Sunday, January 23, 2011

Promoting Circulation

My Achilles Tendon (AT) has been pain free since last I wrote, but it has been a bit tight. Yesterday, I took my dogs for a 5k trail run--my dog Ringo seriously runs like a rabbit, not in terms of speed but in terms of form; his back legs don't rotate. They are synchronous! I digress.

Anyway, today I went on my most regular route--a 10k road run with moderate hills. I decided that I would use a heating pad (which my coupon savvy wife got for free, along with about 20 other heating pads and approximately 10,000 rolls of toilet paper) to warm up my AT before my run, so I could stretch both before and after. After wearing the heating pad for about twenty minutes, I felt like I was loosening up nicely, so I just kept it on during my whole run. Not sure if it made any difference other than placebo, but sometimes a little placebo is just what you need. (Of course, this could have obvious adverse effects, as well...)

***Tip of the day: After running, I did a little research on the effects of heating/icing the for various leg injuries. The AT, I discovered, has very poor blood circulation and therefore minimal cellular activity (since blood is what carries cells), which is necessary for normal recovery (from a workout) and abnormal repair (from an injury). So heat, which promotes blood flow, subsequently promotes cellular activity, which in turns speeds up the healing process. So maybe the standard cure-all RICE (rest/ice/compression/elevation) should be modified, at least for Achilles Tendinitis/Tendinopathy, to RHICE. Then again, I'm totally unqualified to conjecture in the field of medicine, so...don't sue me.