Tag Archives: Conditions and Diseases

Product Review: Strassburg Sock

If  you’ve been around for awhile you know that I’ve been suffering from Plantar Faciitis for a while now.  I’ve tried a lot of different things, but one in particular is The Strassburg Sock aka The Sock.

The website describes how the sock works, when worn properly:

This easy to use, inexpensive device is designed to keep tension on the tissue (plantar fascia) so it heals in a stretched position at night. In this way many users find a reduction of their morning pain, some have noticed a reduced recovery time and yet others have reduced the need for medications.

When worn as prescribed, it does not allow the plantar fascia to contract while in the prone or supine position. The device holds the ankle and forefoot joints in a position of slight dorsiflexion that prevents a position of plantarflexion, that is the plantar fascia is not allowed to contract.

In addition the involuntary stretching of the plantar fascia over a long period of time helps to strengthen the foot’s arch.

Or more simply, the sock pulls the toes upwards during the night which if nothing else reduces the pain of the first step in the morning. It does promote healing, according to my MD, the sock and other night splints reduce the tearing of the fascia that comes from walking and promotes healing.

The sock is basically a tighter fitting knee sock that comes in 2 sizes based on your calf size.  There is a strap that goes from your toes to a “D” loop right under your knee that holds your toes in place.  It utilizes Velcro for both the toe strap and the strap below the knee.  One comment about the Velcro is that it can damage your sheets while sleeping at night.

The sock is intended to be worn overnight for 6-8 hours.  I found that it took a little getting used to before I could comfortably sleep the night away while wearing.  It is a little odd to have your foot in such a position.  The first few nights I would wear it for a few hours.  Because the strap makes a hypotenose from your toes to your knee the easiest position to sleep in is on your back.  I did find that you can sleep easily on your side and your stomach if you bend your knee.  It does seem like it’d be easier to sleep with this sock than a hard foot brace.

Their advertising is very clever, because while they claim to cure heel pain they don’t claim to cure 100% of Plantar Fasciitis.  They do claim that most people only wear it for 8 weeks and that within the first few weeks most of the pain should go away.  They don’t say whether their research subjects continued working out or what else they were doing.  I was wearing the sock back when I took 3 weeks off with 0 running miles and saw no reduction in pain.  Now with a prescription of Ibuprofen and physical therapy I am making progress.

I stopped wearing the sock for a few days and saw a significant increase in the pain I felt during the first few steps.  So the sock does help reduce the pain felt first thing in the morning.  It was amazing how much  more pain I was in by not wearing the sock.   So if nothing else your $40 will help with that part of the recovery.

Their website provides a fair amount of research and data that shows why their night splint is better than everyone else, but I’ll let you go read it and see for yourself.

[tags] Plantar Fasciitis, The Sock, Strassburg Sock, Heel Pain [/tags]

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Got IT Pain?

A tight IT Band is not a good sign.  It needs to be stretched out and loosened up or it could turn into the dreaded IT Band Syndrome.

I was told my a massuse last year that my IT Band was extremely tight.  So I started stretching it on a regular basis.  I did some research and found this excellent information sheet about the IT Band.  By a trained physical therapist it lists some of the who, what, when, where, why, and how questions of the IT Band.

I think most of us are most concerned about not having problems with it and could care less about some of the anatomy that surrounds it.  She lists five keys to preventing ITBS – but they are actually almost identical steps to preventing any injury!

The list is:

– Changing running shoes every 300-400 miles and alternating between shoes with every run.  I’ve occasionally talked about my shoes and shoe preferences.

– Slowly increasing mileage (no more than 10% a week or on any run), including adding hill workouts gradually.  Downhills can add a lot of strain to the ITB.

– Avoid uneven surfaces.  More likely always running on the same side of a cambered or cantered surface like a road.  One leg can become predisposed to ITB because of the extra pressure placed on it.

– Keep the knees warm. Seems like if you are predisposed this might be helpful.  She said below 60 – but above 40 I’m wanting to wear shorts.

Cool down and stretch after a run.  Ice if needed.

The article continues on and offers some stretches and strength training ideas specific to the ITB.  For now you’ll just have to go read up on it.

[tags] IT Band, ITBS, iliotibial band [/tags]

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Running to Fight Cancer

Local runner and cancer advocate Matthew Flory recently created a Facebook group entitled 5Ks that Fight Cancer (Minneapolis/Saint Paul).

In the group he lists 10 5ks that benefit cancer research within the Twin Cities metro area.  In the group’s description he say:

Cancer is the number one cause of death in Minnesota, but there are many organizations and causes joined in the fight to defeat this disease. Many have 5k races as fundraisers.

We all know that most races have some charitable benefit to them.  Some of the best known national charity running events revolve around cancer research.  Almost everyone has been touched by this nasty illness.  The Team in Training group is a nationally recognized fundraising machine.

Flory limited his list for this group to just 5k races – they are the most common and most accessible for average people. Here is his list:

Get Your Rear In Gear, Minneapolis, April 19, 2009
Proceeds benefit the Minnesota Colon Cancer Coalition

Twin Cities Race For the Cure, May 10, 2009
Proceeds benefit Susan G. Komen Foundation

Brian Kraft Memorial 5k, May 25, 2009
Proceeds benefit University of Minnesota

Challenge Cancer 5K, Saint Paul, June 6
Proceeds benefit Charities Challenge

Twin Cities Lung Walk 5K, Saint Paul, June 7
Proceeds benefit the American Lung Association

Time to Fly Walk/Run, Saint Paul, June 27th
Proceeds benefit Child Cancer Research Fund

American Cancer Society 5K, Bloomington, August 15th
Proceeds benefit the American Cancer Society

Silent No More Minnesota Ovarian Cancer September 13, 2009
Proceeds benefit the MN Ovarian Cancer Alliance

The Hartford Pace Case Run/Walk for Prostate Cancer, September 26, 2009
Proceeds will benefit the Prostate Cancer Education Council.

ACS Making Strides Against Breast Cancer, Minneapolis, October 10, 2009
Proceeds benefit the American Cancer Society

So if you like to run for specific causes this might be a helpful group to check out.

[tags] Running, Cancer, Charity [/tags]

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Race Plan: Brian Kraft 5k

Image from Down the Backstretch

The next race in the USATF-MN series is the Brian Kraft 5k around Lake Nokomis. It should be a very fast race.  Last year it was won in 14:47 by Jeremy Polson and 16:52 by Rasa Troup.

My post-collegiate 5k PR is 18:19 at the 2003 Jersey Shore 5k.  During which I cramped with a half-mile to go placing 2nd.  I’m not in the type of speed shape.  My most recent 5k was the Giving Thanks 5k from Thanksgiving where I ran a 20:01.  Based on my TC 1 Mile time, McMillan says I should be able to run a 18:49 (6:03).

That seems a little un-realistic.  I think I’ll shoot for a 19:30 which is a 6:15 pace.  I’ve not done much speed work lately so we’ll see how that goes!

About the Race

This is the 12th edition of the race hosted by the USATF-MN chapter. All proceeds from the race benefit the Arnold S Leonard Cancer Research Fund which supports cancer research at the University of Minnesota.  Dr. Arnold Leonard has

devoted himself entirely to cancer research in genetic engineering, boosting the immune system with human interleukin-2 gene, boosted by the use of very high antioxidant oils. An Endowed Scholar Chair has been placed in Dr. Leonard’s name in the Surgery Department at the University of Minnesota, and he has also received the Wangensteen Award for Academic Excellence. Dr. Leonard belongs to all the major surgical societies, and continues to lecture throughout the world on the importance of the immune system and its relationship to cancer plus the importance of nutraceuticals as synergistic to the genetic engineering experiments in reducing cancer. He has written over 250 articles and books.

Who is Brian Kraft?

From the race website:

Brian Kraft was an enthusiastic and talented runner from Bemidji, Minnesota. His running career was cut short at the age of 19 with the discovery of Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer, in his back. Brian lived with cancer for 15 years, undergoing chemotherapy, a bone marrow transplant, and countless surgical procedures.

Throughout the years, Brian continued to run. He ran the lakes and parkways and raced with the local running crowd. In spite of all that life threw his way, he kept a positive attitude. Brian attributed his strength in his fight against cancer to his love of running and to the work of his long-time friend, Dr. Arny Leonard.

Two more detailed stories are available.  The first is a 2007 article originally published in the Minnesota Running and Track magazine, now available a doc file here.  The second is a blog post by the same author at Down the Backstretch, a local blog.

[tags] Brian Kraft Memorial 5k, 5k, Brian Kraft, Cancer [/tags]

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

World No Tobacco Day 5K

Want to help low-income children who suffer from persistent asthma? While running a fast 5k?

Check out the World No Tobacco Day 5K Run to be held on May 31, 2009.  Smoke Free Dakota County is hosting this first-year event that will run along the Big Rivers Regional Trail starting in Lilydale.  The 5k starts at 8am or take part in the group stretching event at 7:40.  Registration begins at $15 before May 1 and tops out at $20 for race day entry.

Their will be prizes for the top 3 male and female finishers along with a Sprint cellphone give-away that is open to all runners.

Diane Tran, race director, summarized her thoughts about the race for me:

We’re so excited to celebrate World No Tobacco Day 2009 with a 5K race on a beautiful trail in northern Dakota County! The course overlooks the confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers and will be a lot of fun for the runners. Also, our t-shirts are pretty rad!

From their website:

Join Smoke-Free Dakota for the World No Tobacco Day 5K Run on Sunday, May 31, 2009! The run will benefit low-income children with persistent asthma to attend Camp SuperKids 2009, a weeklong summer camp sponsored by the American Lung Association in Minnesota. Asthma is the leading serious chronic illness in children in the U.S. and is the number one cause of student absences related to chronic conditions. Campers will learn to better manage their asthma and gain confidence through building relationships with their peers to ensure a future of better health!

The USATF-certified 5K Run (Certification # MN-09010-RR) will start at the eastern end (in Lilydale) of the Big Rivers Regional Trail, a nearly flat paved trail built on an abandoned railroad bed overlooking the confluence of the Minnesota and Mississppi Rivers.

Check out their “rad” t-shirt design:

[tags] Dakota County, Smoke Free, 5k, Asthma, USATF [/tags]

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]