8 Extra Tips to manage Sprint Injuries

December 11, 2015 by Angela Coon

I always appreciate the feedback I receive regarding my blogs and posts.
A long-standing member of our forum has responded to a recent blog I wrote about sprinting injuries.

Forum Member Comment:
Thanks for the article Angela. I have been having Achilles issues this year. When they are warm I’m good. They get cold and I cant walk. I wear high socks to bed.

I am going to start using ems and ultra sound at night.
What are your thoughts on compression socks?

Coach Ange’s Answer: 
Thanks for your feedback ‘Long Standing Forum Member’

It's very annoying to have plantar fasciitis and tendon injuries. An injury slows us down and requires us to spend time we often don’t have to try and fix the injury. If people need to spend extra time at something if often means thorough rehabilitation doesn’t take place.  Hopefully this information will be a motivator for the steps that can be taken to heal quickly and prevent future injuries.

In addition to a recent blog post  7 Tips to Avoid Sprinting Injuries , I have added  8 extra tips to help you manage your sprint injuries. 

 

1. Use Heat

Several products can be useful used locally and then wrapped with saran. Some examples of creams to use are: RUB A535, Voltaren Emulgel, and Traumeel. Loosely wrap the saran area with a tensor bandage. This can be done at night.
You can use this method for training as well and the saran may or may not stay in place. Wear more than one layer on the legs to maintain extra heat.

 

2. Change Warm up

My suggestion for the warm up is to complete entire duration of the warm up without any pounding, running or jogging for area that is injured. My guidelines for a warm up if you are suffering from plantar Fasciitis or Achilles tendonitis would be the following. For the first part of your warm up choose the easiest exercises for you (the exercises are you most adapted for) and progressively add slightly more demanding exercises keeping in mind this is a warm up not a training session (yet).

*I will post a specific warm up routine anyone can do which is very effective, complete and will fully prepare you for a serious level sprint session.

I have strong opinions on warm ups for the performance of a sprint training session based on witnessing a great deal of not enough warm up duration, exercises that are performed too early in the warm up or a failure of a complete warm up all together.

Goal. Entire warm up performed off your feet entirely.

Initially you may find this to be annoying but you get used to it quickly and it might be enough to keep you healthy enough to perform some speed work and or drills during the injury.

 

3. Prioritize your sprint training
Performing shorter faster runs are easiest on the lower limbs as you are limiting pounding. The idea of keeping off your feet during your warm up does two things. One it enables your body to heat up before any specific stress to the injured area occurs. Two, performing the warm-up off your feet will reduce the total volume of pounding per training session and per week. Both ideas shore up energy to be focused on sprinting which you need to prioritize at least 2 x per week.

Choosing alternative exercises to maintain appropriate high intensity stimulus is also important in combination with prior mentioned ideas. Examples are using explosive medicine ball drills into a crash pad, hurdle walkovers with or without a medicine ball, extensive medicine ball circuits for both maintenance of fitness or improvement of fitness. Drills can be performed on gym matts carefully once the warm up has been completed, Electronic Muscle Stimulation has the ability to replicate speed training protocols when used properly.

 

4. Replace old shoes

Shoes lose the shock absorbing qualities they have and progressively wear out and provide less and less support. Look to replace your training shoes when the tread on the bottom begins to show wear.

 

 

5. Paraffin Wax

Paraffin wax baths provide moist deep heat that accelerates and promotes healing of tendons and compromised areas that are difficult to treat. Buying personal paraffin wax baths are economical and easy to use. Paraffin is also soothing to use and has side benefit of improving the texture of hardened, rough, dry skin.

 

6. Individual ice baths for feet and calves
Purchase 2 pales that come up to your knees if possible. Try a place like Home Depot or a hardware store. Fill each pale with cold water and add desirable amount of ice to each pale. Alternate your feet up to as far as your knees if possible for about 2 to 3 minutes or until the sensation of cold stops. Rest your feet and legs out of the cold by alternating into a hot tub, bath, hot paraffin wax or just sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes at a time. Repeat this cycle 2 or 3 times. It’s ideal to perform this before and after training., before bed or more than one time per day. However you perform this type of therapy, contrasting temperatures in this way will promote circulation to a very specific area of your body.

I suggest timing your intervals to see where your tolerance begins to diminish. Over time as your circulation improves, so too should you injury improve.

As a general rule, many injuries respond best to routine and varied method of care opposed to one method you think might work. Each person responds to different therapies in their own individual way depending on their make up.

 

7. Compression Socks

I think compression socks make sense providing they don’t stop or slow down or prevent circulation. You want overall reduction of inflammation in the entire body as well as in the specific spot you are dealing with. Therapy needs to be address in a multi pronged way. I don’t know a great deal about the socks but their use for varicose veins is well documented as very helpful. I would not count on compression socks as a one step homerun but I’d use them in combination of the things I have discussed.

 

 

8. Stay off your feet.
I know it’s not often possible especially for athletes that work so they are able to train. It is critical that you understand how much you stand or use your body for work needs to be factored into your therapy needs. Activities like shopping or walking are deadly energy wasters for athletes needing to perform. The need to rest your legs and body increases if and when there is an injury to heal.

We spend a great deal of time discussing training but the reality is injuries happen to everyone and it's critical to learn how best to heal quickly.

 

Warm regards,

Angé

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