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Posts Tagged ‘heel pain’

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

A Success Story: Tuli’s Heel Cups

Dr. Murray Davidson was a podiatrist in Phoenix when his 13-year-old son, Jeff, came into his office complaining of sore heels. Dr. Davidson began by prescribing the customary forms of treatment; styrofoam pads, heel supports, various strappings, ultra sound and even whirlpool therapy but none of the traditional methods seemed to work. Dr. Davidson soon became frustrated and embarrassed that he could not find a solution to Jeff’s heel pain. Desperate to maintain the confidence of his son, he began looking at Jeff’s heel pain very differently.

Dr. Davidson acknowledged that Jeff’s heels needed to be protected from distress caused by every day walking and running. He understood that Jeff’s heels were absorbing a substantial amount of shock each time he stepped, just like the shock experienced from a shotgun recoiling. As a hunter Dr. Davidson knew shotguns well. For the first time he noticed the recoil pad on his shotgun—how it was long-lasting and durable, while protecting the body from shock. So he took some of the recoil pads and cut little cushions out for his son’s heels. To their surprise Jeff’s heel pain went away, immediately!

What a wonderful revelation! Jeff felt better and soon this news traveled throughout the Davidson’s community. Jeff’s friends began seeking assistance from Dr. Davidson’s office; everyone wanted these miraculous heel cups. Dr. Davidson found himself frequently working late into the night, hand making his innovative heel cups. This was not conducive to long work days at the office (or Jeff’s after-school sports schedule), so eventually Dr. Davidson contracted a mold maker and patented the product we know as Tuli’s.

Tuli’s heel cups might have come from a far-reaching idea, but the innovative structure of the product is still unmatched by any heel pain solution on the market. Tuli’s patented, multi-cell, multi-layer “waffle” design absorbs shock and returns impact energy just like the system naturally found in your feet. Upon impact, the waffle construction bears down and rotates with the normal motion of the foot to absorb the shock of walking and running; keeping your feet, knees, hips and back in alignment for maximum comfort and performance. The #1 Podiatrist recommended Tuli’s heel cup provides immediate relief from heel pain by cushioning the area of pain and elevating the heel bone to take pressure off of the Achilles tendon which lessens the tension and allows for a regaining of flexibility.

Comfort or Style This Summer?

No Need to Choose Comfort Over Style This Summer

Summer has always presented a time to liberate your feet with open-toe shoes, sandals or even going barefoot. But for many, the resulting blisters can be a high price to pay for that freedom. According to the Foot Health Foundation, almost 20 percent of the U.S. population has more than one foot problem each year. Summer should be carefree, relaxing and fun— the last thing you want to think about is heel pain and blisters.

SoftMovesTM Adhesive Gel Pads put the ease back into summer.  SoftMoves, use fixi-gelTM  self-adhering shock-absorbing gel pads so they can be worn with or without shoes.

The SoftMoves Adhesive Gel Pad actually sticks directly to your foot or shoe without messy, one-use adhesives— providing a soft, pliable cushion for blisters or a shock-absorbing pillow for hard-working feet. SoftMoves are transparent so they can be worn undetectably with any style of shoe; sandals, flip-flops, backless heels, open-toe pumps or even no shoes at all. And because the fixi-gel itself is adhesive in nature, it can be moved from foot to shoe and still remain in place without falling, sliding or moving.

SoftMoves are a natural for summer, but sandals are increasingly popular as year-round shoes as well.  The superior cushioning and self-adhesive nature of the transparent, soothing fixi-gel makes SoftMoves the perfect year-round shoe accessory.

At Medi-Dyne our focus is on innovations in pain prevention. We understand that comfort never goes out of style,” state Craig DiGiovanni, Vice President, Medi-Dyne Healthcare Products.  Sandals, flip-flops, sport shoes, heels, open-toe shoes and COMFORT!

Freedom never felt so soft.

Spring Sports Injury Report

We asked Athletic Trainer’s from across the nation questions about “spring injuries.” Here’s what Kristen Smith, head ATC and head of Sports Medicine at Canton South High School  in Canton, Ohio had to say;

  1. What are “spring sports” and how do they add to the onset of “spring injuries”
    Our spring sports include baseball, softball, boys and girls track and boys tennis.  It is a shorter season but it is jam packed with games six days a week.  Many rotator cuff strains are seen with the throwing sports.  The training room is a very busy place with track athletes from shin splints to quad and hamstring strains.  Our cold whirlpool runs daily to ensure our athletes are back on the track the next day.  The ProStretch Plus has been wonderful for our athletes to use, especially for lower leg stretching.  This year is the first to have fewer cases of shin splints.
  2. What injuries do you see in the spring? Any injury more typical in the spring than in the fall or winter? Why? 
    Rotator cuff and bicep injuries are more prevalent with our racket and throwing sports.  More athletes come out for track than for cross country and I think many of them come out for the social aspect, so their training levels are not optimal when the season starts.  Many one-sport athletes seem to be getting sore and injured more often due to this factor.  Lower back strains are another common one with throwers that I feel is due to their lack of training in the preseason.  Definitely see more rotator cuff and bicep injuries with males than females due to pitching.
  3. What are your prevention programs for these “spring injuries”?
    During the preseason I try to make it into the weight room daily to see what types of programs our coaches have put together for our athletes and what our athletes are doing to make themselves better.  With social media playing a large part with athletes, they often come with questions as to why a specific professional athlete is training a certain way.  It is great to see them looking into what other athletes in their sport are doing to become better.
  4. What are your injury rehab programs for “spring injuries”?
    Lots of theraband exercises for our throwing sports.  A combination of moist heat, massage, stretching and cryotherapy are used for all lower leg injuries.  The RangeRoller has been great for quad and hamstring strains, and the ProStretch Plus has been used a lot for plantar fasciitis, calf strains and shin splints.

For more information on how to prevent spring injuries 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.

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/.

Suffering from Heel Pain?

Are you suffering from heel pain? Chances are, you are in good company. Heel pain is one of the most common complaints relating to the foot.

Here are a few things you may not have known about heel pain;

  • Millions of people receive treatment for heel pain each year.
  • Many people live with it for a year or more before seeking help or finding a solution.
  • While many people think they have heel spurs the more accurate diagnosis is often Plantar fasciitis.
  • It is estimated that 1 out of every 10 people will suffer from Plantar fasciitis.
  • 90% of the Plantar fasciitis cases occur after the age of 40.
  • Factors that may increase your risk of developing heel pain include; weight, pregnancy, exercise, non-supportive shoes, tight muscles, age and occupation.
  • According to the Mayo Clinic, about 90% of the people who have Plantar fasciitis recover with conservative treatments in just a few months.
  • Supporting your heels with shoe inserts or heel cups can provide immediate relief from heel pain.
  • Making stretching and strengthening part of your daily routine is the best way to prevent the occurrence or reoccurrence of heel pain.
  • Maintaining flexibility throughout the lower leg is the best way to heal Plantar fasciitis.

For more information on Heel Pain Solutions or Plantar Fasciitis Treatments visit the pain solution center at medi-dyne.com.

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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.

 

Is Your Heel Pain Heel Spurs or Plantar Fasciitis?

Suffering from heel pain is bad enough but not knowing what’s causing it or how to make it stop just makes it worse!  Terms like heel spurs and Plantar fasciitis (PLAN-tur fas-e-I-tis) get used interchangeably but how do you determine what’s causing your heel pain?

Define your pain

While nothing replaces a diagnosis from a physician, a few simple questions can help you narrow down your plan of action.

Do you have…

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

Any one or even all of these symptoms could indicate plantar fasciitis.  Heel spurs don’t always cause pain.  In fact, heel spurs often show up unexpectedly on X-rays taken for some other problem.

So, what’s the difference?

What is Plantar Fasciitis?
The plantar fascia is a broad band of fibrous tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot from the heel to the forefoot. This band connects the heel bone to the toes and creates the arch of the foot.  Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the plantar fascia which happens when the plantar fascia is overstretched or overused.

With this condition, the pain is felt in the base of the heel and can make even everyday walking difficult.  According to the Mayo Clinic, “about 90 percent of the people who have plantar fasciitis recover with conservative treatments in just a few months. “

The two most important steps you can take to treat plantar fasciitis is to use a quality heel cup in your shoes and to perform targeted stretching exercises designed to maintain good flexibility throughout the interconnective chain of the lower leg.  In addition to these treatments, it is recommended that you reduce your activity level when experiencing severe pain and apply ice to the affected area regularly.

What is a Heel Spur?
A heel spur is a sharp bony growth at the front side of the heel bone (Calcaneus).   It usually begins on the front of your heel bone and points toward the arch of your foot — without your realizing it.

Heel spurs can cause pain in the back of the foot especially while standing or walking.  However, it should be noted that the heel spur itself is actually not causing any pain. It is the inflamed tissue around the spur that causes pain and discomfort.

Many people who suffer from heel pain are quick to conclude that they have heel spurs but general heel pain as described earlier is much more likely to be Plantar fasciitis.  Only an x-ray of the heel bone will prove whether a person has a true heel spur.

Treating a True Heel Spur

In the past, doctors often performed surgery to remove heel spurs, believing them to be the cause of the pain.  Most of that pain is now determined to be associated with plantar fasciitis. In treating plantar fasciitis now, doctors rely more on ice, heel cups, arch supports, physical therapy, and pain medications.

Sufferers from heel spurs can find relief by using a quality heel cup or arch support in their shoes.  A heel cup will provide extra cushion to the heel and reduce the amount of pressure and shock that your foot experiences.  Treating heel spurs can take some time but sufferers who use heel cups, choose sensible shoes, and include stretching and strengthening exercises for the plantar fascia and other surrounding structures such as the Achilles tendon can expect significant pain relief.

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

Overcoming Plantar Fasciitis, An Inspiring Story

We were sent this testimonial from Arielle; runner, triathlete, and soon-to-be Ironwoman. She recently overcame 10-months of pain and suffering, due to ‘nagging’ Plantar Fasciitis, with some truly inspiring perseverance and what she calls “Medi-Dyne magic.”

“As a highly competitive gymnast growing up I periodically had heel pain, but nothing that I couldn’t remedy within a few days. Fast-forward about a decade later, and I found myself completely in love with long distance running. Ever since I took up the sport in the spring of 2009, I had experienced intermittent heel pain on and off again. In all of my athletic history my feet and ankles have always been my weak link, and I’ve run the gamut of injuries from stress fractures to dislocation to neuromas and so on…
Fast-forward one more time to March 2011, just 6 weeks before the Boston Marathon. I had been training for over a year to qualify and prepare for the race in Boston. After my
first 20 mile training run my foot completely seized up, and nothing would remedy the intense heel pain and feeling of strain that I was feeling in my foot. I stretched 3 times every day, used traditional methods—ice and massage, but nothing would alleviate my heel pain and get my arch to loosen up. I was forced to stop training up until race day, though  even after over a month off my feet, my Plantar Fasciitis was no better than that first day it came on.

I limped my way through the Boston Marathon and afterward my injury was no better or worse than before, so I took another couple of months off from running to try and get the inflammation to cease.  In the mean time, I found triathlons, which helped due to less running, but I was dissatisfied with the solution. I was recently gearing up for the Seattle Half Marathon in November of 2011, my first race since April. I was having a particularly painful week, feeling like I would never be uninjured again.

Training was going well but I still had nagging Plantar Fasciitis and foot pain, a sign of not good things to come (given that I’m racing in the Ironman Canada next summer). During an evening of injury-related depression I was surfing Twitter and saw someone post that Medi-Dyne would be sponsoring #runchat. I went to medi-dyne.com and clicked through to learn more about you guys. I instantly remembered seeing you in either Runner’s World or Triathlon magazine, and pulled the trigger to have my ProStretch Plus rush ordered. From all of the stretching I’ve done I understood immediately what sets the ProStretch Plus apart, and hoped it would truly be the device to save me!

My ProStretch Plus arrived just a couple days later, and after 1 day I saw a huge  improvement in my Plantar Fasciitis (both heel pain and arch tightness). After 3 days my  heel pain was gone, my arch tightness had subsided, and I was noticing less arthritis pain in the outside edge of my foot. After 7 days I was able to go off my arthritis medication and I haven’t had any heel pain since!!

The foot is so interdependent on all of its moving parts that inherently many of my injuries have stemmed from compensation for other injuries. Regular use of the ProStretch Plus has really gotten to the core for me to work through many of my foot injury issues. I  haven’t been in pain for a while (finally!!) I’m still seeing active improvement in my flexibility and stride while walking and running. And I love that the product is so easy to use; I keep mine in my kitchen so that I can use it between cooking and cleaning in an area where we all congregate. The ease of use makes it easy for me to remember and more likely to incorporate it into my routine.So happy to have found you guys an looking forward to more of your magic!” – Arielle

Thanks to Arielle for sharing that amazing story and the fun photos with us. You can follow Arrielle’s training on her blog, “On the Way to Ironman” at www.onthewaytoironman.wordpress.com.  We are looking forward to hearing about her success at the Ironman in Canada this summer.

If you have a story about your injury recovery that you would like to share with us, or if Medi-Dyne helped heal your pain please email connect@medi-dyne.com. Read what others are saying about the ProStretch Plus at medi-dyne.com or order your ProStretch Plus today.