Friday, May 24, 2013

Fixing my angry hamstring: Fixes for a tendon injury


Being Challenged in Life is Inevitable, Being Defeated is Optional

For the past year I have been dealing with hamstring issues, actually I think it has been long before that since nearly every marathon prior I would complain of pain in my left hamstring that caused me to back off the last few miles. Since time off last fall and again this winter wasn’t enough I finally decided it was time to get aggressive if I planned to break out of my racing slump and get back to where I had been and break through my current wall.

After an appointment with one doctor that lasted a mere 15 minutes I left feeling like I could have done more work on my own and that I had been thrown into sales world I sought out a second opinion. This second opinion was much closer to my past experiences, I spent 1 ½ hours at the clinic that caters to professional athletes and local elites. I had a full gait analysis, muscle balance and strength assessment along with discussing my full history, goals and plans.

I am being treated with ART (active release therapy) which left my entire upper leg and buttocks red and screaming, but that means work! I had answers for a home program and information to pass on to my trainer. We also discussed supplemental therapies and that I can plan 4-6 (although more likely 6) sessions t get pain relief. I am to avoid concentric exercises (muscle contracted when weight lifted) and deep stretches but should focus on eccentric exercise (muscle lengthened while weight applied) as well as light stretches. I am also allowed to continue to run but at a lower level: No hills, No speed and lower mileage. We are going with the 70% rule for both intensity and mileage. I was happy to run yesterday and have it feel easy to later learn I had been averaging 8:10 pace.
Turtles out while I ran
She suggested I take fish oil, so of course I had to research on my own and I am convinced.
The anti-inflammatory properties from fish oil do not interfere with the kind of inflammation you should stimulate with massage and exercise that will help heal your tendons. This is not true in Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflamatory Drugs (NSAIDS), such as Ibuprofen, which do act against the beneficial type of inflammation needed for healing (Source).

I also found suggestions that Vitamin A, C, D are also wonderful for tendinitis. Along with magnesium. Thank you Tracy for the discussion on beets last week. I love beets but rarely go through the work of roasting them but now I have an excuse to make them all the time! Interesting, but not surprising, I also found that dairy can have a negative impact on tendon healing due to the inflammation it causes, yep just another reason to stay away! I have been eating dairy again the past couple weeks and wow do I feel the bad effects. Today will be Day 2 of no dairy again (for good).

And yesterday she wanted me to give Kinesio Tape a try. I have bashed this for years since there isn’t much evidence to back up its effectiveness but why not. All the studies I see say there is either no benefit or “may be minimal benefit” but I guess it can’t hurt. Yep, I’m at that point of trying anything so I can get back to racing full force again.
Fingers crossed this all works, 1/3 of the way through treatment and like I said running feels better. I am focusing on listening to my body and backing off if needed. Are there any non-conventional treatment you have found works?

Happy Friday! A 3 Day weekend is upon us, yeah! What are your plans to enjoy the time?






28 comments:

  1. I love ART! It really helped my knee heal! And so did the KT tape! I hope you are back to 100% soon Jen!!!

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    1. ART has saved me a few times, I am a believer! Thanks, I hope I am back soon :)

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  2. Fish oil is a miracle food... so many benefits! I'm heard awesome things about ART but never had to try it myself. Fingers crossed that all of this combined does the trick for you!!

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    1. ART has been my go to for soft tissue running injuries for years, love it but hate it too!

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  3. I did not know about fish oil. I just thought it was good for heart health! I've had success from ART sessions. Good luck with yours! Thanks for sharing and happy friday!

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    1. I hadn't heard that about fish oil either until now, but it is the same idea as with heart health.. I figure why not get multiple benefits!

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  4. I hope all these treatments help you get back in top form, soon! Good luck!

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  5. It sounds like you had a thorough assessment, and I hope all those treatment options help that naughty hamstring behave!

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    1. Thanks, I feel comfortable with this plan :)

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  6. Hope it all works! I am doing a long run tomorrow and have a wedding to go to at night, long run tomorrow=wine tomorrow night:)

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  7. Love the title for this post. I put it on my FB status. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I wish you the best of luck with your injury.

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    1. Thanks :) The title is pretty great!

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  8. I hope your treatments work! I don't have any non-conventional tips but I'm a big believer in RICE! It's so frustrating to walk out of a doctor's office feeling like you could have accomplished more on your own.

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    1. I know, seems like such a waste of time to see a dr like that!

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  9. Blogging, playing with the grandkids, extra workouts...yeah!

    Fish oil is great! One of the few supplements I like to take regularly.

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  10. I am really glad you posted this! Since I am battling tendinitis myself. I hadn't heard of fish oil helping, before. That has been added to my immediate grocery list. I had heard of other vitamins, but had no idea Dairy interfered.. I'm not a huge dairy eater, but I am going to cut back on that too. Good luck with all of the information and tips you have, I wish you a speedy recovery!!! Thanks again for sharing, this was pretty much some exact information I needed to hear!

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    1. Hope it can help you too, tendinitis is tough to deal with and it hangs on forever.

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  11. Yay for ART! I'm a fan of kineseo tape, I do think it works, but have no idea why. I am also a fan of alternative treatments, I think medical doctors tend to deal with your pain and then not fix the underlying problem. Great for disease, not so great for an injury. I hope you heal up and are back to full force running soon.

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    1. I agree on not fixing the underlying problem which s one of the main reasons I will always try to incorporate this into my practice :)

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  12. It's funny you posted this because just yesterday my husband was telling me I need to try ART for an issue I'm having! Not sure if it's an unconventional method or not, but one thing I did a lot when I had pain in one my tendons was soak it in an Epsom salt bath. A friend had recommended this to be because it's one of the best ways to get magnesium into your body. I think it helped me.

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    1. Do the ART! It has worked many times for me and I swear by it as long as you have someone who knows how, or Graston works great too.

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  13. SO happy to hear you have some answers and feel encouraged as you forge (albeit at 70%) ahead. I also went directly to the professional athletes facility with my injury and was told the same thing regarding the percentage to cut back when I am able to resume running. It makes me feel much better when professional opinions agree! I am so happy for you Jen. Due diligence will pay off!!!

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    1. Yes, it truly is not worth wasting time with other places, smart to get to the right clinic to start. Hope you are back soon :)

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  14. I am dealing with some knee problems, after my last pregnancy my knee strength is just not coming back very well. This information is helpful, made me realize I need to be a bit more like you and do far more research than just Dr's alone. Thanks for posting! Hope you heal quick!!!

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    1. Hope the knee feels better. I have never been one to just accept an answer, stubborn I guess ;)

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