Preventing & caring for retinaculum irritation.
A particularly common anatomical structure that can often times cause discomfort for a runner for a variety of reasons is called retinaculum. These fibrous bands of fascia pass over and under joint/lever type structures to help keep them in place and functioning appropriately. Notice there is not an identifiable taxonomy before retinaculum; that is because, similarly to bursas, retinaculum is located throughout various parts of the body, most identifiably in joint areas (i.e. ankle, knee, wrist, and shoulder). Retinaculum for the most part is pretty superficial, which means it can be easily treated with proper modalities (i.e. ultrasound, massage, electrotherapy, graston tools, nutrition and rest). Typically irritated retinaculum is not severe enough to completely stop running, but you may need to adjust your training until fully recovered (expect 1-3 weeks). Often times you can feel the irritated retinaculum by placing your fingers in the general area while flexing. More than likely you'll feel a crunching effect. If you could look inside the effected area, the retinaculum looks like a ball of steel wool that needs to be straightened back out again, hence the effectiveness of massage/graston tools. Treating retinaculum irritation early and effectively will get you back feeling strong and running to your maximum capabilities. I should also mention that stretching does little good to cure retinaculum irritation as the fibrous/tendon areas have very little elasticity. Pictured above is a quick observational drawing I did of the wrist & hand, notice at the top of the wrist the thick white fibrous band moving in a horizontal direction; that is an inside look of retinaculum.
Disclaimer: I'm not a doctor, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express once.
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