I have talked about the importance of massage, compression, and recovery boots, and today I am going to talk about something a little more specific that you may or may not have heard of/used (other than when I bring it up), but something that is SO important for runners, especially if you have anything that is bothering you.
I have mentioned before that I think active release played a critical part in my hamstring rehab. When you have something that is bugging you it is definitely worth paying for (and I do!). I am not receiving any compensation to write about Dr. Mike, I just believe in it that much.
I love that with active release, if you have a muscle that is causing you problems, this is one treatment you can go to, and immediately feel a difference when you get off the table. It often makes the pain go away instantly!
I was lucky to have a certified active release specialist in college, Ron would work on my various aches and pains, and I am even more thankful now to not only have a certified specialist, but to have one of THE BEST there is. Dr Mike Sullivan holds the highest certification for active release, and even teaches the technique at seminars around the country! He works with a lot of NFL players, and many other collegiate and professional athletes, and the University of Kentucky teams; I am thankful he is here in Lexington.
I thought it would be helpful to show you a little more about what ART involves. You can read about the science of what it is HERE. To put it into my own words, ART with Dr Mike involves telling him the general muscle area that is tight, and he will feel for minuscule differences within the muscle, until he finds the source of the tightness. He will then press down hard into that area with his thumb, and move the muscle through its range of motion.
I am not gonna lie, it hurts, sometimes pretty bad.
There were times with my hamstring where it hurt so bad I wanted to scream, but after a 10 minute treatment on that area, it felt significantly different. When you have some major damage, as I did with my hamstring, it would tighten up again after the next run, but I am positive that without his therapy, I would not have made it to the start line for the Chicago marathon, and I would still be dealing with it. Most other elite runners I talk to who have had hamstring issues have had them for many years, and they never really go away. Mine has, and I am so thankful for Dr. Mike for that…..he is also the one who loaned me his Recovery Boots!
So, I have a treat for you today, you can get to see another glimpse into the world of Tina Muir by watching Dr. Mike work on me. Yes, we were a little awkward, but I thought it would be useful for you to see him working and explain more about what it is, and what he commonly finds with runners. We weren’t really sure where this was going when we filmed it, but hopefully you find it useful 🙂
Dr Mike is a triathlete (half and full ironman races), so he really understands runners, which is important. There is almost nothing worse than going to someone for help who does not care for runners at all!
To me it is worth paying for a treatment where you see instantaneous results, this is the closest thing we have to a “quick fix”, but like I said, if you have something really wrong, it is unlikely to go away if you do not keep going to get it worked on if you continue to run. However, if you are having any kind of muscle pain, and you have a certified active release therapist near you, I would recommend it 100%. Like I said, there are no quick fixes when it comes to coming back from Injuries and I know if can be tough to realize that. Which is why I gathered up some experts on this subject and have them as a part of my Coming Back from Injury Podcast Series. I have found a lot of incredible information from them and I know you will too.
Dr Mike also performs graston on muscles that need it, including recently my quad/IT band was a little tight. It leaves some bruising, but this works wonders too. I talked about it a few years ago when I realized its importance when training for the Philadelphia marathon.
This is another form of therapy I would recommend for muscle issues, but make sure you have a specialist do this; they whip out some pretty scary looking tools, and it is not something you should EVER trust someone who has not been certified to do….you could do some serious damage!
Hopefully you enjoyed seeing a little peak into my therapy, and what helped my hamstring recover fully (as well as keeping me healthy at the moment). If you have aches and pains that are being stubborn, it is time you seek out your closest ART provider.
Have you ever used active release or graston? Was that video helpful/interesting?