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Posts Tagged ‘calf stretches’

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.

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 Importance of Running Form

Craig’s Corner: Form over function or function over form?

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

Like any moving object, variables change at different speeds. For example, when trying to turn a car, you can turn in a smaller radius at lower speeds than you can at higher speeds. Or, the faster you are going, the longer and farther it takes to stop.  So it is with running; variables change with the increase and decrease of speed.   I have learned this first hand during my training for the OKC Memorial Marathon.

During the week, I have been running my shorter distances at a much faster tempo than during my long runs on the weekend. What I have noticed is that I am experiencing tightness in different parts of my body, based on the speed at which I run.

At the faster speeds my attention is more on my breathing and overall feeling of being tired, and maybe a little on the tightness in my calves. I deal with each of these issues easily, by first stopping my run temporarily so I can catch my breath….I know rocket science, right?  And second, for my tight calves; I use my Tuli’s heel cups to prevent most of the shock that causes the Achilles and then calf tightness, and also I do some simple ProStretch Plus stretching post run and throughout the day. These latter techniques are such simple measures, but within a day or two the tightness goes away.

Running form and the interconnective chain of the legs.

When I run at slower speeds during the longer mileage in my training, my attention seems to switch to the arches of my feet and to my quadriceps. At first this confused me because I wasn’t feeling excessively tired during my long runs, more “heavy” than tired. The more I thought about it though, the more I realized that at slower speeds I was changing the way that I ran.   My running form at slower speeds was putting more pressure on my arches and was also forcing my quadriceps to engage more.   Essentially, my running form was changing the way the tendons and muscles, that make up the interconnective chain of my legs, were working together.  My form was driving function.

The solution to my dilemma was to use more arch support on my slower runs and also roll out and stretch my quads really well after my run.   Once I supported my arches and also built up my quads my “attention” areas all but went away.

So, the next time you start having to pay some attention to a problem area consider all the variables, not only around that area, but also those that are interconnected.   Like me, you might find the pain in one place is caused by a situation in another place.

For more information on techniques and tools that help with those problem areas 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.

Shin Splints in Runners

If you are a runner, there is a very good chance that you have experienced shin pain.  The number one cause of shin pain in runners is shin splints. Athletes who are in the early stages of shin splints usually experience pain when their runs first begin, but then the pain tends to disappear as their run continues. It is common for their shin pain to return after exercise or the following morning.  If the condition remains untreated and worsens, the athlete will find that they experience shin pain more often than not.

The term shin splints refers to pain along the large bone on the front of your leg, called your shinbone or tibia. The pain results from an overload on the shinbone and the connective tissue that attaches your muscles to the bone. People with shin splints often complain of mild swelling, soreness, or pain along the inner part of their lower leg or at their shin bone.

What causes shin splints?

  • Incorrect or inappropriate training methods.  Abrupt changes in the intensity, frequency or duration of training can be a factor in the onset of shin splints.
  • Muscular imbalances or lack of flexibility which lead to muscle weakness and instability.  Shin splints can be the result when your body over-compensates for this.
  • Training excessively on hard surfaces.  Concrete is very hard on the body and running predominantly on it could result in shin splints.

How do I treat and prevent shin splints?

  • Rest – Depending upon the severity, it may be necessary to completely stop running for a period of time.
  • Support Your Arches – Arch supports in every day shoes can help cushion and disperse stress on your shinbones, providing immediate pain relief for existing shin splints and added support and padding that help to prevent them.
  • Increase Flexibility in Your Calf Muscles – Your calves play a large role in the health of your shins.  Stretching your calves daily and increasing your calf flexibility can help you reduce your risk of muscle imbalance injury.
  • Strengthen the Opposition – Adding strength training to your flexibility exercises is a good way to work all of the supporting muscles required for proper muscle balance.

Icing can help the pain

Ice Dipping– Fill up your tub half full with water, add frozen water bottles or a bag of ice to get the water ICE COLD.  Submerge your lower leg into the ice water all the way to your knees.  Hold it in there for 10 seconds, walk around, and wait at least 5 minutes and then repeat the process 3-5 times.

Ice Massage – Fill small paper cups with water and freeze. Use one of the paper cups to massage the exposed ice into the most painful areas of your shins for a minimum of 5 minutes. Make sure you do not let the ice sit on one spot for too long.
For more information on shin splint pain solutions or to purchase shin splint treatments 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]

Taming Tight Hamstrings

Many athletes suffer from hamstring injuries each year, but tight hamstrings can also occur from daily activities like walking.  Understanding the cause of tight hamstrings is key in determining a prevention plan.

The hamstrings are not one muscle, but actually a group of three muscles that run down the back of your leg from the pelvis to the lower leg bones making up the bulk in back of your thigh. Your hamstrings function to extend the hip and flex the knee joints. The three muscles that make up the hamstrings are the biceps femoris, semi-tendinosus and semi-membranosus.

A hamstring pull is a muscle strain where muscle fibers are torn either partially or completely. If you have a hamstring injury you are likely to know it right away. A sudden, sharp pain in the back of the thigh could be your first indicator. After which it will be hard to straighten your leg out all of the way without pain. CT scans and MRI may be used to define the more serious injuries.Hamstring injuries happen when the muscles are stretched too far causing tearing of the muscle fibers. Sudden sprints or other fast or twisting motions with your legs (e.g. soccer, running, jumping, basketball) are the major causes of hamstring injuries.

 

The primary risk factors for injury include:

  • Age: As you age, your muscles loose flexibility, making it easier to suffer from a hamstring injury.
  • Fitness Level/Flexibility: Your fitness level is based on strength, endurance and flexibility. The less flexible you are, the more likely you are to pull a muscle and depending on what activity you are participating in, the more likely that muscle will be your hamstring.
  • Strength Imbalances: The muscle strength and flexibility imbalance, specifically between the quadriceps and hamstring muscle groups can lead to hamstring injuries. The hamstring muscles of one leg may be much stronger than the other leg, or the quadriceps muscles may overpower the hamstrings leading to injury.
  • Fatigue: When you’ve done too much, too soon or have pushed yourself beyond your limits you lose coordination between muscle groups. This lack of coordination can easily result in a pulled muscle.
  • Improper Warm Up: Muscle fatigue and not warming up properly can contribute to hamstring injuries.

If you’ve ever pulled your hamstrings, prevention will clearly be your goal, repeating that injury not only interferes with your everyday activities but puts you at risk for a repeat injury. To prevent future pulls, and for tips on preventing pain before it begins visit Medi-Dyne’s Pain Solution Center.

 

“Building a Champion” Medi-Dyne’s National Video Championships

At Medi-Dyne we recognize that budget cuts are an issue for Athletic Departments nation-wide. We would like to give back to the institutions that help develop athletes and build champions every day.

Building a Champion – Medi-Dyne’s National Video Championships for Athletic Departments provides a fun and educational way to earn money for your school’s athletes.

Just submit a video that includes Medi-Dyne’s ProStretch Plus and/or Range Roller to the Building a Champion – Medi-Dyne’s National Video Championships for Athletic Departments on Facebook. Then, publicize your video and rack up the views & votes.

Vote early, vote often, get everyone you know to vote because getting the crowd involved is how you’re going build a champion. The video with the most votes will be declared the Champion and will be awarded a $2,500 donation to his/her school’s athletic department! Additional prizes will also be awarded.

View the Official Contest Video

1-2 Punch to Knock Out Heel Pain

Suffering from Heel Pain? 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. If you’re suffering from heel pain use this 2-step process to find immediate relief and long-term healing of your pain.

What 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.

Plantar Fasciitis usually develops gradually, but it may feel as though it has happened suddenly. Symptoms can be described as an incredible pain in your heel when you take your first steps in the morning or after getting up from being seated for a while. Or you may feel a sharp, stabbing heel pain, one that subsides after walking around for a while.

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.

Is there a Solution?  A two-year study done by the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society (AOFAS) found that 88% of those who used the world’s #1 selling Tuli’s Heel Cups combined with tendon and plantar fascia stretching exercises experienced relief from their symptoms.

Why is Deep Stretching So Important?  Maintaining good flexibility throughout the interconnective chain of the lower leg is the best way to heal and prevent the recurrence of plantar fasciitis. In fact, during the AOFAS study, researchers found that it was the combination of heel cups and targeted stretching exercises that provided the most significant relief from heel pain. Proper stretching and strengthening programs can correct functional risk factors such as tightness of the calves and Achilles tendon or weakness of the foot muscles, providing both immediate benefits and long-term healing. Making stretching and strengthening part of your daily routine is the best way to prevent the occurrence or recurrence of heel pain.

 A Medically Proven Solution. Unlike single-product solutions, this 1-2 punch offers a multifaceted approach that provides both maximum cushioning support for immediate relief AND deep stretching for long-term healing & prevention of further injury.

Immediate Relief- The bio-mechanically designed Tuli’s heel cups provide immediate relief by cushioning the area of pain and elevating the calcaneus (heel bone) to take pressure off of the Achilles tendon, lessening the tension and allowing for a regaining of flexibility. Tuli’s patented multi-cell, multi-layer “waffle” design bears down upon impact and rotates with the normal motion of the foot to absorb the shock of walking and running. And just like a spring, Tuli’s returns that energy back for maximum performance.

Long-Term Healing- The ProStretch Plus provides a deep stretch that increases flexibility along the entire interconnective chain, delivering the long-term flexibility needed for a lasting heel pain solution. The exclusive removable toe lift puts both the plantar fasciia and the toes in a state of tension that allows for a maximized stretch. The unique rocker bottom allows you to progressively deepen your stretch in a continuous motion. Far superior to using a curb or wall which requires you to stop, re-adjust your angle and lose the tension.

Order your Tuli’s Heel Cups and ProStretch Plus today to knock out heel pain.

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?

Your Back Pain May Be All in Your…Legs?

A misalignment of your body no matter how small, can wreak havoc from your head to your toes. Because the muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joints in your body act as links in an interconnective chain it takes these links working 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 that breakdown occurs first in their legs and feet.

The Weak Recruit the Strong

Lower body muscle imbalances put the back and lower extremities at high risk of injury. Weak muscles cause tighter, stronger muscles to be recruited by the central nervous system in order to perform the same movement, doing jobs they were never intended to do. Often time weak legs or misaligned lower body extremities cause tighter core muscles to be recruited in order to support the back. Over time this can cause pain in the joints, muscle strains, and/or injuries. Most people don’t realize they have these imbalances until it’s too late.

Make Your Legs Work for You

You can realize both short-term relief and long-term healing by making sure your feet and legs are doing their jobs properly. Building stability, flexibility, and strength in your lower body, helps ensure the lower body is functionally supporting your back.

A simple step that leads to short-term relief is promoting stability and proper alignment. Walking, training or stretching with your legs and feet parallel, hip-distance-apart, with your toes pointed forward and your hips balanced over your knees will promote basic alignment. Also using supportive foot care products, such as Tuli’s reinforcing insoles or heel cups, will help to prevent misalignment caused by the feet or ankles. Maintaining correct structure is only possible if the muscles and fascia are balanced and operating correctly.

The next steps that will help to heal and alleviate pain from your back include stretching and strengthening your lower body muscles.  Although the skeletal system aligns our body, it is our soft tissues (muscles) that pull our alignment out of place.  Focus on stretching your hamstrings to recover correct posture, your piriforms which run from your thigh bone to the base of the spine, and your gluteus muscles for hip flexibility and pelvis support. The CoreStretch helps to provide an extended stretch for your hamstrings, hips and back.  Squats, lunges, or even lateral leg lifts will also increase strength and flexibility of tight, lower-body muscles. Such self-care solutions can help take you toward reducing and preventing back pain.

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