Eas­ing the pain

Runner's World (UK) - - Pain Science -

HOLD IT In an iso­met­ric con­trac­tion, a mus­cle is con­tracted without ei­ther short­en­ing or length­en­ing. For ex­am­ple, the ham­strings and glutes con­tract iso­met­ri­cally dur­ing the bridge ex­er­cise. ‘Iso­met­rics are thought to have an in­hibitory ef­fect on pain, al­though the re­search high­lights a var­ied re­sponse in in­di­vid­u­als,’ says Goom. One re­cent study, in the Bri­tish Jour­nal of Sports Medicine, found that with tendinopathies, iso­met­ric holds re­duced pain for 45 min­utes. ‘In some, iso­met­rics can re­duce pain to al­low a win­dow of op­por­tu­nity to fa­cil­i­tate re­hab or con­tinue sport, but they’re not a cure-all,’ cau­tions Goom.

BEST DONE Be­fore re­hab.

MOVE IT To see how pain is gov­erned by the brain, try this tip from coach and Feldenkrais prac­ti­tioner Jae Gruenke (bal­ance­drun­ner.com). ‘If you feel pain when run­ning, imag­ine the pain is in the same location but on the other side,’ she says. ‘As you con­tinue to run while imag­in­ing this, you’ll usu­ally feel your move­ment al­ter and your dis­com­fort be­gin to fade.’ Use sen­si­bly – not to mask se­vere pain. BEST DONE To qui­eten midrun nig­gles.

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