Thursday, July 10, 2008

Things that are making me run better: a heel lift, ART (Active Release Technique) and also more on the Tibialis Posterior

I went to Boston for my third Active Release (ART) appointment today. I was feeling good since my run on Tuesday, but didn't run yesterday as I spent a couple of hours in a dentist's chair before celebrating 20 years of marriage!

Today the I had a quick treatment on the back of my left hip and my left adductors (I didn't tell him that this was bothering me on Monday). The ART therapy never hurts me and I don't feel a thing but it does do something. He has me check my balance doing lunges and of course my left side is awkward when I do these. He gave me a hamstring strengthening exercise. I am to lie on the floor on my back with me knees at 90 degrees and my heels resting on a bench at knee height. I am to press my heels into the chair and lift my rear off the floor. I am to do this until tired (maybe 50 times), rest a minute, then repeat. I am to do these once per day. He doesn't say anything when I mention I am working on the tibialis posterior.

Here is a video where an Active Release Technique therapist explains the process. The second technique he does for this persons sciatica is similar or the same as one of the hip movements I had done the last two appointments. I do it with straight leg and bent leg as shown.

Here the founder of ART, Dr. Leahy, talks about what ART is and its effectiveness.

This is another video dealing with sciatica and ART. At about 7 minutes into it you will see the ART Psoas release similar to the one that is done on my Psoas muscle.

Today my run was really good. I think the heel lifts are right on. I feel so much more balanced and my hips don't have to do all this work trying to be leveled and balanced. I feel better walking and running and the back of hip pain is subsiding. Today I added an extra loop to my run so I did close to 10 miles. I would do more but I am nervous that the change by using the heel lift could create a new problem from adjusting muscles. I am getting my legs to feel straighter and I could happily train at this level as I don't feel so exhausted from fighting my own body. Although not 100%, I do feel a whole lot smoother and solid as I run.

I am doing the Tibialis Posterior exercises. They are simple and feel so right for what I need to do with my knee and feet. I found another exercise to try for strengthening the tibialis posterior. The accent is from New Zealand and the person, Gary Moller, is the older brother of Olympic Marathon Bronze medalist Lorraine Moller. Here Gary writes more about correcting foot pronation. What I find interesting is that his diagram and the diagram on the Yoga site I listed the other day, both show the inward knee rotation and hip problems that I suffer from.

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