Wednesday, 16 February 2011

I've found my miracle cure

So, another day, another run, another bout of calf/lower leg pain.  This is getting boring now and I really need to start proactively trying to fix it.  I must drink lots of water, eat the right food, stretch on the days I don't run....However, while I do all of these things (or not, as the case may be because I'm quite self-destructive sometimes) I have found a miracle cure to deal with the immediate pain.

Now, every runner must know the smell of Deep Heat.  When you're at a meet, it can be overpowering as apparently every runner uses it, and for me at least, it really is the smell that I associate with a race.  Unfortunately though, I can't use the stuff - the smell of it really irritates my lungs, and I can't breathe properly whenever it's sprayed near me, and I find the burning sensation it creates on the skin quite painful. As a result, I've never really thought about using any products to help with injuries, other than taking a paracetamol or ibuprofen.

My miracle cure!
Today though I remembered that stuffed in the back of my cupboard somewhere out of sight, was a can of Deep Freeze spray, which my mum bought me while I was preparing for my first marathon in 2008 but which I'd never used - I was going through a bit of a downer with an ankle injury and didn't think anything would ever help me recover and didn't want to try anything.  However, being in a bit more of a positive frame of mind these days, I decided it would be the perfect thing to try.  It essentially works by cooling your muscles, I suppose just like icing them - but is very quick, easy, and much more intense than any ice-pack I've ever used.  It was an amazing success.

The menthol smell is innocuous enough (a world away from Deep Heat) and it didn't set me off coughing or spluttering, so it cleared the first hurdle.  I used the spray very liberally for about 30 seconds, and it did feel like my legs were being frozen off for the next 5 minutes or so, but the beneficial effects were remarkable and rapid - I couldn't feel any pain any more (due to the numbness I guess!) my muscles felt much more relaxed, and even now, hours after application, I have much less tightness, hardly any pain and increased mobility in my ankles. Although I know I still need to treat the root cause of why my legs are cramping up so badly, using the Deep Freeze is definitely going to be a more regular thing for me....I might even buy some of the cream to give that a go, and maybe some of the little travel canisters that will fit in my waist bag so I can use it when I'm out on a run too!

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