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…
THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW BEFORE EXERCISING by Joe Humphries It’s difficult to argue against the benefits of exercise; several studies…
Posted on March 13th, 2018
by Joe Humphries
It’s difficult to argue against the benefits of exercise; several studies have shown a correlation between exercise and life expectancy. According to a cancer.gov article, those who are physically active often live 3.4 years longer than those who lead a sedentary lifestyle. That being said, there are a few key principles that you should become familiar with before embarking on your fitness journey. The things that we do leading up to, and after, the gym will dictate how much we benefit from exercise. Good nutrition is essential if you plan on getting through a strenuous workout; so, fuel your body with healthy and nutritious meals. Also, be sure to stretch before you begin your workouts. Why is stretching so important? Well, there are a number of benefits; this is the perfect time to not only warm up your muscles but to also improve your range of motion. Taking a few minutes to warm up will allow you to get the most out of exercise and can help prevent injury.
What does stretching entail, exactly? Stretching involves mobilizing your joints. During this process, muscle temperature increases and the body’s nervous system becomes fully engaged. To better contextualize this statement, imagine starting up a car on a very cold day; you would want to make sure that your vehicle is primed and ready to go before embarking on your journey.
Of course, stretching doesn’t stop simply because you’ve started a few working sets; to maximize your workout, you will want to stretch in between sets and after your workout. This form of stretching is referred to as “static stretching.” The name is derived from the stretching style, whereby you stretch and hold that particular position for a few seconds. Static stretching is great for reducing lactic acid build-up; if you’re unfamiliar with this term, lactic acid is that burning sensation that you feel after fatiguing a particular muscle. This burning sensation can be attributed to a build-up of lactic acid in the muscle, by stretching and holding that stretched position (usually 10-30 seconds) the lactic acid will begin to dissipate. Lastly, a post-workout stretch is great as the body cools down; stretching after a workout improves flexibility and reduces cramping.
Honestly, there is no one way to stretch; the key is to stretch properly, which could mean incorporating dynamic, passive, or active stretching into your workouts. So, let’s break these concepts down:
∙ Dynamic stretching– this is where you move your body through a series of challenging movements, which will, in turn, increase your range of motion.
∙ Passive stretching– this is where you incorporate equipment like ProStretch Plus, as well as body weight exercises, into your routine.
∙ Active stretching– this is where you contract one muscle while allowing the other muscle to relax.
Although these concepts may sound challenging, they ensure that you get the absolute best out of your workouts. Whether you’re trying to lose weight, build muscle, or simply looking to get toned, stretching exercises are critical to your success. So, if you’re not already stretching before, during, and after your workouts, hopefully, this article has encouraged you to start.
Joe Humphries is a contributing writer and media specialist for Orangetheory Fitness. He regularly writes for health and fitness blogs with an emphasis on high intensity interval training.
You may also like:
For additional stretching tips, read Getting a Safe and Effective Tight Calf Stretch.
For tips on how to avoid injury, read Scariest Word for Runners: Injury.
Posted on November 5th, 2012
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.
We 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.
Recognizing 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:
Posted on October 2nd, 2012
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:
Stretching with ProStretch Plus is simple and more efficient than a curb or wall:
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.
Posted on September 6th, 2012
Chuck Swanson is a runner/athlete born and raised in Lincoln, Nebraska. He runs a couple marathons and 3-6 road races every year, and he intends to run an ultra marathon (50 miles) in the near future. Chuck’s training includes 30-60 miles of running each week, increasing during peak training times.
As a runner, Chuck has suffered many aches and pains. His list includes fighting issues with; illiotibial band syndrome (ITBS or IT Band Syndrome), plantar fasciitis, calf strains and tight calf muscles, as well as Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) issues, to name a few. Chuck was given the opportunity to use and review the RangeRoller, for deep tissue massage therapy. Here is what Chuck said;
“I like the RangeRoller’s ability to help get those sore spots that need a little ‘TLC’. The RangeRoller is easy to use and is easy to take to races, both close and far away. It is easily cleaned up and is compact and effective.
I use the RangeRoller to get to those spots that my foam roller can’t reach or get to. It is a great item to help with this because of the raised pieces [Trigger Treads] that allow for a more ART [Active Release Technique] type therapy. I am able to get out the soreness and muscle trauma spots with ease. I also use the RangeRoller at races to help get my muscles loose and warmed up before my races, in addition to dynamic stretches and jogging/running.
I use the RangeRoller at home, in my car (close local races), and at the hotel/motel (farther destination type races). Outside or inside the product is easy to use, and can be used anywhere you want really.
This product is unique and I didn’t really have anything similar to it. I use a foam roller and the RangeRoller together because they work similar but are great compliments to one another. I was in the market and ready to purchase The Stick and saw a tweet that intervened, the rest is history. I am glad I was able to get the RangeRoller to try and am definitely a fan.
I would definitely recommend this product to a friend. I would recommend it because I have ZERO doubts that it has helped me go through my first training cycle for a marathon injury free. I have always encountered some type of injury that has caused me to miss at least a week of training in every marathon I have run (8 total). This training cycle has been different and I have honestly never felt better health wise.
The RangeRoller has helped with my chronic ITBS issues and calf issues. Paired with my foam roller and Bio Freeze, it works hand in hand with getting me out to train and doing it injury free. “
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 June 21st, 2012
Ok, it just goes to show: you REALLY don’t know what running a marathon is really about until you’ve run a marathon. I thought I had a pretty good idea since I have been a runner most of my life, running some 5K’s, completing my first half, building my long runs up, etc. Little did I know, 26.2 miles will really impact your body. No matter how you shake it, 26.2 is a long ways and your body takes a beating getting it done.
There is a lot of information out there about what to do when preparing for and running a marathon, but not so much on what you should do following the race. I heard some people say things here and there, but didn’t give too much attention to their suggestions since I hadn’t been there yet. Now that I have been there, I certainly have a much better idea.
Here is my Marathon Race Recovery “To-Do List” that I will be using after my next race. (Yes I said “next one”! Painful as it was, I plan on doing it again!)
Well, that is my new “To-Do” list for post race recovery. I hope you find some of my tips useful and pain preventing! Share with me some of your tips for race recovery by leaving a comment. Whether your training for about to finish a race, good luck!
Posted on May 17th, 2012
We asked Athletic Trainer’s from across the nation questions about “spring injuries.” Here’s what Kristen Smith, head ATC and head of Sports Medicine at Canton South High School in Canton, Ohio had to say;
For more information on how to prevent spring injuries visit www.medi-dyne.com.
Posted on May 16th, 2012
If you’re just tuning in, I am an advocate of stretching and massage for runners. How do I know all of the benefits of stretching and massage now? And why didn’t I incorporate these great Medi-Dyne products into my recovery and maintenance three years ago?
Well besides the fact that hindsight is always 20-20, I was recently able to put my newly-acquired ProStretch Plus and RangeRoller tools to the test while I was transitioning back to minimalist running. You see, the popular “barefoot” trend requires a runner to build up their foot, ankle and knee muscles. You must build up your muscles and expose them to the shock and stresses that a cushioned sneaker may have absorbed in the past. This transition takes time and patience to avoid injury, and is similar in many ways to the muscle development that takes place while trail running.
After moving to San Francisco over a year ago, I transitioned from running on mostly trails to road running. The city’s hills kept my leg muscles strengthened, but I was quickly losing the strong muscular protection I had built up around my knee and ankle joints. In order to maintain the muscular support my joints had worked so hard to establish, I decided that I would slowly transition into a pair of popular “barefoot” style shoes. On my first runs I found that first, I absolutely loved being able to feel the road under the soles of my feet—my toes having to grab for the road. Secondly, by landing on the forefront of my feet, my calves were tightening up as quickly and as painfully as when I initially started trail running.
To promote healthy muscle growth and alleviate the soreness, I would do a concentrated stretching routine with my ProStretch Plus after each run, focusing on not only my calves, but also my Achilles tendons. I found that this newly experienced “tightness” would travel down my Achilles and into the bottom of my feet. By simply adjusting the angle and wedge on my ProStretch Plus, I was able to increase the flexibility of not only my calves and hamstrings, but also my arches and toes.
In short, I believe that injury prevention and muscle growth can be facilitated by the proper stretching of overly-tight muscles and by “combing” out the knots that develop in damaged muscle fibers, promoting renewed blood flow and muscle repair. I have found the ProStretch Plus and RangeRoller to be my two key tools for ongoing maintenance in my trail and minimalist road running interests. This year I look forward to setting a new road marathon PR at the Oakland and San Francisco Marathons! Finish strong!
For more information on the ProStretch Plus or RangeRoller visit www.medi-dyne.com.
Posted on May 10th, 2012
This is the story of how Kabri became a runner, and the tricks and tools she used along the way. Read more about her running story in Part 1.
Three years ago I began training for my very first half marathon. Little did I know, my journey of becoming a “runner” was just beginning.
If you’re just tuning in I’m Kabri, newly self-professed trail runner! For the next year I challenged myself, running and hiking distances from 10k to 50k on the trails in the Bay Area. It took quite a while for my body to adapt to the trails and I believe that many of my challenges would have been resolved or largely alleviated if I had had a ProStretch Plus back then. My lower calves would become so tight during and after my runs that they would cramp. My feet would feel “asleep” with the loss of blood flow through my calves. It was very painful. The ProStretchPlus is ideal for maintaining and restoring flexibility to these tight muscles, and is especially good at focusing the stretch along your inner or outer calf muscles, as needed.
Whether you are a strong road runner, or are completely new to running, running on trails places stresses on the ankle, leg and knee muscles that are not often used. These stabilizer muscles allow your feet to spring over rocks and avoid unearthed roots while streaming down a single-track trail system under your favorite tree canopy. After your first trail run you’re likely to be very tight in your calf muscles and hamstrings as these muscles will have been highly engaged as you picked the most stable path along river beds and steep inclines.
Along with the increased flexibility that I would have achieved by properly stretching my calves and hamstrings, I realize how helpful the RangeRoller would have been to post-run recovery. The RangeRoller provides a deep tissue massage that allows my muscles to repair themselves by breaking up the knotted muscle fibers and allowing fresh blood back into the damaged space.
Climbing and descending hills and mountains goes hand-in-hand with trail running; both the uphill and downhill portions of a run, especially, take a toll on your quads. After my long training runs, I would make an appointment with a masseuse, knowing that large knots would form in my quad muscles that could not be released with stretching alone. The RangeRoller essentially provides the same service, but is much more convenient. I’ll warn you now – whether by masseuse or RangeRoller – tackling knotted muscles by compressing and stretching the damaged fibers is a painful but rewarding process!
For more information on the ProStretch Plus or RangeRoller visit www.medi-dyne.com.
Posted on May 8th, 2012
Like any moving object, variables change at different speeds. For example, when trying to turn a car, you can turn in a smaller radius at lower speeds than you can at higher speeds. Or, the faster you are going, the longer and farther it takes to stop. So it is with running; variables change with the increase and decrease of speed. I have learned this first hand during my training for the OKC Memorial Marathon.
During the week, I have been running my shorter distances at a much faster tempo than during my long runs on the weekend. What I have noticed is that I am experiencing tightness in different parts of my body, based on the speed at which I run.
At the faster speeds my attention is more on my breathing and overall feeling of being tired, and maybe a little on the tightness in my calves. I deal with each of these issues easily, by first stopping my run temporarily so I can catch my breath….I know rocket science, right? And second, for my tight calves; I use my Tuli’s heel cups to prevent most of the shock that causes the Achilles and then calf tightness, and also I do some simple ProStretch Plus stretching post run and throughout the day. These latter techniques are such simple measures, but within a day or two the tightness goes away.
When I run at slower speeds during the longer mileage in my training, my attention seems to switch to the arches of my feet and to my quadriceps. At first this confused me because I wasn’t feeling excessively tired during my long runs, more “heavy” than tired. The more I thought about it though, the more I realized that at slower speeds I was changing the way that I ran. My running form at slower speeds was putting more pressure on my arches and was also forcing my quadriceps to engage more. Essentially, my running form was changing the way the tendons and muscles, that make up the interconnective chain of my legs, were working together. My form was driving function.
The solution to my dilemma was to use more arch support on my slower runs and also roll out and stretch my quads really well after my run. Once I supported my arches and also built up my quads my “attention” areas all but went away.
So, the next time you start having to pay some attention to a problem area consider all the variables, not only around that area, but also those that are interconnected. Like me, you might find the pain in one place is caused by a situation in another place.
For more information on techniques and tools that help with those problem areas visit www.medi-dyne.com.
Posted on May 2nd, 2012
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.
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!
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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/.
Posted on April 12th, 2012
This week’s contributor is Nick Zaneto, ATC. Nick has been a Certified Athletic Trainer for 11 years, serving a variety of athletes at the high school level. He is currently the Head Wrestling Coach at a New Jersey high school and a personal trainer for a variety of athletes. An athlete himself, Nick plays Inline Hockey and is training for the New Jersey Marathon this May.
After researching products online Nick found Medi-Dyne.com. Nick quickly realized that he has already been using Medi-Dyne products. As an Athletic Trainer, he often uses the ProStretch and Tuli’s Heel Cups and recently recommended the ProStretch to a client with Achilles tendonitis. Nick told us, “I have always been happy with all of my products that Medi-Dyne has produced. I’m excited to test the new ProStretch Plus.”
We caught up with Nick after he’d had the chance to use the ProStretch Plus for a while. His feedback? “I like the calf stretch capabilities of the ProStretch Plus, it has been good to use right after a long run”. Because Nick is looking to increase calf flexibility during marathon training he liked the deep gastroc calf stretch he received with the ProStretch Plus; “I do find that the ProStretch Plus has stretched my gastrocnemius muscle much better than just using the wall.”
While Nick was pleased with the gastroc stretch he received with the ProStretch Plus, he had concerns whether the calf stretch could be extended to the soleus calf muscle as well. This is easy to do! A demonstration of the proper technique to transfer the calf stretch up the muscle from the gastroc to soleus is provided online: “Reduce Calf Pain: Gastroc and Soleus Stretches”.
Nick found that the removable toe lift was a feature he was struggling with properly utilizing. The ProStretch Plus toe lift was designed to assist those suffering from heel pain, plantar fasciitis or foot pain. It’s not always needed. The demonstration video, “Getting Started with Your ProStretch Plus”, takes you step-by-step through the process of adjusting or removing the toe lift. It is generally the best practice to begin using the ProStretch Plus without the toe lift first and then add it as needed.
Thank you Nick for contributing feedback on the ProStretch Plus. You can read some of Nick’s training tips on his blog nzaneto.blogspot.com.
How do you use your Medi-Dyne products? Let us know on Facebook today! Visit medi-dyne.com for more information on how to use the ProStretch Plus or Tuli’s Heel Cups. Check back next week for more Buzz on Medi-Dyne products.
Posted on April 5th, 2012
We are excited to announce that we will begin publishing stories, feedback, and reviews that have been contributed to us by Medi-Dyne Healthcare Products users.
This summer we set out to obtain knowledge on how medical professionals and athletes view and use Medi-Dyne products such as the new ProStretch Plus and RangeRoller. We sought feedback in the form of question and answer responses, photos, video or simply comments and quotes on how individuals felt and valued the products. Needless to say we learned a lot.
A great thing about Medi-Dyne is that we are always looking for new ways to use our products; new rehabilitative exercises or even new poses that help reach different areas within an exercise, new ways to dynamically stretch or strengthen, and new situations or injuries that our products help rehabilitate or prevent. We are pleased to present these responses in the hopes that you will find some benefit in learning how the ProStretch Plus, RangeRoller, and additional products are being used by other individuals and industry professionals.
Many of our contributors treat or have suffered from the following pain and injuries; Heel pain, Plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, Tight calves or calf pain, Shin splints, Tight hamstrings, or IT band syndrome.
Participants have used Medi-Dyne products to help rehabilitate a current injury, prevent pain and enhance performance, prepare for an event or training, etc. We are sincerely grateful for their contributions, and we look forward to sharing their stories and feedback with you.
If you would like to contribute a review, story, or feedback for our Weekly Buzz, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit medi-dyne.com for more information.
Posted on October 14th, 2011
An updated stretching tool designed to engage the entire interconnective chain of the lower leg from hamstring to toes is available from Colleyville, Texas-based Medi-Dyne Healthcare Products. The new ProStretch Plus incorporates the most important design aspects of the Original ProStretch—including the rocker bottom and offset of the heel and toe plates—and improves on this design with a next-generation product fully customizable to meet higher levels of performance expectations.
“While the Original ProStretch and StepStretch were good products for their time, they were really one-size-fits-all,” states Craig DiGiovanni, VP Sales, Medi-Dyne. “With the new ProStretch Plus we’ve incorporated input from medical professionals and athletes from around the world to develop a fully customizable stretching tool that delivers superior results to a significantly larger group of users.”
Features designed into the ProStrech Plus include a Rocker Bottom intended to automatically hold the foot in the optimal position, thereby providing a biomechanically accurate and efficient stretch that works the lower leg muscles effectively. The device also has an adjustable heel rest so the patient can increase or decrease the degree of stretch. This feature enables the user to “progress the stretch” as he or she becomes stronger and more flexible.
ProStrech Plus includes a removable lift to maximize toe and Plantar fascia stretch, said to be ideal for engaging the entire interconnective chain of the lower leg. The device also has a larger, continuous platform that provides increased comfort and stability. It fits up to a size 14 shoe.
Strength and lightness have been engineered into the ProStretch Plus so it is extremely portable and can help increase patient/athlete compliance with prescribed routines. A detailed, illustrated stretching guide is included that depicts targeted Gastroc, Achilles tendon, Plantar fascia and toe stretches.
Article can also be seen in Rehab Management, the interdisciplinary journal of rehabilitation.
[Source: Medi-Dyne Healthcare Products]
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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