My Groin Injury Journey Part 2 – Hitting the Pause Button

Well, well…I finally went to the doctor (August 9th, Wednesday) instead of being my usual hard headed self (trying to run through an injury). Just by reading information on groin injuries, from medical websites, I knew reducing my mileage was not an option. A complete stop of my running was needed (a runners WORST nightmare).

The doctor confirmed the need for rest and my question was, “Just how serious is my groin injury and when can I start running again?” After going over my symptoms (pain when running, pain when lifting my leg up while laying down, blah, blah, blah!), the doc pressed different areas of my abdomen for pain…nothing! Then I performed range of motion movements, stretches and balance testing with minimal discomfort.

The doctor’s opinion was that I had a muscular strain in the groin area (no tear). Her care instructions were:

  • Over the counter Tylenol or ibuprofen for pain/inflammation.
  • Heat or ice for comfort.
  • Rest (avoid activity that increases pain) – 2 weeks off from running (T_T)
  • Light stretching:
    Short and long adductor stretches.
    Hip flexors and swinging leg stretches.
  • Physical therapy if needed.
  • Follow-up if pain persists or worsens.

In conclusion, the My Groin Pain Journey continues but with no suspense or drama. I need rest. If I can’t run, I guess it’s time for some power walking but I need to stay active (Yeah, yeah, I know walking is for women and senior citizens). I will post again towards the end of August, My Groin Pain Journey Part 3, when I start running again. So, as the Ventures said, “Walk Don’t Run!”

My Groin Injury Journey Part 1 – From 12 miles to Zero!

Photo by istela1 / CC BY

This is my first running injury that does not involve my lower legs. I have a bad feeling that this injury is going to linger for awhile. I decided to keep a log to document the process and hopefully help others who might suffer from this injury or something similar.

I’m not one hundred percent certain that my groin injury was caused by running but I’m pretty sure it was and when it happened. Let’s back up to July 28th (Friday) when I ran intervals…90 sec jog/30 sec sprint/60 walk (9 sets). In hindsight, maybe I should have increased my pace for 90 seconds instead of all out sprinting.

I believe the sprinting is the cause of my groin problems though the pain didn’t come immediately. On July 30th (Sunday) I ran an easy 5 miles and everything seemed fine. Several hours later, I saw an approaching car while crossing the street, and tried jogging across. There was a sharp pain, intense enough, where I had to stop and walk. The pain was centered in the groin area (left side).

My first thought was, “I have a groin pull” so, not wanting to take any chances, I completely stopped running. What’s funny (or not) is that I can walk pain free for miles but if I run even 2 steps, the sharp pain comes back. There is some pain when laying down and lifting my left leg. For some reason there is pain, at night, when I flip from my back, to my side or stomach in bed. I didn’t notice any swelling or bruising.

Okay, I lied! I didn’t completely stop running. On August 2 (Wednesday), I tried slow jogging and lasted only 50 seconds before I had to stop. The pain wasn’t excruciating but it wasn’t worth the risk of a more serious injury. I started do some research and was scared at what I was reading…torn muscule, hernia, a rupture, stress fracture, yikes!

I emailed my doctor and he told me to make an appointment. So a visit to my doctor, tomorrow (August 9th, Wednesday), will hopefully result in a diagnosis and treatment. I have a feeling that an MRI will be needed since groin pain could mean many, many different conditions. Stay tuned…

The Hazards of Sitting and Driving for Runners

sittingIt’s always exciting to start a new job especially if the work is rewarding both financially and emotionally. I had no idea how it would effect my physically. My former (full time) job involved a lot of walking (at least 5 miles a day). Even though I was working 2 jobs, I still had ample opportunities to run.

Now with my new work hours, I have limited time in the morning and need to start at 4am to get in 3 or 4 miles. Thankfully, the weekends are open and I can insert a long run (usually on Sunday). I do have a problem with running injuries so I don’t run two days in a row.

The next problem, and the reason for this post, is that my new “dream” job is not very physically active. I am out in the field for 4 hours and in the office for the other 4 hours. A lot of the field work involves driving so I am sitting for approximately 6 hours per work day (maybe more).

If You Drive A lot, Stop Reading!

A study, from Australia, connects the dots between driving and obesity, lack of sleep, stress and a deterioration of quality of life. The study found those who drive at least 2 hours a day (that’s me) have:

  • Higher rates of smoking
  • Excessive alcohol use
  • Insufficient fruit and vegetable consumption
  • Physical inactivity
  • Insufficient sleep
  • A higher risk for cardiovascular disease
  • Exposure to stressful driving conditions

To view to complete study click on the link below:
“Driving: A Road to Unhealthy Lifestyles and Poor Health Outcomes”

Everyone Stand Up!

Now for the problems of an office job where the majority of the work day is spent sitting. It’s not just sitting at work that is problem. We lead mostly sedentary lifestyles. We sit at work, while driving, at meals, in front of the TV and even on the toilet…see Squatty Potty!
Here are some problems related to TOO much sitting:

  • Heart disease – links to high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol
  • Overproductive pancreas – can lead to diabetes
  • Soft abs – when you sit you don’t use them
  • Tight hips – limit your range of motion and stride length
  • Poor circulation in legs – cause swollen ankles, varicose veins and blood clots
  • Soft bones – osteoporosis from lack of activity
  • Brain drain – brain function slows when sitting for long periods of time
  • Strained neck – craning your neck while typing can effect your cervical vertebrae
  • Back problems – collagen hardening around tendons and ligaments, herniated lumbar disks

For more information, click on the links below:
“Amount of time spent in sedentary behaviors and cause-specific mortality in US adults”
“Sedentary behaviour and cardiovascular disease: a review of prospective studies”

Running with Ball of Foot Pain or Metataralgia!

metatarsalgia

Metataralgia! What is that? I had never heard of this ailment and probably never would have had I not suffered this injury myself. I noticed a burning feeling near the ball of my foot (felt it when walking sometimes during runs). It was especially painful when I squatted or bent down to tie my shoe. What the heck was this?

I have had a history of all sorts of lower leg and foot injures. I recently ended my lingering plantar fasciitis with custom orthotics for my running and work shoes (arch support slippers too) but I digress. One of my problems is not tackling injuries in a timely matter. I have the BAD habit of ignoring pain (I just want to keep running!).

Don’t Ignore Signs and Symptoms

Finally, I was to the point of limping around (but I could still run!). At times, I had to walk on the outside of my foot instead of the ball (just like when I broke a metatarsal!). Sometimes walking barefooted was an agony to behold. Okay, I could no longer ignore the pain. I had to do something about it. It was time to educate myself.

Possible Causes

First off, I know the cause, of my foot pain, did not originate from my running shoes. I have always worn shoes with good support and cushioning. I have a wide forefoot so plenty of room, in the toe box, has always been a top priority (toes gotta wiggle). I have only been running from 2 to 4 miles, a day, so this is not an over use injury.

A possible cause are running surfaces. Because of my work schedule, most of my runs are in my neighborhood. Unfortunately, there is a lot of vehicular traffic so I run on sidewalks (concrete noooooo!) more than I have in the past. Concrete sidewalks are the ENEMY when it comes to shock absorption because there is none!

Treatment – RICE

Stop running for a few days or at least back off your training. Your foot needs REST in order to heal. When you feel pain, apply an ICE pack to the ball of your foot. To further help with pain and inflammation, COMPRESS, by wrapping the ice pack with an Ace bandage or a Velcro strap (see below). Finally, ELEVATE your foot above your heart.

metatarsalgia

You can also take non-inflammatory medication, such as ibuprofen, which can be purchased over the counter. If RICE and medication do not help, you may need to consult with your doctor.

Prevention

Run on softer surfaces…grass, dirt, asphalt, the track (or a combo) but stay off sidewalks! Sidewalks = concrete = injury! Not only will your feet thank you but also your shins, knees, hips, joints and back.

Also, when buying shoes, purchase them from a running shoe specialty store. That sales staff are experienced runners and can properly FIT you by measuring your foot, assessing your foot type and watching your gait.

How to Take Care of Dry, Cracked Feet – Runners Edition

runner feet

Photo by arno / CC BY

How to Take Care of Dry, Cracked Feet by Angela Dorris

When we run, most of the force that propels us forward, is absorbed by our feet. When our feet are in good condition, we can run comfortably without extra effort. But when our feet are cracked and blistered, it can make even walking miserable. Aching feet may sweat, peel, and itch and they may end up stinking.

Unfortunately, many runners do not properly care for their feet. This is strange when you consider how important feet are to anyone who is participating in this activity. Most runners will take the time to stretch out their muscles, maintain proper form and carb-loading their muscles, but don’t give a second thought to their feet.

The first step in maintaining the health of your feet is to select the right shoes. The main criteria should be fit, not brand. Many foot problems can be caused by ill-fitting shoes. Wearing the wrong size can make your feet numb and lead to calluses and blisters. If the shoes are not long enough you can get black toenails. If the shoe is too narrow, it can lead to corns, calluses, bunions and pinched nerves. If your shoe is too wide, your foot will move around, which can create friction, which may lead to blisters.

Unfortunately, if you wear anything other than a standard shoe size, you may not be able to buy your shoes at many shoe stores. The selection of narrow or wide shoes are limited to a few brands and models. Small and large shoe sizes may also be difficult to locate. If you wear orthotics or have a high arch, you may need shoes with depth which is not easy to find and you should shop at a specialty running store.

Dry feet are a common issue with many runners. Without proper care, dry feet can crack which can be painful. Cracked feet are prone to infection because the openings in the skin can become an entry point for bacteria. If you experience cracking, seek natural treatment solutions and products that can help relieve some of the discomfort.

Your feet need moisturizer to combat the dryness. You can lock in moisture with petroleum jelly or moisturizing cream. Wear soft cotton socks to protect your feet from dry air. Apply lotion, or vegetable oil, throughout the day. If you are consistent, you will notice an improvement.

To keep cracked feet clean, wash them every day with antibacterial soap. Pat your feet dry with a soft, dry towel. It’s important to keep your feet clean in order to prevent infection and bacterial growth.

A pumice stone can be used to remove dead skin and soften areas of hard skin that may be prone to cracking. Use the pumice on dry skin, before you wash your feet. If you feel pain while using the pumice, stop immediately.

Soak your feet in lemon juice, which is a skin softener. You should do this at least once a week for 10 minutes, however, there is no limit on how often you can do this treatment.

Water is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. Make sure you are drinking enough pure water. Avoid alcohol and caffeine, which can act as a diuretic and can end up drying out your skin and exacerbating your condition. Most people require a minimum of 8 glasses of water daily.

If you have dry skin, you may notice peeling and flaking. Don’t try to remove this dead skin by cutting it with scissors. You may cause damage to the area by cutting away too much and this also leaves the area open to infection. If you have attempted to heal your cracked feet and dry skin, but don’t see an improvement, you should consult a podiatrist or your doctor.

Angela Dorris is a professional in the beauty industry and the owner and manufacturer of Enji Happy Care and Enji Prime – effective callus removal systems for your feet. Learn more about these amazing products and discover effective tips for obtaining beautiful feet by visiting Enji-Prime.com.