Medi-Dyne® Celebrates 20th Anniversary Medi-Dyne Healthcare Products is proud to celebrate its twentieth year as an innovative manufacturer of products that…
Medi-Dyne® Celebrates 20th Anniversary Medi-Dyne Healthcare Products is proud to celebrate its twentieth year as an innovative manufacturer of products that…
5 Reasons why you should stretch in the morning Growing up in the dance world stretching was essential for a…
Posted on June 15th, 2018
Growing up in the dance world stretching was essential for a successful dance career. I got in the habit of stretching every morning when I woke up and over time I noticed significant differences in my flexibility, mood, and concentration. I continued this habit for 7 years but once I stopped dancing my freshman year of college, I also stopped stretching every day. It was only a matter of days until I truly noticed the importance of stretching. I lost my flexibility and I did not have as much energy throughout the day. After prioritizing stretching once again, I was back to my energized self. Seeing these changes in myself, I wanted to share the importance of stretching by pointing out 5 major changes you will experience by setting aside 10-15 minutes every morning:
Stretching reduces tension that has built up in your spine and back muscles. This will eventually help your muscles be more relaxed throughout the day and relaxed back muscles lead to better posture. If you suffer from morning back pains, devote a few minutes to stretching and over time you will see a significant difference. One product that I find extremely effective for stretching out my lower back muscles is the CoreStretch which I found on Medi-Dyne.com. Kiss that achy breaky back goodbye with some easy stretches demonstrated by GMB Fitness.
After sleeping for hours, it is crucial to help jumpstart the blood flow into your brain. This will sharpen your concentration and cognitive activities throughout the day. Waking up your brain first thing in the morning is a crucial factor to be the best version of yourself and you will see significant changes in your reflexes and memory. You can find several different stretches to get that blood pumping at LiveStrong.
Stretching lengthens and relaxes your muscles which is more important than you think. Flexibility is crucial for athletes, but it is also important for everyone to be flexible to some degree. Flexibility is one of the first things you’ll lose as you get older, so it is important to stretch every day. My 94 year old great grandma still has her splits and I strive to be like her one day. Increasing flexibility by stretching decreases your risk for injury during your daily activities. If that doesn’t convince you, I have found that stretching lengthens your muscles for a longer/leaner look to your body. Increase your flexibility with a few of my favorite stretches found on Self Fitness.
A great way to reduce the amount of stress in your body would be to relieve the knots that have built up overtime. Stretching calms your body physically and mentally which helps decrease knots from forming. Waking up your body by a gentle stretch can significantly reduce stress levels by starting your day with an awake and relaxed mind. Use the time spent stretching to clear your mind and focus on your body only, enjoy those few minutes of not having to think about anything but yourself. Some of the best stretches to help reduce stress are found on Healthy Women.
Stretching helps boost the amount of oxygen that enters your brain which ultimately decreases the lethargic feeling that normally occurs half way through the day. By releasing mental tensions first thing in the morning, your overall mood will increase positively. The more blood flow into your muscles, the more energy you will have to start the day. No more waking up on the wrong side of the bed because you’ll stretch out all the bad vibes before you even walk out the door. Try a few stretches from Psychologies.com to boost that mood.
All these benefits will come over time and it’s never too late to start stretching. I believe that to be the best version of yourself, you should devote at least 10-15 minutes in the morning to wake your mind and body up. I notice a difference and I promise you will too! It is a simple habit to get in to that has major benefits. Get your stretch on!
Medi-Dyne offers a variety of stretching aids to help you make morning stretching a part of your daily routine, such as:
If you would like to read more about stretching, check out these articles:
Posted on September 20th, 2012
3 easy stretches that cover the stretch the entire interconnective chain of the core, including the; Lower Back, Hamstrings, Hips, Glutes, IT Bands, and Lateral Arm Muscles.
For best results, be sure that your arms are fully extended (not bent at the elbow) and your back is straight (not curved). Correct posture will maximize your back elongation and stretch. If the stretch on your shoulder is too intense, lower the position of the handle by one notch.
LOWER BACK and HAMSTRING STRETCHES
HIPS (Piriformis), UPPER GLUTE and IT BAND (Illiotibial)
Posted on August 30th, 2012
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”.
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!
Posted on July 17th, 2012
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
Posted on July 11th, 2012
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.
Posted on November 3rd, 2011
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)
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 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.
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
Posted on September 6th, 2011
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
Posted on August 8th, 2011
We’ve spent the last few blog posts talking about the interconnective chain of muscles – how they work and how one weak link can result in a domino effect of injuries. So, how do you prevent that domino effect of injuries? The best way is to not get injured in the first place. Easier said than done you might think but with 5 – 10 minutes a day, spent post-exercise or before you turn in for the night you could be well on your way to being injury free.
We’ve highlighted 5 important areas for stretching that could keep you on our feet.
The focus on calf stretching, hamstring stretches, glute stretches, core strengthening, hip flexibility, and groin stretches. For video demonstration of exercises check out: http://www.YouTube.com/MediDyne
1. Calves- Your calves are the muscles that help you to plant your foot and propel you forward. Tight calves are often the root of many lower leg and foot injuries. For optimal calf stretches, focus on relaxing and lengthening your stretch. Also be sure to stretch both the inner and outer calf, as well as the muscles supporting your Achilles tendon. video
2. Hamstrings– Your hamstrings help with hip extension and knee flexing during running. Hamstring injuries are tied to excessive stiffness reflecting a lack of flexibility, and are most likely to occur when you are increasing your speed or workload. Stretches for your hamstring are best accomplished sitting or lying down so that your muscles can fully relax. video
3. Quads– The powerhouse of your legs: quads are comprised of four different muscles that form the strongest muscle group in your body. They are connected to your knee and help extend the leg, so when you use your legs you use your quads. Muscle tears and knee injuries are often a direct result of having tight quads. When stretching your quads, try multiple stretches at different levels so that you are reaching all four muscles. video
4. Glutes and Core- These areas keep your gait level and aligned, extending you forward when you run. Most people equate the term “core strength” with ab strength. But that’s not the case. The glutes are key supporters of your core stability. Tight glutes can be a main factor behind a change in how you walk or move, contributing to lower back pain or injury as far down as your knees or even your lower leg and foot. Stretch your core slowly and carefully to avoid straining your surrounding muscles. video
5. Hip Flexors and Groin– Your hip flexors help with forward leg motion and upward knee drive, while your groin muscle pulls the legs together and help with the movement of your hip. Your hip flexors also help control your hamstrings. Tight hip flexors can restrain the glutes, and cause the pelvis to tilt resulting in lower back pain. Although the hip flexors may seem hard to reach use an extended lunge or butterfly stretch for a good warm up. You should not feel any pain when stretching your groin, just a gentle pull. video
For more video demonstrations of stretching exercises for these 5 key areas check out http://www.YouTube.com/MediDyne
For more information on products that help with muscle stretches, muscle strengthening or injury rehab check out: http://www.medi-dyne.com/pain-solution-center.html
Posted on July 29th, 2011
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
Posted on July 22nd, 2011
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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