iceland

Ice versus Heat

Currently there is an argument against ice concerning injuries. After researching the issue for many, many hours, and considering the fact that I have treated thousands of injuries myself, I believe ice is a great aid in managing pain, and getting athletes back in the game. I am “for icing”.

That being said, I find that many of my clients don’t know the rules of ice and heat. If you have an “acute injury”, meaning the injury is recent (1-72 hours) use ice only.  Inflammation in the body’s tissue is best served with ice. Heat might feel good while applied, how ever adding heat to inflammation will only exacerbate the situation within a few hours. Ice for the first 72 hours. Ice for 15 minutes on and 15 off. X3.

After 72 hours, move onto contrast therapy. Ice and heat. Alternating ice and heat, end with ice. Heat is great for chronic injuries. Pain that is chronic (that which happened months or years ago) to relax muscles and fascia. (connective tissue).

DO NOT take a hot jacuzzi after running a marathon. Take an ice bath or jump in the ocean for a dip.

Ice Pack Recipe: In a 1 gallon freezer bag: One part rubbing alcohol, 2 parts water. Drop into the freezer for at least 8 hours. Enjoy a slushy refreshing ice pack that lasts for quite a while.
Namaste.

lunges

Chronic Hamstring Pain

Chronic Hamstring Pain is a very common injury that I see in my office. While there are many possible causes of hamstring pain, I will address the Gluteus Maximus factor here in this article.

Glute Maximus is a very large and strong muscle. It engages when we go from a sitting to a standing position, when we run up a hill or climb stairs. Athletes often believe that doing lunges or squats strengthens and builds the Glutes, when in fact it is the quads that are doing most of the work.

To target the hamstrings we would need to strike the ground on our heals, and push back up on our heals. I recommend doing lunges just this way. Doing squats can actually “turn off’ the firing mechanism of the Glute Maximus, due to a neural phenomenon called Reciprocal Inhibition. Since the Glutes are of great strength, they need to be firing properly. When they are not, the hamstring group needs to work extra hard to support the load put on to it. When the load is too much, injury is likely.

Often only one side of the body suffers from “lazy glute”, sometimes both. Sometimes the Glutes both need targeted strengthening, other times the strength is there, the firing mechanism is just turned off.

One solution to engage Glute Maximus: TABLE TOPS. Get on all fours, raise opposite arm and leg straight out, balance and squeeze Glute. Hold for 30 seconds. Dorsi flex the foot to further target the Glute. Do this 3 times on each side of the body. Donkey kicks and Super Mans also target Glute, though I prefer working unilaterally, so one side of the body does not cheat for the other. Do this as part of your daily training warm up. Your hamstrings will thank you for it.

Young woman doing yoga outdoors

Hip Pain in Women Runners | The Q Factor

Women runners often come into my office complaining of pain in the hip joint, specifically the acetabulum. (the cup shaped socket of the hip joint) posterior (behind). This is often due to a medial angle of the femur bone while running, also know as a “medial glide of the femur”.

A woman has wider hips than a man. The angle that exits between the hips and knees is referred to as, “The Q Line”. If you can imagine running every step, with the knees closer together than the hips are… you can see the dilemma where gate is concerned. The tendons and muscles in the glute are too LONG. The more the mileage and the wider the hips, the more likely posterior hip pain will develop.
Ways to solve this problem, or at least get the hip joint back to it’s happy place:

  1. Use the thigh abduction machine, and with light weights, target the problem hip. Light weight, high reps.
  2. Make sure you have good arch support in your running shoes. A shallow or collapsed arch with out support will cause the femur to glide even deeper midline of the body (medial) and pull the tendons and muscles of the glute even further out of place (long.)
  3. Refrain from crossing your leg like your Mother taught you. The same leg that you are experiencing hip pain. Crossing the femur to the other side of your body, further stretches tissues out of place. Try to sit with your feet flat on the ground if you can.
  4. DONT get in there (posterior joint at hip) with a hard ball and rub things around. For the most part, this will just aggravate things.
  5. You want to shorten the area and make it stronger. Kinesiology tape can help. Any questions? Feel free to comment or message me. I’ll do my best to help.

Cheers and happy runs!