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Posts Tagged ‘injury solution’

SCARIEST Word for Runners: INJURY

SCARIEST Word for Runners: INJURY

Runner with ankle injury has sprained and strained ankle.

Here is how to NEVER hear that frightening word.

Medi-Dyne is proud to welcome back Athlete Ambassador Meghan Kennihan as our guest blogger.

KNOW YOUR LIMITS

Every runner has an injury threshold and it is different for everyone. Some people can run 120 miles a week and some can only run 20, but if you exceed your threshold you are asking for injury. Most runners get injured because they do too much, too soon, too fast. Training errors are the number one cause of self-inflicted running injuries. When you rush the process of building up mileage or try to run too fast your body does not have time to recover and handle the increasing demands you are inflicting on it. Most doctors, physical therapists, and chiropractors will tell you to build your mileage by no more than 10% a week, which is a general rule, however, you may only be able to build by 5%. Each runner is different so make sure you listen to your body and KNOW YOUR LIMITS. It’s a good idea to alternate hard and easy days to give your body the recovery it needs from speed workouts, long runs, hill training etc. Make sure you incorporate rest weeks into your training plan every three weeks and keep a detailed log of your mileage and how you feel after your runs so you can recognize when problems start to occur.

LISTEN TO YOUR BODY

Don’t run through pain. The majority of running injuries come on gradually and can be stopped if you catch them early. This means a shorter recovery period. Aches and pains do come with running but persistent aches and pains do not. If a pain causes you enough discomfort that you alter your gait, it’s time to stop. Take 2-3 days off, cross-train if you need to and then test out your “injury” gradually. If you’re pain free, get back to your normal routine. If it still hurts, you may need to see a doctor and find out the root cause of the pain, or you may just need more time off.

STRENGTH TRAIN

It is very important for runners to have strong hip and core muscles. When you strengthen your inner and outer thighs, your butt, and your transverse abdominis (stabilizing abdominal muscles) you increase your leg stability all the way down to your feet. Lying leg raises, inner thigh raises, clams, planks, and side planks are great exercises to add to your training program.

R.I.C.E

Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation are great when you have aches and pains in your muscles and joints. These four things can help relieve your pain, reduce swelling and send blood to those tissues to help speed the healing process. However, many runners neglect the REST part of the equation and continue to run then ice, then run the next day and ice again. This may take the pain away for a short time but you are not giving the tissues any time to heal before you are pounding away at them again. Elevating and compressing the area with a bandage or towel will also help reduce the inflammation. Then make sure you REST the next day and give your body a chance to heal, rather than running and prolonging the injury. Do not take NSAIDs except for acute injuries; instead try turmeric pills or anti-inflammatory foods such as salmon, blueberries, or leafy greens.

VARY RUNNING SURFACES

If you are always running a cambered road you are putting more pressure on your one leg over and over and over which can easily lead to hip and knee problems on that side. Also the road has no give to it and when you land all that impact (2-3x your body weight) is going right back into your legs. Try to do some of your runs, especially your long runs, on level surfaces and if possible soft surfaces such as crushed limestone, trails, even a bike path. The treadmill can also offer a forgiving surface if you can stand the boredom.

Sports Knee pain

TOO MUCH SPEED

There is such a thing as too much speedwork and too much racing. Those efforts are near max and can be very hard on your body and your mind. Doing speedwork twice a week then racing on the weekend does not give your body or mind sufficient rest. Even elite runners limit their speedwork to no more than 5-10% at 5K pace and no more than 20% at tempo or threshold pace. A good rule of thumb for racing is to take one day of recovery for every mile raced.

CROSS-TRAIN

Running is very hard on the body, 2-3x your body weight with each stride, make sure you take at least one day of rest each week and consider making one of your run days a “cross-training” day. Cross-training can improve your muscle balance and work muscles that you never knew you had. Activities such as swimming, cycling, elliptical and rowing will improve your aerobic fitness and even help your running.

YOU’RE INJURED, NOW WHAT

If you have an injury, take this opportunity to make the best of it. Ask yourself what can I learn about myself? How can this time off help my running in the long term? What CAN I do… swim? Bike? Strength? PT?

Try to find the cause of your injury, muscle imbalance? Shoe? Training? Nutrition? But be prepared to come up empty and to heal up and return to running without knowing the cause of the pain that made you stop. This mind set will enable you to get through your injuries with less stress and anxiety. The most important thing is to accept that time is the only real healer, and try not to layer extra stress and anxiety onto the injury experience by grasping at healing measures like ultrasounds, electric stem, graston, steroids, acupunture etc. and expecting miracles from them.

Disclaimer: Please consult your physician before continuing to exercise through any pain or discomfort. The training tips and treatments in this article are suggestions based on years of training and experience, but should not replace a treatment plan prescribed by your doctor.

About Meghan:

Meghan Kennihan - Athlete AmbassadorMeghan is a USA Track & Field coach and a RRCA (Road Runners of America) certified distance coach. She is a certified personal trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine and a level 3 USA Cycling Coach. She has over 12 years of experience teaching spin classes, weight-lifting, and group exercise. Meghan is also an experienced runner, ultrarunner, and triathlete competing, winning, and placing in 5Ks, 10Ks, half-marathons, marathons, ultra distances, and triathlons. She also holds multiple state Powerlifting records. Learn more about Meghan www.trainwithmeghan.com

Medi-Dyne is proud to have Meghan as an Athlete Ambassador.

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.

RangeRoller: Hard to Reach Muscles

Chuck Swanson is a runner/athlete born and raised in Lincoln, Nebraska.   He runs a couple marathons and 3-6 road races every year, and he intends to run an ultra marathon (50 miles) in the near future.  Chuck’s training includes 30-60 miles of running each week, increasing during peak training times.

As a runner, Chuck has suffered many aches and pains. His list includes fighting issues with; illiotibial band syndrome (ITBS or IT Band Syndrome), plantar fasciitis, calf strains and tight calf muscles, as well as Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) issues, to name a few. Chuck was given the opportunity to use and review the RangeRoller, for deep tissue massage therapy. Here is what Chuck said;

“I like the RangeRoller’s ability to help get those sore spots that need a little ‘TLC’.  The RangeRoller is easy to use and is easy to take to races, both close and far away.  It is easily cleaned up and is compact and effective.

massage stick for calf pain tight calvesI use the RangeRoller to get to those spots that my foam roller can’t reach or get to.  It is a great item to help with this because of the raised pieces [Trigger Treads] that allow for a more ART [Active Release Technique] type therapy.  I am able to get out the soreness and muscle trauma spots with ease.  I also use the RangeRoller at races to help get my muscles loose and warmed up before my races, in addition to dynamic stretches and jogging/running.

I use the RangeRoller at home, in my car (close local races), and at the hotel/motel (farther destination type races).  Outside or inside the product is easy to use, and can be used anywhere you want really.

RangeRoller massage for foot painThe RangeRoller can sometimes pull the hair out of my legs when I use it, but the rewards far exceed the pain!

This product is unique and I didn’t really have anything similar to it.  I use a foam roller and the RangeRoller together because they work similar but are great compliments to one another.  I was in the market and ready to purchase The Stick and saw a tweet that intervened, the rest is history.  I am glad I was able to get the RangeRoller to try and am definitely a fan.

illiotibial band massage rollerI would definitely recommend this product to a friend.  I would recommend it because I have ZERO doubts that it has helped me go through my first training cycle for a marathon injury free.  I have always encountered some type of injury that has caused me to miss at least a week of training in every marathon I have run (8 total).  This training cycle has been different and I have honestly never felt better health wise.

The RangeRoller has helped with my chronic ITBS issues and calf issues.  Paired with my foam roller and Bio Freeze, it works hand in hand with getting me out to train and doing it injury free. “

For more information on deep tissue massage therapy or to purchase the RangeRoller visit www.medi-dyne.com.

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

Aches and Pains of a Beginner Biker

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

The word beginner in the title is important, because that is what I am.   Of course I have ridden a bicycle almost my entire life, but not for very long stretches of time at a constant speed.   I have recently taken up more serious cycling, both to help improve my running and to allow me to possibly compete in some triathlons.    Quite frankly, I have really enjoyed the process of getting out and riding more.   There is something very therapeutic about riding a bike, in addition to some great exercise.    Based on some research, it also is supposed to enhance my running times.

What I didn’t fully expect when I started biking was that the muscles I used would be quite different than those I used while running or swimming.    After running the OKC Memorial Marathon, my quads were by far the sorest muscles post-race. Cue the need for biking, which helps to build up the quad muscles.  However, my quads weren’t the muscles that ached the most following my first long bike rides.    The muscles that ached the most were in my upper and lower back.  Big surprise?   Not really.   Being bent over handles bars for a couple of hours is sure to put a strain on your lower back and even my upper back, right between my shoulder blades.

The reoccurring back pain and lower back muscle tightness I experienced quickly brought on a need for some back stretches.   The good news here is that I have access to one of the premier back stretching devices available, the CoreStretch. The CoreStretch’s simple but unique design easily targeted the stiff areas including my upper and lower back.   There have been some great reviews from cyclists about the CoreStretch, but now I really get it.   Not only do I see the additional need for core strengthening when it comes to cycling, but also for core stretching as an integral part of biking.

There were a few stretches that really helped me get rid of my post-cycling back pain. These included; the crossed hands stretch and also the lower back/hamstring stretch.   Those two in particular seem to give me the most relief for the areas that take the most stress while I cycle.   My future biking plans will definitely include pre and post ride stretching with the CoreStretch to make sure I get the most out of each ride both physically and mentally!

For more information on the CoreStretch or for instructional videos or brochures visit www.medi-dyne.com.

Beat the Heat, Run Faster!

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

Sound enticing?   Let me assure you, it is.  Now, I am from Texas and beating the heat is something we deal with often.   However, it seems that this is becoming a bigger and bigger issue as more people move into the sun-belt areas, and summers everywhere seem to be hotter than normal.

So what do I do to beat the heat? Well, I have gotten on the quest to lower my marathon time which involves changing my training schedule and routine.   One of the suggested changes is to incorporate other activities to compliment my running.   The purpose of this is to continue working on cardiovascular strength but to also reduce some of the wear and tear that running causes the body to experience, while helping build some of the muscles that get neglected when running.   Some of the recommended activities are biking and swimming. (This is also why Triathlons have become so popular).

First, biking: I love riding bikes.   Riding bikes has been something I have enjoyed all my life, more as a kid than as an adult.   However, that is changing because I have started biking more seriously, and enjoy it just as much as when I was a kid.   The additional benefit now though is I not only get to enjoy it, but I am also making it work as good exercise as well.

The unique thing about riding a bike when it is hot out is that, because you are moving at higher speeds, you are able to keep your body cooler.    So, even though it is hot out, the heat is much less of a factor than when I am running.   The caution here is that fluid replacement is a bit deceiving.   Because you are having more air pass over your skin, the appearance of sweating isn’t as prevalent as running, however, fluid loss can still be significant.   So a word of advice is to be extra cautious about the rate of fluid replacement when riding a bike.  The good news is that drinking and riding aren’t nearly as taxing on my stomach as when I run.

Now swimming: a great way to beat the heat!   In the summer you have the option of indoor and outdoor pools, lakes and oceans can also be good resources.   I have personally joined a Master’s swim program which I highly recommend.  Not only do you get a better workout but you also get some good instruction that can significantly help your form.   By improving your form you improve your efficiency and time as well as your level of enjoyment.   I personally love swimming outdoors with the sun shining.   Something about being in the water on a sunny day makes for a great workout, no matter how hot or hard the workout.   If you do swim outdoors, I would recommend tinted goggles.   Looking into the sun on your breathing can be a bit of a problem!

So, incorporating either or both of these routines in to your running program will help you not only beat the heat, but may also help lower your running times!           

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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.

Plantar Fasciitis, a Reason to Worry?

This weekend I read an article about Seattle Mariner player Franklin Gutierrez suffering from Plantar fasciitis.  Last year it was Tampa Devil Rays’ Carlos Pena.  Next month it will probably be another player.

The article states this about Plantar fasciitis, “File this one away under ‘reason to worry’. That’s because this is one of those lingering problems you don’t want cropping up in an athlete whose biggest assets happen to involve the legs.”

If you’ve been keeping up with the Medi-Dyne Blog, you know that Plantar fasciitis doesn’t have to be crippling. The problem is that it doesn’t start off feeling like much of an injury at all.  For many, it can just be a dull—nagging pain, but the longer you leave it untreated the longer it takes to cure.  Even worse, untreated, it can put you in a cast, night splint, or even cause surgical intervention.

Prevention is always the “best medicine”!  If you’re on your feet all day (think retail, security, police, sanitation) or running for fitness (including soccer, basketball, lacrosse or triathlon) you should be doing two things to prevent Plantar fasciitis:

  1. Stretch!
    It’s been proven to work.  Stretching your calf, Achilles tendon, plantar fascia and toes 1 – 2 times a day works!  And it doesn’t take long!  5 – 10 minutes and that’s it.  The curb or stairs can work but the ProStretch Plus works even better and can be taken anywhere.Leave it in your path so you can stretch before work or school. Put it by your bed so you stretch first thing in the morning and right before you go to bed.  Take it with you – you can really use it anywhere. Stretching will quickly become habit and will keep you on your feet!
  2. Support!
    Heel cups or arch supports (otherwise known as orthotics) are important. There are some fantastic, podiatrist recommended products available at a significantly lower cost than custom orthotics that often work as well as the custom ones available through a doctor.  Youth in cleats or others who “live” in work boots should be investing in these for their shoes before they begin suffering.If you’re already suffering, stay away from the flip flops or sandals!  At least until you’ve felt better for a few weeks.  This will speed your recovery.

If you’re in significant pain, or have been suffering for a while see a Doctor.  This is especially important for youth who could develop Sever’s Disease.

Once Bitten, Twice Shy.

Craig’s Corner: “Wild” encounters on the running trails.

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

The sad story here is that I think I jinxed myself into getting bit.   Just yesterday, I was thinking about all my “wildlife” run-ins during my running and training this year for the OKC Memorial Marathon. I thought to myself, “I haven’t had an encounter with a coyote in a while.”  Well little did I know I would have more than one wildlife encounter in one morning.

Sure enough Sunnie, my running buddy and dog, and I started our run one morning and we weren’t 200 yards in when I hear this yipping and barking. We were close to where we head down to the trails we run on, and it sounded kind of like a dog but a little different.   Then…..the howling starts.  There must have been a pack of them and they were LOUD, PROUD and CLOSE.   Needless to say, our running route quickly changed.  (I was thankful at this point to have my Garmin GPS watch so it didn’t matter – we just forged a new path).

So change we did, and had a great run, although ultimately more than I bargained for.   The temperature was in the mid 50’s, no wind, the change in scenery was nice and ultimately my times were good. Of course, Sunnie managed to find more mud puddles to run in (she really is like a kid in that respect…almost magnetized to them) and post run she grudgingly readied for her bath.  You should see how pathetic she drops her head and tail and slowly walks over to her spot.   You would think she is on the way to her execution or something.  Now you are probably thinking this is where the “bite” comes in.    No, not yet. Sunnie only bites me when we wrestle and play.

After I had Sunnie cleaned up, I did my post run stretching and went inside.  I wasn’t inside but a minute when out of nowhere, Dracula (at least that’s what I named it) bites me on the back of the neck.   I quickly swatted Dracula, and then pulled what appeared to be a little spider (or something).   It fell off my hand onto the floor, keep in mind it is still early AM…and dark everywhere. Thankfully I have my head lamp on to hunt it down. Upon further inspection I realized that it was a tick!  Well that gave me the creeps, especially since it was still alive after being swatted to oblivion.   That didn’t last much longer though because I squashed it to beyond oblivion.

Anyway, I can only assume that my “alternate route” lead me to pick up a passenger—either running under a tree or from puddle-magnet Sunnie.    All day every little itch or prick I felt seemed to catch my attention. That particular spot where I was bit, well, I keep thinking about it and can almost feel it.  In the end, I think I can truly say that I better understand the saying “once bitten, twice shy”.   And shy I will be for some time wondering if I will jinx myself again, if I will soon be the victim of another “Dracula” after a morning training session.

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/.

Back Pain Relief: Part 2

Back Pain Relief: Part 2 – Solutions

Preventing Pain Before It Begins
Since pain occurs after the imbalances arrive, not before, relying on pain as the only indicator that your interconnective chain may be imbalanced or overstressed could lead you to a life of back problems. While statistically it is likely that you will suffer from back pain at some point in your life, taking preventative measures may help reduce the severity of the strain and positively impact recovery time.

Keeping your posterior chain (calves, glutes, hamstrings and lower back) strong and flexible is one of the best things you can do to prevent back pain. Exercises that increase balance, flexibility and strength can decrease your risk of injuring your back, falling, or breaking bones. (5)

 

Long-Term Back Pain Relief
Any sufferer of back pain will tell you that their immediate objective is to reduce pain and restore mobility. While the natural tendency may be to rest, exercise may be the most effective way to speed recovery from low back pain. A Finnish study found that persons who continued their activities without bed rest following the onset of low back pain  appeared to have better back flexibility than those who rested in bed for a week. (6)

Exercise, including stretching and strengthening of the muscles along the posterior chain (calves, glutes, hamstrings and lower back) has been shown to benefit many lower back pain sufferers by restoring muscle balance, strength and flexibility. 5, 7

  • Strengthen your core: Not surprisingly, a person in good physical condition will generally reduce their risk of back injuries while the risk for those with weak core fitness is nearly doubled. Your core is made up of much more than your abs. So be sure to focus on the bigger picture. True core exercises work both your posterior chain and anterior chain (abdominal muscles) to increase your strength and flexibility.
  • Increase flexibility: By stretching the muscles in the posterior chain and anterior chain, you can maximize your flexibility and drastically reduce your risk of muscle imbalance injury. Key muscles to target include the gluteus maximus, piriformis, the iliotibial (IT band) and hamstrings. Tight hamstrings can cause the hips and pelvis to rotate back flattening the lower back and causing back problems.
  • Work on coordination and balance: Just walking regularly for exercise can help you maintain your coordination and balance. Performing balance exercises can also help to keep you steady on your feet and reduce the risk of micro injuries.
  • Check the foundation: Your feet are designed to protect you against the shock your body feels when you take a step. Every time the heel of your foot hits the ground, a shock wave travels up through your body, all the way to your head. A healthy body will absorb this shock. But if your feet are not in their correct functioning position, more of this shock is allowed to move through the body to weaken other joints including the hips and spine. So be sure that your feet are healthy, that your arches are properly supported and your shoes are providing maximum shock absorption.

A Medically Proven Solution
Originally developed for use by physical therapists, the CoreStretch was developed to provide the deepest, most effective way to stretch your posterior chain and restore muscle
flexibility and interaction, thereby, increasing range of motion, reducing pain, preventing further injury, and speeding up recovery. In fact, studies have shown the CoreStretch to be an effective way to stretch the hamstrings and contribute to posterior chain flexibility.

Unlike conventional stretching methods that force the back to curve, the unique design of the CoreStretch decompresses the back, enabling a deeper, more effective stretch of the posterior muscle chain supporting your back, spine, and legs.

The CoreStretch provides a stretch that both allows the tissues to relax and elongate developing the major muscle groups that make up the core. That’s why in therapeutic environments the CoreStretch is used to treat back, shoulder and hip pain, piriformis, fibromyalgia ,sciatica, arthritis and osteoporosis.

Most people find that just a few minutes of stretching every day with the CoreStretch reduces the pain associated with RMIs and improves quality of lifeis a light-weight and  portable stretching device that takes the guesswork out of stretching your back muscles and relieves the pain associated with RMIs

Comprehensive
The CoreStretch provides the same instant decompression and relief you get with inversion tables by creating a natural, safe traction that you can control but goes beyond the immediate relief to become part of a more comprehensive program that delivers long-term repair. The three-plane swivel enables up-and-down, side-to-side, and twisting motions for the entire posterior chain — back, hips, hamstrings, shoulders and glutes. And with three levels of fitness and 10 sizing options, the CoreStretch provides the optimal stretching tool which can easily and effectively be used in seated, standing or floor positions.

Portable
Light-weight and collapsible, the CoreStretch can conveniently be taken to the office or job site to be used daily, even several times a day as a fast an effective way to break the repetition and combat RMIs.

For causes of back pain read Back Pain Relief: Part 1 – Causes

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Back Pain Relief: Part 1

Back Pain Relief: Part 1Causes

The High Cost of Back Pain
Back pain, it’s hard to live with but it’s something everyone is likely to deal with at some point. Lower back pain is one of the top 10 reasons patients seek care from a family
physician.1 In fact, it’s one of the most common medical problems, affecting 8 out of 10
people at some point during their lives. (2)

  • 1/3 of all disability costs in the United States are due to low-back disorders. (3)
  • Americans spend an estimated $50 billion each year on diagnosing and treating low back pain each year. (2)
  • Back pain is a leading contributor to decreased productivity and missed work.
  • The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that global prevalence of lower back pain could be as high as 42%.

What Causes Lower Back Pain?
It’s not often that just one event actually causes your lower back pain, although it may
seem that way. More often than not it is a series of “micro injuries” (small falls, muscles
pulls, overuse during activity). You probably don’t even remember them happening but they add up over time.

It’s All Connected
The muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joints in your body act as links in an interconnective
chain, 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. At times a tight or sore muscle will recruit other muscles to pick up the slack so
you may not realize pain right away, but these other muscles are not made to pick up the
slack for very long and “chain reaction injuries” can occur.

Muscle Imbalances
Muscle imbalances occur when muscle strength and functioning along the interconnective chain is not equally efficient. A muscle may be shortened and tight, or weak and therefore  is unable to “relax” or contract when needed. Or a muscle or group of muscles may become chronically “over stretched” and weak and are unable to contract when needed. This imbalance modifies body movement, putting strain on muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints. The end result is often lower back pain.

Repetitive Motion
We’ve all heard of carpal tunnel syndrome, but your hands aren’t the only body part that suffers when you sit at your computer all day or spend hours in a car. Any activity in which you perform a motion over and over again for extended periods of time puts stress on your body, increasing the chance of developing repetitive motion injuries (RMIs) – particularly in your back. We think of repetitive motion as doing a job over and over but individuals who sit at desks or those who stay in a seated (driver) or standing position (clerk or nurse) for extended periods of time are extremely likely to suffer from RMIs. Muscular pain is the most common symptom of RMIs, but you may also experience swelling, tightness/stiffness, tingling or numbness, and weakness.

While only your doctor can fully diagnose the cause of your low back pain, you can however identify muscle imbalances or repetitive motions that may be causing your pain. Avoiding these or putting a plan in place to negate them /remedy them is a good first step towards finding relief.

For solutions and relief of back pain read Back Pain Relief: Part 2 –Solutions

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“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

Contest to Offset Schools’ Budget Cuts

Medi-Dyne Announces Video Contest To Offset Schools’ Athletic Training Department Budget Cuts

Colleyville, TX – September 12, 2011 – Medi-Dyne Healthcare Products today announced the launch of “Building A Champion” Medi-Dyne National Video Championships, a contest designed to both promote two new items launched by Medi-Dyne and to offset the budget cuts felt by schools’ athletic and athletic training budgets.

The Building a Champion – Medi-Dyne National Video Championships is open to anyone who wishes to give back to their school or their child’s school.  While participants must be affiliated with an athletic department or athletic training program at an academic institution (high school, college or university) in the United States this can include students, faculty, or family members.

“School budgets across the country have seen significant cuts.  Over the course of the year athletic trainers have expressed to us their concern about being able to provide an adequate level of care to their student athletes.  We decided to try to do something about that,“ stated Craig DiGiovanni, Vice President Sales & Marketing, Medi-Dyne Healthcare Products.  “We saw the video contest as a fun and upbeat way to make a difficult situation better.”

Video submissions will be accepted via the Medi-Dyne Facebook page beginning September 12, 2011 through October 21, 2011.  Voting begins on October 22, 2011 and runs through October31, 2011.  Participants are encouraged to get everyone involved in the voting as it is the video with the most votes that will win $2,500 for their school. Additional prizes, including $1,000 for 2nd place, $500 for 3rd place as well as special prizes early entrants, top referrers and randomly drawn winners will be awarded.

Video submissions must include either Medi-Dyne’s new ProStretch PlusTM and/or Range RollerTM products.

Proven Heel Pain Solutions

After reading an interesting article by Gina Kolata, “As Sports Medicine Surges, Hope and Hype Outpace Proven Treatments”, we thought it was important to release this information on proven solutions for heel pain.

Study Shows Heel Cups and Stretching Combined Provide The Most Effective Heel Pain and Plantar Fasciitis Relief

A two-year study done by the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society (AOFAS) found that the combination of off-the-shelf shoe inserts and targeted stretching exercises provides the most significant relief from heel pain.

During the two-year study which involved 15 orthopaedic foot and ankle centers across the United States, researchers looked at the effectiveness of stretching exercises and orthotic devices such as Tuli’s Heel Cups in the treatment of heel pain to determine the level of effectiveness.

Results showed that 88% of those who used the Tuli’s Heel Cups and did tendon and plantar fascia stretching exercises improved.

“The study proves what our customers have been telling us for years,” says Craig DiGiovanni of Medi-Dyne Healthcare Products. “While our Tuli’s Heel Cups are proven to provide immediate pain relief it is clear that sufferers using the ProStretch Plus in combination with Tuli’s not only experienced immediate pain relief but more importantly, they were able to cure their heel pain over time. The ProStretch Plus made it simple by providing them with exercises that they could easily do at home without the expense of a doctor or physical therapist. ProStretch Plus and Tuli’s Heel Cups combined delivers the one-two punch that knocks the pain out for good.”

Heel pain affects over two million Americans annually and is the most common foot problem seen in medical practice. Most heel pain is a result of plantar fasciitis. The plantar  fascia is the flat band of ligament that connects your heel bone to your toes. Its job is to provide arch support and shock absorption. In a normal step, the plantar fascia ligament stretches as the foot hits the ground but abnormal steps or repetitive pressure on the heel can cause the ligament to stretch irregularly leading to serious pain. The pain can be dull, aching or sharp. The symptoms of plantar fasciitis are typically resolved more quickly when treatment is started at the first sign of pain.

Untreated plantar fasciitis may become a chronic condition, significantly impacting a person’s level of activity or even creating a greater “domino effect”. Heel pain can quickly become knee, hip or back problems due to the changes in the way that you walk to avoid your heel pain.

“The study clearly demonstrates that a stretching program plus an off-the-shelf insert is the best and most cost-effective treatment for the first onset of heel pain,” said Glenn Pfeffer, M.D., San Francisco, Chairman of the AOFAS Heel Pain Study Group. “These findings will allow patients and the health care system to save hundreds of millions of dollars each year…”

Order your proven heel pain solution here today: www.medi-dyne.com/estore

Preventing Ankle Injury and Re-Injury

Ankle injuries are one of the most common injuries world-wide. Injury to an ankle can increase the risk of re-injury as much as 70%.

Sprains, strains and fractures can occur whether you’re actively participating in sports or just walking down the street. While most individuals recover from ankle injuries, there are often residual effects, such as localized weakness, and loss of balance that increase the risk of future injury. This residual effect can be offset significantly with proper rehabilitation and by creating and adhering to a safe, effective routine that addresses total body balance, range of motion, strength, coordination and stabilization.

The best way to manage an ankle injury is to prevent it from ever occurring. There is no substitute for building strength, flexibility, and balance for preventing ankle injuries. Proactively using tools such as the StrengthRite provides you with an excellent opportunity to remain injury free. Using your StrengthRite and other ankle rehab exercises daily will help you to build strength and flexibility and reduce your likelihood for injury.

Every day support is another important factor in preventing ankle injuries. While support is typically thought of in terms of ankle braces or tape, support can be easily incorporated into everyday life. Products such as heel cups and shoe inserts help to properly align your feet and help to avoid pronation (when the inside of your foot leans in) while providing support.

The following simple steps can also help lower the risk of sprains and strains.

  • Perform strengthening and balance building exercises before injuries occur. This includes strengthening all of the muscles around the ankle with both weight-bearing and non-weight bearing exercise.
  • Focus on more than the ankle. A well-rounded injury prevention program should focus on coordination and stabilization of the ankles as well as strengthening and increasing flexibility in the interconnective chain or the calves, hips, abs and back “core”.
  • Wear shoes that fit properly. Replace shoes as soon as the tread wears out or the heel wears own on one side.
  • Ease into any fitness routine.
  • Warm up before participating in any sports or exercise.
  • Avoid exercising or playing sports when tired or in pain.
  • Run on even surfaces.

For demonstrations of ankle strengthening exercises check out our video “Ankle Strengthening Exercises with StrengthRite.

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?