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6 Pain Prevention Tips to Keep You Running

bonnie pfiesterEarlier this year I developed tendonitis in my left ankle. It was so bad, I not only had to stop running, I couldn’t even walk. I went to Total Health Vero Beach for therapy, and slowly but surely it started improving. Well, after something like that gets you down, needless to say, you are a little scared to jump back in your running shoes.
with both feet.

In the last month I have a done a few short “test runs”. So far, so good, although I still had a little twinge in the ankle following the runs so I continue to be cautious – knowing that I could irritate it if I wasn’t careful and be right back where I started.

So you can understand how hard it was to hear that a bunch of peeps from our gym were going to run, what we Veroites call, “the loop” – a 5.6 mile run that goes over both our two bridges (our only real hills in our town) over the waterway to the beach. It’s a great run! It’s scenic, it’s fun, and I didn’t want to miss it! So, I decided I’d just do what I could, and if my ankle started acting up, I’d just turn around, slow down or walk if I needed to.

Team Max

Reebok DMX SkyTo my surprise, I had literally no pain. I was running in my Reebok DMX Sky running shoes which have a ton of cushion and support. I honestly think that helped a lot. I typically wear a minimalist “barely there” shoe that’s pretty flat but, since my injury, I’ve felt I needed more of a lift in my heel, as well as more cushion for a softer impact. So far, I’ve only tested my runs in this shoe and I’ve experienced no pain while running. (below i’ll talk about post-run injury prevention)

sunriseAs we reached our halfway mark, overlooking the pretty water, enjoying the view, I was not just on top of the bridge, but I was on top of the world! I had no pain, I felt great and, I was ready for the next half of the run.

(This was the view at the top of the bridge. The water was like glass – just pure beauty!)

So off we went! I was SO excited! I ran the whole 5.6 mile loop without stopping (except to take these pictures! ha!) WOOOO HOOOO!

Girls running

As finished up our last few steps and approached our cars, I looked at my running app to check my pace, distance and all that jazz, only to find my app quit tracking my run at 2.9 miles! Ughhhhh!! DARN IT!! Since my running app and Jawbone UP app syncs with my LoseIt app, I get super bummed when I miss out on a posting calorie burned or increased activity of any type. It almost gives you that feeling as if you didn’t do it unless you can see it, sync it and share it. lol

funny facebook fitness cartoon

It reminds me of this silly facebook cartoon I’ve seen floating around facebook. I know I’m not the only runner in the world that has these silly technical error moments. However, I’m so thankful for all the fitness toys, and social media, made available today because it holds us accountable, gives us clear goals and makes fitness more fun.

For those of you runners who have had this happen to you, I made this graphic for you! ha 🙂

running app funny

Post Workout Injury Prevention Tips

Sometimes we feel great DURING our workout, but pay for it LATER. Here are a few tips to prevent pain and problems that can slow a runner down.

6 Tips to Fight Injury

Running Injury1. Prevent inflammation. Take anti-inflammatories to prevent inflammation. Once inflammation sets in, it’s much harder to manage. Don’t wait until you have noticeable pain and swelling.

2. Manage swelling. If you feel you are the least bit swollen, ice the area religiously. If you can control the swelling, you can control the pain. The problem is, people HATE to ice. No one likes to be cold – and ice can be downright painful. I use these Hot Socks to keep me cozy. They really helped me endure the ice and make it a lot more comfortable.

3. Stretch. Now that it’s 2 days after my run, I can begin to feel my ankle tightening up due to tight calves and achilles. If I want to prevent issues, I need to keep those muscles and loosey-goosey. This is going to be key for me if I want to run on a regular basis again. Most injuries are due to tight or weak muscles. I am SUPER tight, so this is something I really have to work on. Here is a good video on how stretching can prevent (or help heel) common foot issues. These are the stretches I do that also help my ankle.

4. Listen to your body. Allow your body to recover before you beat it up again. Don’t rush things. It will be tempting to want to jump right back to your old routine, but going slow at first can prevent you from having to stop completely.

5. Don’t stop rehab. Most people quit rehabbing their injury when they quit hurting. The same way we shouldn’t wait until we have a bad injury to stretch or ice, we should continue the steps that helped us to heal as preventive measures too.

Athletic Shoes: The Sole Purpose6. Consider your footwear. If you started having problems suddenly, think of what changed. Was it new shoes? Is it old shoes, and time for new shoes? For me, I believe it was going from a shoe with a greater drop to a flatter shoe (which I loved, but I don’t think they loved me).  Most running shoes raise the heel 22-24mm off the ground while lifting the front of the shoe only 10-15mm off the ground. They call this ratio the “drop”. This tiny difference was enough to add more stretch in my Achilles, calves and surrounding ankle muscles/tendons with each repetitive step. This doesn’t mean I can’t go back to them, but not until I stretch more and get that area more flexible. Personally, I believe this also has a lot to do with wearing heels all these years – and then going to running practically flat-footed. So, this reinforces my need to stretch.

NOTE: Often times I say that running injuries can be due to shoe choice – but I don’t just mean poor shoes, I mean not the right shoes for YOU. Just because I love a shoe, doesn’t mean you will too. Reebok recommends rotating between 2-3 pair of shoes to avoid damage due to repetitive action. 

CLICK HERE to Learn More About Choosing the Right Show for You 

FitFluential LLC compensated me for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Pain Prevention Tips: Ice, Heat & Pain-Relieving Cream

Pain Prevention TipsAches and pains happen – even for those who workout. If you want to continue reaching your goal, you want to have solutions for pain prevention so these minor aches don’t slow you down. That’s when ice and products like Thera-Gesic are great. When I first heard of Thera-Gesic, I honestly didn’t know what to think – or what to expect. I had never tried a pain relieving cream before. When I got my first tube, it took me a while to even break it open because I didn’t think I had any real “pain” to treat. I don’t know what kind of “pain” I thought I needed to have to warrant slathering on a pain-relieving cream, but I eventually changed my thinking.

Theragesic Product Review & Pain Prevention Tips

back painWhen I started thinking about it, I realized I had been struggling with tight traps and back muscles for a while.  I guess I had just been living with that for so long, I had gotten used to it. So, one night I decided to give my new cream a try. I coated 2 layers (for a stronger affect, as directed on the label) across my traps (tops of my shoulders) and on some meaty parts of my back that were all knotted up. I threw on a night shirt and hit the sack.

As I was lying in the bed, I could begin to feel the heating action of the cream take affect. I literally felt my muscles slowly relax. This soothing warmth was so comforting, it helped me fall asleep.

cold laserA few weeks later, I started to develop tendonitis in my left ankle. One day I bumped in to “Dr. Tom” (Tom Harmony), one of our members at Max Fitness who is a Chiropractor Total Health of Vero Beach.  I asked him about my ankle and he felt sure he could help so I went in right away. While he was adjusting my foot and applying cold laser therapy to reduce inflammation, I remembered my Thera-Gesic cream and started drilling him with questions.

I had tried it on my ankle, but it didn’t give me the same relief it did when I put it on my back. I wanted to learn more on how to use this cream properly and he really gave me some great information I wanted to pass along to you!

Ice Pack1. Ice inflammation caused by injury.  Dr. Tom told me I needed to ice my ankle to reduce the inflammation in and around my tendon. Of course this is not near as fun as using heat, but it would get me up and running again much faster since heat could actually make the inflammation worse. Since Thera-Gesic has a heating element to it, he suggested I not use that cream for my ankle. However, he did want me to loosen up the muscles in my calves and areas around my injury. So in addition to stretching my calves, I could use the Thera-Gesic cream on my calves to help relax those tight muscles.

heatingPad2. Use heat on chronic pain, not due to injury, like arthritis. When my muscles are tight or a joint is inflamed from a chronic illness, heat is comforting. This is when Thera-Gesic is helpful. I remember my grandmother, who suffered with severe arthritis in her back, was always sitting against a heating pad. Heat was extremely comforting for her. However, if your joint is inflamed from acute injury (like pulling your pack out of whack), heat should be avoided and ice should be used. He also explained that there is a lot of blood flow to big muscles, and that is why those areas warmed up so nicely in my back, which was great for my aching muscles. Knowing that made me want to put it on every single muscle in my entire body! ha 🙂

So, my regimen was to use cold laser therapy and ice for my joint injuries and use Thera-Gesic on my tight sore muscles – a winning combination!

Cool Tid-Bit: Don’t want to smell like mentol? Don’t worry, I discovered that after you let the cream penetrate completely, you can wash your skin without decreasing the effectiveness. After testing it out, it looks like I will be keeping a tube of Thera-Gesic around our house!

giveaway

TIME TO WIN! WIN! WIN!

Win a grand prize of a $100 Visa Gift Card and a 6 month supply of Thera-Gesic. PLUS 2 runners ups will win a 6-month supply of Thera-Gesic!

All you have to do is:

–       Leave a comment here on my blog with your favorite form of exercise

–       Follow Thera-Gesic on Facebook – and/or on Twitter

Winners will be selected at random, and prizes will be fulfilled by Thera-Gesic. This is a sponsored post brought to you by Thera-Gesic. The opinions expressed here are my own.

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