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RangeRoller Sore Muscles After Tough Practices

Running with Kids covers using the RangeRoller on sore muscles for tissue massage after tough runs or training, and even after taekwando practices for IT Bands and tight calves.

Gear Review – Tissue Massage with RangeRoller

RangeRoller CalvesWe have incorporated Medi-Dyne’s Pro Stretch Plus into our cool down and stretching routine after runs (read my review here). But there is another Medi-Dyne tool in our toolkit, the original Range Roller, that has become just as important after strenuous workouts. The Range Roller enables soft tissue massages and accelerates the healing and recovery process.

My older son, who runs high school cross country and track, used a hard foam roller for tissue massages, and I had considered buying one. I opted for the Range Roller for several reasons, including deeper tissue massage, more versatile applications with the tool, and very portable (throw it into a gym bag or backpack). He has since converted to the Range Roller.

RangeRoller IT BandsRecognizing the importance of stretching and massaging, my younger son has been using the Range Roller after runs as well, but opened our eyes when he asked for the Range Roller after his Taekwondo 2nd degree Black Belt test (read about this 90 minute test that requires nearly 1,000 hours of preparation). We now use the Range Roller after runs (example: helps disipate lactic acid after threshold and anaerobic track workouts by improving blood circulation to muscles) and after Taekwondo practice (example: helps reduce soreness and repair tissue after Taekwondo sparring session by improving blood circulation to tissue).

What we like:

RangeRoller’s Unique Design

  • The original Range Roller measures 19 inches long and contains 6 narrow, deep rollers alternating with 7 wider, shallow rollers that turn freely as the Range Roller is gently and firmly rolled to massage tissue.
  • The tool is held with foam handles on both ends and flexes slightly as pressure is applied.
  • It is portable (bring along to a track workout, martial arts practice, or fitness center) and easy to store.
  • A smaller (16 inch) and larger (25 inch) version is also available.
  • The Range Roller can be ordered in your favorite color combinations (think sports teams!)

RangeRoller’s Materials and Quality

  • The Range Roller is manufactured of high quality plastic and dense foam, and can be gently washed with mild soap.
  • We are impressed with the overall quality of the Range Roller (design, materials, and workmanship) and expect to use it daily for many years to come.

RangeRoller’s Affordable Price

  • The Range Roller costs $25 at Medi-Dyne.com.
  • Less expensive (and more versatile) than foam rollers, and a fraction of the cost of sports massages!

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

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.

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.

Race Day Reflections

Craig’s Corner: Reflections from my first marathon.

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

Well, we did it. My wife, Courtney, and I successfully completed the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon this past April. We finished our first marathon.

First, I want to congratulate Oklahoma City on a wonderful marathon.   The race had excellent organization and communication, and the overall city-wide support was inspiring.   Not only was this our family’s first Marathon, but I also think it was so special because we were running to honor those 168 people who lost their lives in the OKC bombing. I’d like to give a special “Thank You” to all of those people who have selflessly rallied to help victims and their families.   The people of OKC have turned tragic hatred into a positive celebration of good and community.  They should be proud of that.

The 26.2 miles course was a nice course.   There was plenty of diversity and support along the way.  (Although, I do wish there were a few less hills…I thought OKC was flat!)   As I reflect on the marathon, I realize there are great parallels between life and running a marathon.

Here are my top 10 reflections;

  • Enjoy the journey. The journey of preparing for the race was just as rewarding, if not more, than the race itself.   Of course that is the story of life too isn’t it?   Don’t make the mistake of not enjoying and appreciating the journey.   It is the journey that prepares you and helps you to appreciate the ultimate destination, whether in life or in marathons.
  • Set goals, and see them through. To get the most out of life, it is best to have a goal and a plan to achieve it.  The same goes with running a marathon: have a plan, stick to it both in training and during the race.
  • The more the merrier! The more people you train and do the event with the more enjoyable the experience. Life is meant to be shared, that includes running marathons!  I am so grateful to my wife for training with me and running each step of the marathon with me.  The benefits of that are for another blog.
  • Be flexible, yet determined. You never know what life might throw at you, just like you never know what the marathon day might be like. Be prepared to run in any weather, and know ahead of time that you are running no matter what!
  • Stay hydrated. Water is a key element to our bodies.   During long runs and the race itself it is important to drink fluids…but as in life, be careful not to drink too much!
  • Early bird gets the worm. I think I said this one before but I will say it again, get to the race early.  Get warmed up and prepared, into the right “corral” and give yourself the time to enjoy the atmosphere!
  • Pace yourself. Life is not a sprint and neither is a marathon…at least not for common folk like me.  26.2 miles is truly a long distance to run.   Rely on your training and pace yourself!
  • Just do it, participate. There is so much to life and so many ways to enjoy it.  There are also many ways to enjoy running events besides running the whole 26.2.  There is the half marathon, the marathon relay, the 5K fun run and walk, and also volunteering to help support, cheer, or organize the race.  There is something for everyone at every level.
  • Stay Positive. Positive encouragement cannot be valued enough in life and in running. I really enjoyed reading the fun and encouraging signs of supporters along the race. One read, “Run total stranger, run!” Positivity is contagious. Don’t feel too shy to high five the cheering child, or wave at the supporting spectator along the way. Positivity can go both ways.
  • Overcome to succeed.  Running, like life, has its set-backs.  But just like life, there is always a new day just around the corner. Focusing on many of the following reflections (positivity, goals, flexibility, partners, the journey, etc.) are simple ways to overcome training or race-day set-backs.

There are certainly many more memories and reflections but those are my top 10.   There were some really funny and inspiring moments that I might have to write about later, but for now I hope you can use some of my reflections to get the most out of your next race.

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/.

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.

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

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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Taming Tight Hamstrings

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

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

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

 

The primary risk factors for injury include:

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

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

 

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.

Your Back Pain May Be All in Your…Legs?

A misalignment of your body no matter how small, can wreak havoc from your head to your toes. Because the muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joints in your body act as links in an interconnective chain it takes these links working together to allow you to accomplish basic motions like sitting, walking, and running. If any one of these links is injured or not functioning properly the entire chain suffers. For millions of people each year that breakdown occurs first in their legs and feet.

The Weak Recruit the Strong

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

Make Your Legs Work for You

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

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

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

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