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Dancing with Aching Legs
Many baby boomers learned to dance when they were young-they usually like to continue it as they advance in years
Unfortunately the legs that they dances on through the night on can now only dance until late evening before they start to feel the effects of it-it can also take longer to recover from
Being a babyboomer and enjoying dancing myself, I can relate to aching legs from the dance floor and much of the time my legs feel like the runners above who have spent days on the track going around it in circles
One of the runners has exhausted muscles, and the lady runner has blisters-can you think of similarities in your own condition after a night on the dance floor?
Well not so severe but sometimes it feels like it!
Whether you go home with your partner or not aching legs and sore feet were not on your dance list but you went home with them anyway
The legs can show they have had enough of being worked by feeling irritable and aching when the owner finally stops to give them a rest
At night, they can prevent sleep by being 'restless' and need moving to find the most comfortable position to sleep in.
On getting up after sitting or lying down, difficulties in moving and walking through stiffness and soreness may be experienced that may wear off slightly as the muscle warm up.
The feet may throb and feel hot from both the inside and outside even after bathing and the shoes may be difficult to put on both because the feet may be swollen and it is too difficult to reach them.
The ankles and feet have swollen, making the shoes tight; as they swell it makes the person walk a little diferently to the way they usually do; the extra stress on the muscles tightens them more leaving them sore for the next day.
Swollen ankles (edema) fluid build up in the tissues; fluid cannot be pumped away fast enough as the calf muscle pump is not working efficiently, so the ankles will swell.
There are 2 main groups of people with aching leg recovery concerns
The 'Intentional Athlete' with sports related leg recovery problems-they make a deliberate choice to do a chosen sport.
Dancing Accidental Athletes who sets out just to have a good time doing what they love
Long hours on the feet mean that the leg muscles tighten, and when they do, the calf muscles lose flexibility which stops them working properly, which prevents them doing one of their jobs they need to do; assist in pumping use blood and fluids up the legs back to the body.
Walking and standing on the legs for long periods can cause poor circulation and aching legs which can affect dancing enjoyment
If the legs are not enjoying the dance neither will the rest of your body because with unhappy legs carrying it around movement will be slowed; protests from them will continued to be felt even after you decide to rest them
Leg fatigue and Poor circulation
To keep the muscles happy they need a constant supply of fresh blood going in to the tissues, to keep this happening, used blood has to be removed from the legs because if not, it acts as block and prevents the exchange
Part of the reason the legs ache is that the muscles are fatigued because the tissues are not recieving enough supplies of fresh blood to keep them working properly-they can't recover and continue to do what they are supposed to be there for-to provide us with mobility
Gravity and the weight of blood in the body
The body is subject to 2 types of pressure down towards the feet
Pressure from the arteries-Forced Pressure
The heart pumps blood under pressure to all parts of the body; including the legs; because it is being pumped, this pressure is higher than the standing still pressure
Pressure from the veins-Hydrostatic Pressure
Pressure from blood and lymph fluid is held in the lower legs by gravity-this blood and lymph fluid should be returned back to the body by the venous system.
Water is subject to pressure-the deeper it is the more pressure there is at the bottom; on the surface the swimmer feels none, but the deeper they go the more the pressure increases
Blood in the body is similar; in a standing person, the pressure at the head is almost non-existent, but at the feet the lowest part of the body, the pressure and the weight of the blood in the veins is higher
The term for this is Hydrostatic pressure (Hydro-water Static-standing still) and is measured in millimeters of Hydrostatic gravity
-10 mm hg
+90 mm hg
Long hours on the feet mean that the leg muscles tighten, and when they do, the calf muscles lose flexibility which stops them working properly, which prevents them doing one of their jobs they need to do; assist in pumping use blood and fluids up the legs back to the body
The Calf Muscle Pump
The way used blood gets back up the legs so that it can be replaced by fresh blood is by a special system called the Calf Muscle Pump which is made up of the muscles in the legs-but the main power to drive the pump are the calf mucles
The arteries take fresh blood away from the heart under pressure to the rest of the body-when the fresh blood arrives at the lowest part of the body-the feet-it has run out of pressure and there is none left to take it against gravity back up the legs to the body again
The veins have one-way valves in them take used blood back to the body for renourishment and recycling again but it is reliant on movement of the muscles to get it there
The calf muscle pump forces used blood against gravity through the veins up the legs back to the body for recycling by alternately putting pressure on the venous system and releasing it
As the muscles sqeeze, they open the one-way valves, letting blood pass through them; when the tension is released, they close stopping the blood flowing back down towards the feet
Depleted blood is progressively moved from the lower legs back up to the body where it is re-nourished with oxygen and nutrients and sent back out again to various parts of the body through the arteries
First aid needed for leg muscles when they are fatigued
To assist the legs to recover when they are fatigued they need some form of first aid to empty the depleted flood and lymph fluid out of the legs to make way for fresh blood to flood the muscle tissues with oxygen
This can be done in either of 2 ways
Reversing the effects of gravity-the passive way
A way to change the pressure of gravity of course is to simply lie down with the legs elevated higher than the body-
-10 mm hg
+90 mm hg
This will let the fluid in the ankles flow back to the body so the fresh blood can flood the muscle tissues and help them to recover.
However this does not do anything towards relieving the legs of muscle tightness, so the next day is the same as yesterday for the legs-only this time, there may be the added problem of blisters to cope with.
Because it relies on gravity to do the work, the legs are just waiting for it to all happen for an unspecified period time that could be spent doing something else.
or it can be done using the active way and making the legs do the work
The active way of recovering
Taking a part in the leg recovery
Keeping the circulation in balance
To keep the circulation in balance in the legs and reduce muscle fatigue, the same volume of blood should come out of the legs as goes into them.
The faster the legs receive help, the faster they recover but it is important they get it as soon as possible before soreness and stiffness limits what can be done with them.
This can be done using
Turn Your home into a Micro-Recovery Center by working with the muscles not on them with-
Do It Yourself recovery
This is applied using
The latest in non-technical, non-invasive 'cutting edge' solutions to fatigued aching legs relief-
Light Manual Muscle Relaxation-the World Run Recovery System
In 2008 the World Run Project starts-I am the Muscle Recovery Specialist as part of it and expected to be on the road with the 2 runners for a fair part of the distance. www.worldrun.org
In Australia it is very difficult to get sponsors unless you already have a big name as a star-
For support crew who do cannot supply glamor it is impossible.
There are not enough funds to cover my time away so I am making my many years of knowledge available to the public.
Buying a manual form me will defray my costs of being involved in the world run project, and at the same time let the tourist share the experience of a recovery similar to that of the world runners at a very affordable price.
$20.00 a manual
It is very difficult for the tourist to win any races as they are competing with themselves and their circulation but in this situation everyone wins.
With your support I get to on the World Run and you gets the very same recovery system I will be using on World Run 2!
Michael's methods of massage and blister care helped me to stay mobile throughout the race and to recover quickly afterwards. His techniques are safe and gentle.
Unlike some treatments, which put the runners and walkers at risk of muscle tears or infection, Michael's techniques are gentle, safe, reassuring, and highly effective. They enhance comfort and flexibility, build confidence, and promote success.
This booklet will help others to learn and practice Michael's methods. It is recommended reading for everyone who walks and runs and who wants to go further, go faster, or just to enjoy life more!!'
SANDRA BROWN 1996 Ladies 1000 Mile World Record Holder
1999 Ladies 100 mile Race walking World Record Holder
"I know that your massage kept a number of competitors in the event. The cold weather of Saturday afternoon and night certainly got to many of the walkers and your prompt action had them back in the race after a short stop.
In years past, that would have ended up as a non-finish. A number of walkers were able to keep going for the full 24 hours on the basis of your expert help."
Tim Ericson Secretary Australian Centurions Club
'I have known Michael Gillan for many years and have always got quick relief for my aches and pains from the stretching he performs'.
CLIFF YOUNG-75-80 24 Hour World Record Holder (150.07 kilometers)
A word from Jesper Olsen World Runner about Light Manual Muscle Relaxation
"If I hadn't had the qualified help from the excellent masseur Michael Gillan, taking several thousands of km out of my legs, I could spare myself the effort!"
"My crew for the current stages, Michael Gillan, has proven to have other talents than the quite taxing job of taking care of all the requirements of a really tired ultra runner!
He has since years back been working on a new approach to stretching and muscle-rebuilding for ultra runners. I have the last two days tried his careful stretch and massage, and a bit to my surprise the muscles are beginning to feel like before the start back in Greenwich, London!!
Usually I doesn't take massage as the legs of an ultra runner will often be quite sore during the long time events (and especially in an multi-year event like this...), and getting a massage can at times cause more injury and cramping up than good. For example my last massage was some 12 000km ago when I ran the 12-hour competition in Finland. And so far that has been the only one.
But Gillan came with best recommendations from my main contact in Australia, Phil Essam, who besides being vice president in the Australian Ultra runners Association has heaps of good knowledge to share. And this new kind of mild massage for ultra runners is definitely one of the good tips! There should be a fair chance that I actually get fresh enough to do some decent running at the 6 Day Race that I have coming up in Colac from the 21.November. I quite look forward to that, even though I can't expect to make a top class result :-)"
756.2 kilometers (Jesper holds the record for the longest run in history over 26000 kilometers and the first person to run around the world Taken from www.worldrun.org
Do not self diagnose-before having any treatment at all on legs, it is strongly recommended that any underlying cause of them is investigated by medical professionals-the first stop is to the doctor.