How many of you have had heel pain, heel spur or that more dreaded term runners use, Plantar Fasciitis before? You may be probably cringing of those thoughts when you had them and i, for one had to endure it for four long months. You’re familiar with the pain and i know how debilitating it is until i was finally able to lick it in the bud, thanks to deep-tissue massages and the singular towel stretches.
Lately, i’ve been experiencing some nasty discomfort while running, though the malaise isn’t in the feet nor legs but comes from the chest in the form of HEARTBURN! The feeling i get is tightness in the lower chest after eating something and it stays on there, like an air that has accumulated and trapped inside the chest.
I call it the Plantar Fasciitis of the upper body and it’s so irrititating, to say the least!
The heartburn or acid-reflux as some would refer to it, becomes so annoying when you can’t belch the air out and it stays choking your chest for the duration of the run! Arrgh! I’ve been taking different meds to combat this malaise, (antacids, H2 blockers and PPIs) taking one before going to bed at night and another before i go out for my morning runs.
I have since adjusted my diet, cutting out offensive foods that trigger out heartburn like citrus fruits, spicy foods, sodas, chocolate and although caffeine is another major culprit to avoid, i still take coffee but reduced it to a HALF-cup a day from the usual 3 cups daily. And no alcohol this time! 😦
With these medications, I feel sluggish when i’m out for a run specially on the first few kilometers when i’m trying to gauge how i feel as it does show in my performance. However, i try not to let this affect my endurance specially when doing long runs and though my speed has quite been affected, i can still do long 25 to 30k Sunday LSD runs if my training schedule calls for it.
If you’re like me who suffers from heartburn, here are some tips that i take into heart that will probably help in easing the discomfort while exercising (taken from the webmd.com website):
6 Tips When Exercise Triggers Heartburn
You don’t need to give up exercise to avoid heartburn. Instead, try these tips:
1. Problem-solve your diet. Do some simple problem-solving, says Tara O’Brien, PharmD, a pharmacy manager at Pharmaca in Seattle, a national, integrative pharmacy combining Western medicine with self-care. “Specifically, do you eat relatively quickly before going for a run? And what types of food?” Cut out the offending foods — and hold the triple mochas before running.
3. Eat two to three hours before working out. Play with how long before you exercise to eat your light snack — a half-hour, hour, 2 hours before — and see which works best. Maybe you can eat a small snack an hour before exercise with no problem. Or you may need to eat two to three hours before working out to give your stomach time to empty.
4. Rethink your workout. Certain kinds of exercise may trigger heartburn for some people more than others. Experiment to see whether certain workouts trigger heartburn more or less for you. Maybe you can take a spinning class or go hiking if high-impact aerobics or running hurt. Crunches and core work on a full stomach may have to go. Headstands and Downward Dog in yoga, which reverse the natural gravity of digestion, can also trigger heartburn; ask your teacher how to modify these inverted poses.
5. Try baking soda. Taking something for symptoms wouldn’t hurt, says O’Brien. Several natural remedies exist, although they only provide temporary relief. Baking soda added to water can help neutralize and wash away stomach acids. Because baking soda may add more salt to your diet, it’s best to speak to your doctor first before trying this remedy.
6. Try over-the-counter relief. In your local pharmacy, look for an antacid with calcium — that’s the ingredient that neutralizes stomach acid. “Chewing a Tums or taking a calcium-based antacid is very safe, so it would be worth a try,” says O’Brien. Although these are fast-acting, symptom-relief antacids, it can’t hurt to try one as a preventive measure before exercise.
I’m now trying out this new prescription medicine (Ranitein) given out by my Doctor-brother, which eases acid reflux and i hope this bodes well and give me some relief!