Skip to content
Home » Blog » Special Guest Posting: Power Running on Active Release Techniques

Special Guest Posting: Power Running on Active Release Techniques

Power Running is an article written by Vic Keller and James Slade. Vic is an active referrer to my Gelley Chiropractic office in St. Vital and Downtown Chiropractic Centre in Downtown Winnipeg. They recently wrote this article for the Manitoba Running Association. Here is the article:

“After spending the last few weeks in the off-season, many runners are looking at the best way to get back into shape and to get ready for some races. You can run all year, and I know that many of you do, but if you work with a coach or a fitness trainer, you are already familiar with the importance of ‘down-time’! Lots of injuries can happen when we over train, hence the wisdom of a few weeks off to allow the body to heal itself. Over-training is often the culprit behind spring time injuries. After a layoff, the body’s natural tendency is to jump right back in and return to your normal level of running as soon as possible, but beware!! To help guide you back to your normal level, perhaps improve the normal level, and to avoid injury is our goal with this series of articles. Some runners, however, over do it. Too much, too soon will almost certainly lead to soft tissue damage such as strained muscles, partially torn tendons, or worse, and that’s something none of us wants to see. So what should we do if we do become injured? How can we make sure we avoid further injury? What can we do to get back into training as quickly as possible? What works, what doesn’t?

Let’s handle these in order. Soft tissue damage should always be immediately treated with rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE). Rest means that you should not finish the workout, do not just jog the rest of the race, do not try to ignore that snap of the tendons that you know you felt! You should stop immediately. If you are at a gym, ask for ice, if on a race course, stop, and wait for the first-aid cart to arrive. All the MRA races are sponsored by Canadian First Aid, and Christian and his crew carry far more than basic first aid gear, even on their bikes! They can even defibrillate you if that’s what you need. So please, please, please stop to reduce further injury to your body.

Ice packs can be ice cubes in a ziplock, frozen veggies, or a gel pack that you keep in the freezer for just such occasions! I usually wrap a gel pack in a teatowel, and just use that, but a handful of snow will do if that’s all you have. Keep the ice on for 10-15 minutes but not much longer. You don’t want to add frostbite to your list of complaints! You can repeat the ice several times a day, but even if you can only manage 2-3 times per day for the first two days, that will help. So rest the injury, and get ice on it as soon as possible.

Compression means you should wrap the injured area with a tensor bandage. This will help to support the damaged tissues, just don’t wrap it too tightly. You can leave the tensor on for as long as you like, but loosen it and re-wrap it every 2 hours or so to make sure it hasn’t slipped. You will find that you probably do not have to worry that much about wrapping it too tightly. If you do have it too tight, then you will hurt, so your body will let you know. The advice that we have been seeing is that you should not keep the tensor on overnight. Remove it for bedtime and re-wrap it in the morning.

How soon can you resume running? Runners are a funny lot when it comes to this one. I can’t actually think of many who will actually listen to their health care provider, chiropractor, physical therapist, or athletic therapist and actually stop running! Vic and I have seen our share of running related injuries, but for my part, I can always look back and see where I missed a proper warmup before a race, or hard workout. Another thing I have learned to avoid is a hot bath the night before a race or hard workout. Early in my running career, I tore a hamstring at the 4km mark of the Athlete’s wear 10k in 2000. I continued the race by jogging and walking so that I could finish, but that was my first ever hamstring tear and I actually heard and felt the snap on that one! Being a newbie, I didn’t know what to do, and there was no first aid available at the race. My first run was 6 weeks later, and that was the slowest 5k ever! Time warp up to working with coach Ken Perchaluk and the Roadkill club just a few years ago. We were about to start our 400’s for the night. I thought I had warmed up enough, but when everyone else ran 20 min. for their warm-up, I had run about 8. After some pick-ups, we started the workout and I managed to run about 5 metres before I felt that hamstring go. Fortunately, I stopped immediately, stepped outside and found a chunk of ice to sit on for the rest of the night. I managed to phone the U of W Athletic Therapy centre and book two appointments that week. They worked their voodoo magic and I was able to return to the track the following week where I ran the full workout, at speed, but with a better warmup! So to review: no ice = 6 weeks. Ice and treatment = 1 week. Hmmmm.

Vic has been using and recommending Dr. Chris Notley: . Dr. Notley a ‘chiropractor, athletic therapist, strength and conditioning specialist, certified in acupuncture and active release technique provider’, so he is extremely well versed in the kinds of injuries that athletes get, how to treat them, and how to strengthen the area to prevent future injury. As you can tell from the previous paragraph, Vic and I are both huge advocates for seeking professional help when needed because that is the fastest road to recovery. Active release technique has been studied for some time now. I was pleased when my research showed academic papers back to 1998 that mentioned the effectiveness of active release. One thing I look out for is seeing a new treatment that is only tested by one group of practitioners and only reviewed by the same group. What I found was the following list of journals that have published articles on active release: Physical Therapy in Sport, Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, Journal of Sports and Chiropractic Rehabilitation, and the Journal of Musculoskeletal Medicine. Obviously this treatment is getting lots of attention, and it is being well received by a wide variety of researchers! That is always good news”.

Vic Keller owns Vic Fitness

James Slade runs and writes in his spare time… Thank you Vic and James for a great article

Dr Notley, Chiropractor and Athletic Therapist, in Winnipeg

Originally posted on May 17, 2022 @ 4:40 pm