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?