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Posts Tagged ‘triathlete’

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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Overcoming Plantar Fasciitis, An Inspiring Story

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Introducing the New RangeRoller

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Are You Suffering from a Chain Reaction Injury

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Your Back Pain May Be All in Your…Legs?

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

The Weak Recruit the Strong

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

Make Your Legs Work for You

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

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

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

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