My running is off to a slow start this year, due to a foot injury that has limited my training.
I have been using the RICE (rest, ice, compression and elevation) method for plantar fasciitis (PLAN-tur fas-e-I-tis). The foot has healed slowly but recently got a boost with a band from CTM, which stands for Compression, Tension and Movement.
Disclaimer: I received a CTM band to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro ambassador, and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!
Use my discount promo code CTMBIBRAVE for 20 percent off at www.ctm.band. The band comes in red, blue, yellow and green.
I vividly recall the run that caused the PF. I went out for an easy 5-mile the morning of Jan. 9. Since there were sporadic ice patches, I decided it would be wise to wear trail shoes to prevent a slip on a slick neighborhood sidewalk in the dark.
My left heel did not like the pounding from the lugs on the trail shoes. I ignored the pain and went out for my next run two days later and then again for my long run the following Saturday. Sometime during that run, I knew that I was in trouble.
I ended up DNSing from the marathon I had signed up for in mid-February. In the meantime, I began using the RICE method, along with Hammer Nutrition Tissue Rejuvenator, to heal my heel. It was an up-and-down struggle for sure. I substituted cross training (exercise bike and elliptical) for my runs.
Normally, I average about 120 miles of running per month. For comparison, here’s how the first three months of the year went:
January: 63.2 miles
February: 41.7 miles
March: 109 miles
How the CTM band helps PF
While I had made progress in March, my foot was definitely not 100 percent. Some days, I would wake up with pain. Some days, I would not.
Plantar fasciitis is tough to cure. Some estimates have the recovery time between three and 12 months. Other runners have said they have been dealing with it for a year or longer since the issue first cropped up.
I was excited to try the CTM band to see if it might help accelerate my recovery.
The band is 7-foot-long and about 4-inches wide, with four golf-ball sized hard shells near one end. The user tightly wraps the band around the injury and stretches for no more than two minutes twice a day. For PF, CTM recommends wrapping and stretching the calf muscle and then around the foot where the pain is located.
The therapy is called myofascial release, which treats skeletal muscle immobility and pain by relaxing tight muscles, improving circulation and stimulating the stretch reflex in muscles.
CTM has an informative website, with short but useful video tutorials that will help runners understand how to properly use the band to heal their injuries.
In addition to PF, the company says the band will help those suffering with other injuries such as arch pain, Achilles pain, shin splints, calf strains, runner’s knee, patellar tendinitis, iliotibial band syndrome (ITBS), hamstring strains, adductor strains, quad strains, and upper body pain and tightness in the shoulders, forearms and elbows.
I received my CTM band around the time my foot pain flared up again. I had been somewhat inconsistent in the maintenance that had helped get my foot close to 100 percent again. It was also confusing and frustrating to pinpoint exactly what worked — a yoga video dedicated to feet was helpful, until it wasn’t, for example.
As I progress toward my big goal for the first half of 2018 — my first 100K, the Ultra Race of Champions in Virginia — my continued rehabilitation from injury will be just as important as my training progression.
That will mean daily doses of Tissue Rejuvenator, ice, foot massage and stretching with my CTM band.
For a troublesome injury like plantar fasciitis there is no short cut or single solution to pain-free running, or even walking. But I am confident that the band is playing a significant role in my recovery and eventual crossing of the finish line of the 100K.