but the one thing your feet are not supposed to do is hurt.

Here are 5 easy steps you can take to prevent and relieve foot pain.

Choose Your Shoes Wisely
Technology has come a long way since the invention of sandals and high heels, but we still insist on wearing them regardless of their effect on our feet.  As we age, the natural padding on our feet starts to wear away. The right shoes can compensate for this.  But the lack of arch support, heel and ball of foot cushioning in dress shoes, high heels, and sandals don’t offer this type of support.  That’s why women suffer from four times as many foot problems as men; lifelong patterns of wearing high heels and standing on their feet all day are often the culprit.  So if you want to stop the pain, buy shoes with a low to moderate heel, good arch support and shock absorbency.

Shopping for shoes is best done in the afternoon as our feet swell a little during the day, and it’s best to buy shoes to fit them then.  Have your feet measured every time you purchase shoes, and do it while you’re standing. When you try on shoes, try them on both feet; many people have one foot larger than the other, and it’s best to fit the larger one.

Cushion for Comfort
While your choice of shoes is important, sometimes adding some extra cushion, heel and arch support can make all the difference.  Depending on the type of shoe you are wearing and where the pain is, you can choose from a variety of heel cups, ball of foot cushions, arch supports and insoles that will ease the pain from standing on your feet all day.  Tuli’s makes a number of products designed to fit into everything from a sandal, to a high heel pump to a running shoe so that you can customize the cushion you need for each pair of shoes you own.

Take the Pressure Off
An average day of walking brings a force equal to over 3000 kg to your feet, so taking the pressure off only makes sense. One very simple thing to do to take care of your feet is to take a warm footbath for 10-15 minutes two or three times a week.  This will go a long way in keeping the feet relaxed and helping to prevent mild foot pain caused by fatigue.  Adding 115 grams of Epsom Salts will also help to increase circulation. Taking the time to take regular footbaths instead of waiting until your feet are aching will give you the most benefit.

Massage Away the Stress
Massaging your feet will help increase blood circulation and decrease stress.  Not to mention that it just feels really good.   There are many different massage tools out on the market specifically designed for feet.  Can’t wait to ease the pain?  You can simply place a tennis ball on the floor and roll your foot back and forth on it.  Remember a massage should not hurt your foot, therefore, be gentle, but apply enough pressure to help decrease any foot pain you may be experiencing.

Our final tip is something that’s extremely important but most people simply never think of it…

Stretch Yourself
Your body is made up of an interconnective chain of muscles, tendons and ligaments that all impact each other.  This is especially evident when it comes to performance and pain. When everything is in balance movement is painless, almost effortless. But when a link of that chain is weakened or injured, the “domino effect” of that weak link may be greater than you realize.

Have you ever sprained an ankle only to find a week later that you’re suffering from lower back pain? Then you’ve experienced first-hand how weak links put undue stress on stronger ones. Weak muscles cause tighter (stronger) muscles to be recruited by the central nervous system in order to perform the same movement. So your foot pain of today, could end up being a real pain in your back next week.

You can ensure that your feet can go the distance by regularly stretching your hamstrings, calves, plantar fascia and toes.  Keeping your calves, hamstrings, and foot muscles flexible and strong will go a long way in helping to avoid aching feet.

Following these simple guidelines should keep everyone from the busiest of world travelers to weekend warriors and all family members from missing a step.  Take care of your feet and they will take you wherever you need to go in life.

For more information on pain prevention solutions for aching feet visit www.medi-dyne.com

Athletes and Medical Pros Shape ProStretch Plus

An updated stretching tool designed to engage the entire interconnective chain of the lower leg from hamstring to toes is available from Colleyville, Texas-based Medi-Dyne Healthcare Products. The new ProStretch Plus incorporates the most important design aspects of the Original ProStretch—including the rocker bottom and offset of the heel and toe plates—and improves on this design with a next-generation product fully customizable to meet higher levels of performance expectations.

“While the Original ProStretch and StepStretch were good products for their time, they were really one-size-fits-all,” states Craig DiGiovanni, VP Sales, Medi-Dyne. “With the new ProStretch Plus we’ve incorporated input from medical professionals and athletes from around the world to develop a fully customizable stretching tool that delivers superior results to a significantly larger group of users.”

Features designed into the ProStrech Plus include a Rocker Bottom intended to automatically hold the foot in the optimal position, thereby providing a biomechanically accurate and efficient stretch that works the lower leg muscles effectively. The device also has an adjustable heel rest so the patient can increase or decrease the degree of stretch. This feature enables the user to “progress the stretch” as he or she becomes stronger and more flexible.

ProStrech Plus includes a removable lift to maximize toe and Plantar fascia stretch, said to be ideal for engaging the entire interconnective chain of the lower leg. The device also has a larger, continuous platform that provides increased comfort and stability. It fits up to a size 14 shoe.

Strength and lightness have been engineered into the ProStretch Plus so it is extremely portable and can help increase patient/athlete compliance with prescribed routines. A detailed, illustrated stretching guide is included that depicts targeted Gastroc, Achilles tendon, Plantar fascia and toe stretches.

Article can also be seen in Rehab Management, the interdisciplinary journal of rehabilitation.

[Source: Medi-Dyne Healthcare Products]

Introducing the New RangeRoller

Medi-Dyne Introduces RangeRoller Multi-layer Massage Therapy with Trigger Treads

Medi-Dyne Healthcare Products announced the introduction of the new RangeRoller line of multi-layer massage therapy rollers with Trigger Treads™, an advancement in massage therapy rollers that engages both upper and lower layers of muscles and connective tissue.

The new RangeRoller incorporates the most sought after attributes of massage therapy sticks and rollers with its light weight and convenient size and combines it with the ground-breaking new Trigger Treads™ technology to deliver perhaps the deepest massage available from a massage therapy roller.

“We are passionate about the importance of maintaining the health of the body’s interconnective chain,” states Craig DiGiovanni, VP Sales, Medi-Dyne, “Massage therapy and trigger point relief have always played an important role in this. The RangeRoller with Trigger Treads™ takes massage to a whole new level. Users will find that they are able to reach muscles and connective tissue that they simply cannot with other products.”

Designed to meet more demanding needs, the RangeRoller multi-layer massage therapy products provide a range of benefits, including:

  • Range of Depth
    The Range Roller’s exclusive Trigger Treads™ enable users to reach deep – massaging both the upper and lower layers of muscles and connective tissue to more effectively warm muscles, increase circulation, relieve knots, eliminate scar tissue, and increase performance.
  • Range of Sizes
    Three unique sizes allow users to custom-fit their needs: • Original – Medium stiffness and convenient size make it perfect to take anywhere. • XL – The longer size make this the right Range Roller for backs and legs. • Pro – The firmest Range Roller in the line provides the deepest penetration for those who need a little extra.
  • Range of Motion
    Non-slip grip handles and light-weight design enhance control, prevent muscle fatigue and maximize roller performance.
  • Range of Color
    Available in 12 colors, including: maroon, red, pink, orange, yellow, green, royal blue, pewter, purple, black, gray, and white. Range Rollers can be customized to match team, club, or favorite color combinations.

More information about the RangeRoller massage therapy line can be found at www.Medi-Dyne.com. The RangeRoller is made in the USA.

5 Minutes of Stretching that Could Keep You Injury Free

We’ve spent the last few blog posts talking about the interconnective chain of muscles – how they work and how one weak link can result in a domino effect of injuries.  So, how do you prevent that domino effect of injuries?  The best way is to not get injured in the first place.  Easier said than done you might think but with 5  – 10 minutes a day, spent post-exercise or before you turn in for the night you could be well on your way to being injury free.

We’ve highlighted 5 important areas for stretching that could keep you on our feet.
The focus on calf stretching, hamstring stretches, glute stretches, core strengthening, hip flexibility, and groin stretches.  For video demonstration of exercises check out:  http://www.YouTube.com/MediDyne

1.       Calves- Your calves are the muscles that help you to plant your foot and propel you forward. Tight calves are often the root of many lower leg and foot injuries. For optimal calf stretches, focus on relaxing and lengthening your stretch. Also be sure to stretch both the inner and outer calf, as well as the muscles supporting your Achilles tendon. video

2.       Hamstrings– Your hamstrings help with hip extension and knee flexing during running.  Hamstring injuries are tied to excessive stiffness reflecting a lack of flexibility, and are most likely to occur when you are increasing your speed or workload. Stretches for your hamstring are best accomplished sitting or lying down so that your muscles can fully relax. video

3.       Quads– The powerhouse of your legs: quads are comprised of four different muscles that form the strongest muscle group in your body. They are connected to your knee and help extend the leg, so when you use your legs you use your quads. Muscle tears and knee injuries are often a direct result of having tight quads. When stretching your quads, try multiple stretches at different levels so that you are reaching all four muscles. video

4.       Glutes and Core- These areas keep your gait level and aligned, extending you forward when you run.  Most people equate the term “core strength” with ab strength.  But that’s not the case.  The glutes are key supporters of your core stability. Tight glutes can be a main factor behind a change in how you walk or move, contributing to lower back pain or  injury as far down as your knees or even your lower leg and foot. Stretch your core slowly and carefully to avoid straining your surrounding muscles. video

5.       Hip Flexors and Groin– Your hip flexors help with forward leg motion and upward knee drive, while your groin muscle pulls the legs together and help with the movement of your hip. Your hip flexors also help control your hamstrings. Tight hip flexors can restrain the glutes, and cause the pelvis to tilt resulting in lower back pain. Although the hip flexors may seem hard to reach use an extended lunge or butterfly stretch for a good warm up. You should not feel any pain when stretching your groin, just a gentle pull. video

For more video demonstrations of stretching exercises for these 5 key areas check out http://www.YouTube.com/MediDyne

For more information on products that help with muscle stretches,  muscle strengthening or injury rehab check out:  http://www.medi-dyne.com/pain-solution-center.html

Are You Suffering from a Chain Reaction Injury

Chain Reaction Injuries – They’re Not What You Think They Are

You’ve probably heard it all your life…the toe bone connected to the foot bone, and the foot bone connected to the ankle bone, and the ankle bone connected to the leg bone…   So it’s really no great leap of faith to think of your ligaments, muscles, bones, and tendons as an interconnected chain that work together to ensure your ability to stand, sit, walk or run.

So why is it that we so often try to treat the symptoms of our pain rather than look at the chain as a whole?

Case in point:  We recently read an article about TCU athlete Clint Renfro.  This young man is an outstanding athlete.  But Renfro’s first years at TCU were plagued by one minor injury after another. Note the word “minor”.  No one injury, in and of itself, seemed to be enough to force him to the sidelines.  Yet that’s where he remained – on the sideline or more appropriately, with the athletic trainers.

Although he initially suffered from hamstring pulls and lower back pain.  Then he began to experience increasing foot pain (which was later diagnosed as Achilles tendonitis).  When we think back to the interconnective chain we really shouldn’t be surprised by this domino effect.

When one of the links in your body’s interconnective chain is broken (pulled, sprained, inflamed) other areas in your body suffer. In an attempt to maintain your performance levels, other parts of your body compensate for the ‘kink or break’ in your chain. What may have started out as a simple muscle imbalance or slight injury can ultimately lead to increased injury, pain, and potentially a significant breakdown of your body’s interconnective chain.

A breakdown within your interconnective chain can cause you to alter your focus. Instead of solving the actual problem, you are drawn towards the area surrounding it; those muscles forced to bear the burden of compensating for the weakness of the real problem.

Whether you are a weekend warrior, a competitive athlete, athletic trainer, physical therapist or just someone who’d like to live without pain, we challenge you to do a true evaluation of muscle strength and compensation.  Look for the real problem.  See which muscles are compensating for others.  Realize that next time you suffer an injury the breakdown in your chain is not always what it seems, start from the bottom (your feet) and move towards finding a solution that ensures long-term healing.

So, what happened to Renfro?  When his injuries continued and his healing did not, Renfro sought the specialists. After dozens of consultations and increasing personal frustration, Renfro was finally diagnosed with the real problem.  A previously undetected dislocation in his right foot was determined to be the spark that lit the fuse leading to four years of fire to Renfro’s health.  Renfro suffered a simple ankle sprain, but the damage caused a chain reaction that manifested into years of injury and frustration.

You can read more on Renfro at the link below (originally printed in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram): http://texasjournalofchiropractic.eznuz.com/printFriendly.cfm?articleID=23079

Your body’s only as strong as your weakest link?  What’s yours?