Saturday, April 20, 2013

Shin Splint and Water Retention Recipe: Steeee-r-e-t-c-h!

(End Result Of J's Sea Shell Collection turned Shadow Box)

Get Back Into The Game Recipe.
Stay In the Game Recipe.

You do not have to be on prednisone to love this Recipe for Relief. In fact, you could be a runner/hard core athlete and be doing this. Or need to be doing this therapy. Because shin splints and sprains happen to everybody.

* (please note that this post was started before the Boston Marathon Tragedy)

Soreness and age happen to us all, serious illness and re-hab to some, and plain tired feet to all. This cold/hot water soak is something that has brought me relief.  It takes NFL strength to sit in ice cold water but eventually you do get numb. . And pretty soon you'll shine yourself up like those sea shells that were covered with

So stick with it if you can.

And maybe, one day, you can make it to the beach instead of dreaming about it! (I know the perfect place.)

Or maybe it will  simply be something that helps you stay independent in your life, builds your strength after a blow to your health, and keeps you relatively pain free.
Start small.

When I say that I mean with the time in the water and what exercises you do. You may "run" by using your dresser for balance and doing high knees for awhile. If it is hard to do, it's running, friend.

As I scoured the web, asked individuals for help with the water retention, elevated my legs against the wall, only to have it pool in my head and torso- I came up with my own plan that helped both maladies (shin splints and water retention) with the same program; Warm then Ice cold soaks

.Not much different than a hard core HS injury. But I am older. I do have some limitations. Hopefully those reading this will use what works for them at whatever stage of injury, etc.And adjust the time frame, as I'm not a Dr. and don't want to harm anyone.

Again, the biggest problemo I had was with the painful water retention. This helped.

What you need.

A tall bucket.

The tub, if you don't have a tall bucket.
(this one gets your bath over with, too. And is what I do in order to consolidate time and energy. )

A stool; to sit next to the tub.

Ice if you are dead serious about how cold to make the soaks in the bucket.

80 minutes if you are in need of some serious healing.

40 if on the run. Pun intended.

However, if you are really injured my bet is you aren't getting anywhere fast; this will help.  And possibly at the PTs. If you do it in the morning, you'll find you are knocking out two birds with one stone by getting ready for the day.

I personally am not going to a physical therapist and don't prescribe to be one. A lot of the time spent in traffic traveling to and from these appointments and then being sent home with
"homework" is time consumming. I figured if I could do this, I could stay away from the PT. Unless I get injured enough to need the technology they can give on sprained ankles or what have you, then I will continue to do what I've learned from coaches and therapy in the past and wind up in the PTs if all else fails.

So you know, I haven't done this every day.I should  have this whole time.
 It makes a difference in the bone pain I feel in my heels, arches, and on top of the foot that feels like it has a stress fracture. It helps with past ankle injuries, addresses the shin splints and lowers the pressure on my body from Prednisone water retention. It has kept me away from the Dr.s office and I think that helps them and me.


1. Get in the tub. Get it hot. Relax. Make sure your legs are submerged for a good ten minutes. Then sit up and get scrubbed, shave your legs. Whatever. The last five minutes I work on massaging my feet, ankles, calves. Move it upward.
2. I hate to waste too much water- so if you are able, yoga positions come into play on the cold water part.
Empty the tub and fill to the point that your shins  and calves will be covered. Use your yoga skills and realize that the faucet is a good place to rest your forehead at times.
 Get out and sit on the stool with a warm towel wrapped around you. Fill the bucket or use the cold water in the tub. I don't fill it up past an inch above my ankles. Hate using a minimal amount of the space if I'm on the stool and don't grab the bucket.
3. This time is perfect for stretching your upper body. Which is all incorporated into the core. If on the stool and feet in tub- lean forward and stretch your back on the tile wall of the tub. Do neck exercises that your Physical Therapist has you drive clear across town to do in his office.
I do some swimming like motions with my hands still forward, leaning against the tiled wall,  supporting my back. Use the warmth of the bath to do the warm up exercises of the neck and back. Use the breathing techniques that you would if you were swimming laps at the pool. So I go from left to right as if I were swimming but only with my neck. I touch my chin to my chest then slowly move it to the back.
4. Keep your posture. Sit up straight and do those arm stretches. Stretch the neck from side to side with one hand. Use a hand to put resitance on your chin as you move it from one side to the other.
Another step I add to help with retention is to raise both hands in the air, clench my hands into fists for a count of ten then release for a ten second count. Repeat as many as you can. Then let them rest on your head and grab the oppossite elbows and stretch.

Another exercise is to hold those arms out to your sides, rotate in circles. Or hold them out and  pretend you have weights in them and curl the arms toward the biceps. Moves that blood.

Just get them moving.
5. 20 minutes flies by when you concentrate on these other moves. But the ice cold water could be difficult for older or more injured individuals. So make it a temperature that is bearable as you start out. Especially if on prednisone and your skin is sensitive.

6.  Slowly remove your legs, dry them,  put lotion on those appendages and get them warmed up. All that cold water makes my heels crack- so put vaseline on the heels of your feet. I think you will find that these soaks help bone pain in your heels as well. Or maybe it's just me. Get some warm socks and slippers on and finish up getting ready.
7.  If doing this on the fly; DONE. 

1. fill the bucket, foot massage unit, or tub back up with hot water. This time do some foot stretches. Keep the feet flat on the floor and pull the toes toward your legs. I do ten of these and hold for ten. A bonus you get by doing this exercise in the tub, is that you don't stand a huge chance of getting the horrible charlie horses. If you do- push the toes, ankle or muscle in the direction of the pulling muscles. I also stand with one foot lined up with the heel, spread shoulder length. Bend your legs and keep your shoulders in line with the knees. Now do the same thing with your toes of pulling them toward your shins. Use the wall to also stretch out the calf muscles. If you are older or dealing with balance/fall issues, which anyone in a tub could, make sure you have safety bars or non slip grip on the floor of the tub. Better yet, don't do those in the tub. Do them outside the tub. I don't want you to fall.
2. I do the alphabet with my feet to help strengthen my ankles/ Or maybe it just adds to my pain and there is nothing you can do for ankles that have been sprained more than once???
3. You are done before you know it.
4. Repeat the 20 minutes of cold. Put your make-up on.
By this time you are ANCY to get on with your day-bring a book. Really. Study up on what your kid needs to do for Scouts.


 This will get you and the material water logged so go for paper backs.

So you don't think I am totally crazy for doing yoga in ice water here's some basics I believe...

The theory behind cold water soaks is that it constricts the blood vessels and flushes out the gunk. When I say gunk I mean the built up lactic acid or whatever is hiding in those muscles and tissues.Which could be anything after what I've seen and felt. That makes sense to me so I go with it.

 Whether you are out there running miles and miles and causing lactic acid and some other things to break down or to build up, or have meds that cause similar conditions; it flushes it.

 AND it reduces swelling/tissue breakdown. Makes sense to me.
I wish I could do this to my Moon Face.

Maybe I can.... cold compress or wash rag and then warm. ??? Anyone want to try and let me know?

Madre says it's, or I'm "cute", with my face how it is. But I still have some issues with it. Being Chipmunk or Squirrel cute is fine if it means I am able to be a mom and do what I need to do.

 I can't imagine an ice cold submerge of my face into the water.... 

After a work out of even walking a small distance, if I stick my sore feet, the ones that get bruises and feel like stress fractures coming on- ice water brings immediate relief. As does icing my shins. When I was younger I would grab the six pack ice packs that we put in the coolers and run it up and down my shins. That does not currently work with the size I am now. So I have to get creative.

  • Warm water opens those blood vessels and speeds up circulation. Which is really helpful to get water retention's attention. And helps with the healing process of breaking down muscle to build it up.

  • If I have done the whole 80 minutes I feel pretty cold at this point. Slowly work toward moving your feet out. Like I mentioned earlier, put on your lotion. Do the Vaseline.

    (I'd want this one item if stuck on an Island- it is super healing for cracked feet, cuticles, etc. However I am loving a Vitamin E liquid by Sally Hansen for the non healing cracks on my cuticles. Band-Aids with Vaseline afterward help, too.)

    This is a great time to put on make-up. Stand up. Sit back down on your stool. Get blood running. If you're a guy- I guess shave your face.
    Then it's time to get dressed. Your body is going to be getting warmer and back to business shortyly.
    Make your bed. Make your kids' beds if they forgot.
    UUUUUnnnnnlessss you are in the part of trying to get back into the game.
    Segue into the fact that you still have to work out. I know. You just bathed. But if you have a sprained ankle or injury, you aren't breaking a huge sweat.
    So go outside for the windy walk or hit the Tread! I only do 20 min. sessions at a time. But guess what?
    I am a die hard on stretching. So this means:Warm up at a speed. Get off and do the stretches.
    STAY hydrated. Seriously pound the water. Sip a lot of that H20.
    Who wants a needle and saline drip stuck in your arm for a few hours?
    Then you are really tied down.
    So remember to drink.


    The other day I saw J with chapped lips and dry skin made me inquire if he was drinking enough of the stuff. Nope. So push your kid, too. They need reminders like we all do. Especially when he spends most the day in the Idaho wind. Lovely stuff that wind.
    You can stop  reading now
     if you don't want to hear me
     "blog about it"

    (this is where I journalize and get emotional at times.)

    or go into how I stretch out J.!

     Because it is baseball season and they don't do a lot of that. Or maybe it is the fact his muscles are tight as a drum.
    Amanda blogs about 'It'.
    Do you feel that at times you are pushing past your limits?  Just the other day my little sign:
    (I had to turn it so you could read it. Maybe I should have left it!)
    - was hanging by a thread. And I had to wonder:

     "Is this a sign?" to really let it go; give up?

    The only thing keeping it from falling off the fridge; a picture of my late, Great grandfather. He past away due to the flu turned Scarlett Fever when my grandpa was just a lad.
    That lad had to do paper routes to help support his mom, two younger siblings, and the house. His mother worked in the Dole canery. Pretty humble. His two younger siblings relied on him quite a bit. He even bought the first set of furniture for the living room for his mom. I believe Grandpa H. was 12.

    Now, I wonder  if I could handle this sort of situation?

    Would/could my son do this? He is so involved in things from scouts to sports to whatever and I wonder if it is building this kind of ability? Or, Instead am I making sure he is set to do what I think is building those characteristics but maybe just saying no to norm and getting back to good old fashioned at home sort of character building would be good?

    An example of me keeping an eye on  J.'s condition after a baseball practice: While sitting down, I asked him to touch his toes. I was curious.

    Just as I thought. He was tight as a drum. Which means injuries.In baseball it is tough to work that into the workout, or they feel they get them warmed up and it is super cold her in Idaho right now.
    And windy. I picked up a shingle that had gotten ripped off the roof and landed in the yard today.
    This blog about it is after the marathon disaster. Which has made some changes to what I've written weeks ago on this particular post. More sappiness is added at points as I am doing a bit of editing and picture adding.

    Back to my point of stretching. Literally and theoretically.  
    In HS my track coach and weight/conditioning coach (See Coach Guilford post of the past) was a die hard on stretching. He empasized stretching and even showed J. and I that, initially, it could be knocked out in 20 minutes of cardio warm up.  (He's researched since my days in HS- consolidating precious time, etc). Even now,although he is retired, he volunteers with the HS runners. There is only so much time that he has to work with them and does  tell them that " after practice" they are on their own to do this major important step; stretch. 
    When J could barely get a fingernail within the vicinity of his big toe- trying to reach as hard as he could foward, I took over in the warm down/stretch deparment. Knowing that his after practice strecthing is something he isn't going to prioritize. 
    Thanks to the Tread I got him on it and had to re- warm him up a bit. Stretched hiim in the l-o-n-g methodical way I had learned, ran him a bit more, letting him get some cardio in and then, stretched him again. In the same way. It took time.  I did it too.

     As I was wearing thin and stretching too far in areas that I need to quit. It helped the massive pulled muscle in my neck.  I walked. And I stretched. And I wondered if the muscle pain has to do with the prednisone induced muscle wasting? Too much google time. 
    Stretching is time consumming.

    But it felt worth it when we were done. Time well spent. Spending time with J. is always a time to talk.

    The next few weeks are full of testing for J. One of the tests is on language. I hope he comes out okay on this one because his vocab, is big but sometimes and,  like his aunt, he'll use big words in wrong places. But it's cute and I have to laugh.
    I have gotten a kick out of some quotess on Pinterest-

    which got me in trouble with Padre the other day when I put this sign, with  benign intention on the bathroom mirror.  Backfired. It is a tough truth that stretches him.
    I'd almost ordered vinyl to put on the toilet seat lid that read:

     Put Me Down-

    as a reminder to the male toilet users. And sarcarsm to add to sarcasm in the house.

    It makes me laugh and thought it would do so when I clean those toilets but after the first quotes initial rejection- Padre might be inclined to take the advice on the toilet and dole out some more put. downs OUT of the restroom, too. So I will run it passed him first, remind him about upcoming grandkids and that it would be a cute reminder... hmmm.

     In Padre's defense,
     he did get over it and said we could put the sign back up. But I felt it better to keep in my room so as not to remind him of it the extras he has in the house- at least too often.

    Last night, after a cold baseball practice in the snow, J. came home happy as a clam.
    He ate, we did our stretches and we discussed the Boston Marathon.

    We had some information earlier in the day due to a connection to one of the runners. Before bed J. confided and asked:

    " how much more could a kid take? "

    Silently, I answered to myself... 'Good question.'
     He listed off his stressors. Which surprisingly didn't include throwing a baseball to teammates in winter-like condition.

    "And  to top it off runners in a race had to worry about explosions?"

    I had to explain that the Boston Marathon was a BIG race, where a lot of harm could be inflicted and that he should keep running cause the perpetrator's intent was to scare a large number of people. And I didn't want him thinking of getting out of track or anything....
    But still, in passing the living  room to the kitchen, he'd seen on  TV the  tid bits about the event and overheard me talking about it with family. And repeated what my friend's brother had felt;

    "that it was an eerie sound ahead... not one of celebration."
    I can't imagine running 26 miles and then having a surprise that would send your adrenal glands into mega overdrive under an already stressful situation. 
    The maxed out feeling,  then THAT??. Some ran further to the a hospital and donated blood.

    This didn't affect me directly, but I look at it and wonder how to "Prepare".
    How do you prepare for that? I saw we had awesome ENTs arrive and ready to take injured people to the best hospitals in the country.  The people looked to be pulling together and helping one another like in other times we have "come under attack".   
    I'd initially felt bad sending  J.  out to play in the cold, snowy weather. But maybe it all  is preparation for what a boy has to face. (Or girl) He came home giddy for the next day's game. So, obviously, this generation is getting some preparation. (it helps he is an overheated kid in general when the temps are low.)

    But what about when something like this happens? Will he or I keep our cool?
    Will we start with the first order of business?
    This always reminds me of a book I read about the New Orleans evac and what  a Dr. said: "It was my outdoor survival training that helped me the most in this situation."

    Done. We are working on these types of things in scouts, as hikers when I was a kid, etc.
    This month his Pack leader empasized that it was the Faith segement for what is called Duty to God or Faith in God.  This is a program that the boys do in the area of religion in scouts. Whether they do scouts or not. Or are LDS, or not.
    I had been reading a book which emphasized how important these programs were in the rising gens lives.


    Mom had picked out the book and during the day I read it. The title reminds me of the last Star Wars. When Darth- Anikan is on a lower level and his Yoda master has the higher ground.

    We all know what Anakin does to try and gain advantage of his once loved master/teacher. So the analogy is catchy.
     At his age I was definintely not as intuned or aware of things this generation seems to have to really face head on. And I am at times wondering how to teach such a generation. It is intense. I feel like I have to apoligize, but I think they are up to it and so am I if I put my heart into it on the physical aspects and more importantly, spiritula; we'll be good. 

    Even though I also can  barely touch my toes and my muscles are tight as a drum, we are improving.
    Oh, and one more thing. I've burned close to 1,000 M&Ms. Yet, on prednisone,  my weight hasn't gone anywhere. Which has me stoked to not have gained.

     Miles and miles of those little candies yet to go.

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