Thursday, January 25, 2018

Post-Run Self Care

(I know that, for the next little while, my posts are going to be a lot about compartment syndrome and what things look like as I get back into running. This is partially because right now that's just my life, but it's also because I've met a few people during this whole debacle who had lots of questions about diagnosis and treatment, and I want to be able to give them information about post-op life, too.)

These days, I have to be sure to take care of my body after I run. I want to avoid injury as best I can, but I think it's actually more mental at this point. I am hyper-aware of every ache and I'm paranoid I'm going to get injured again, even though the chance of having a recurrence of compartment syndrome is very slim. My biggest fear is that the pain will return and it'll turn out I didn't have CS after all. So, to get some peace of mind, my post-run regimen has changed.

Before, I'd finish a run, do a couple half-assed stretches, and hop in the shower.

 Not anymore. This is what post-run self care looks like now.

1. Calf stretches immediately after my run is done, before even getting home. 30 seconds on each calf, 3x each.
I usually do these on a curb after a five-minute cool-down.
2. At home, I elevate with ice and TENS stimulation for 10-20 minutes. My PT told me icing for more than 10 minutes doesn't really do anything, but my TENS unit defaults to 20 minutes so I just go with it usually.
4. Then, after my shower, I massage my calves when I put on lotion. Sometimes I'll use Icy Hot, but I don't really know if that does anything.

5. If I'm feeling like maybe I did a little too much and my calves are sore, I'll do some towel stretches:
My PT recommended these stretches and they're awesome because they can be done in front of the TV.
These little changes, done consistently, should keep my calves in good shape and hopefully prevent any other kinds of muscular issues from arising. (Compartment syndrome is not a muscular issue but avoiding cramps and knots of all kinds is key to my mental recovery at this point!)

I am committed to being a more well-rounded athlete to support my running this time around, and this post-run regimen is part of that!



  1. I ALWAYS stretch my calves after runs because whenever I get PF, my chiro informs me it's due to tight calves! So I don't stretch them long- about a minute on each side. I hang them off the top stair in our house. But I figure for preventative, a minute after each run should suffice.

  2. Oh that's so good that you remember to put on lotion every time you get out of the shower. Because we couldn't use lotion after the surgery I got out of the habit of putting it on, and it's been a struggle for me to get back into it for some reason. Some days I look down at my legs and I'm like OMG because they are so dry (and hairy)! :D