Heel pain is a common problem for young runners, and can be the result of Sever’s disease, Plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendinitis. My youngest son, age 10, runs competitively and trains four days and about 15-20 miles per week. For the past two years, he has suffered from heel pain, which at times has caused him to hobble around after a workout. He stretches before and after runs, applies ice and elevates his feet after runs, and while that has somewhat alleviated the pain, it has not gone away. I wanted to find a solution that increased his flexibility and strength and allowed him to enjoy running without the pain.
Enter Medi-Dyne and their awesome line of solutions.
Continue to read my review below the photos.
Side view of ProStretch Plus from Medi-Dyne
Top view of ProStretch Plus showing long, stable platform
ProStretch Plus shown upside down with dense polyurethane foam strips attached to bottom of rocker
Close-up view of bottpm of ProStretch Plus
Looking across top of ProStretch Plus towards toe lift (in black)
Bottom of ProStretch Plus with example of strong, durable and light design of platform
Looking over top of ProStretch Plus towards the heel rest
Toe rest and heel lift removed to show prongs
Close-up of toe lift (front) and heel rest (back)
I found Medi-Dyne on Twitter (@MediDyne) and was interested in the company’s holistic approach to evaluating and diagnosing pains and injuries, and creating products that would strengthen and create flexibility to prevent injuries. After reading about ProStretch Plus and watching the videos, I ordered the product from Medi-Dyne’s website.
ProStretch Plus is incredibly intuitive to use, and my son started to use it after every run, doing a set of five full forward and backward extensions with each foot. After about four weeks, my son’s pain disappeared and he was able to run pain free. He was so excited and thrilled, and he made a quantum leap in his workouts, largely because he knew that no matter how hard he pushed, his heels would not hurt.
We have continued to use the ProStretch Plus and incorporated it into our regular stretching after runs. I have also started to use it to strengthen my feet after a running-related stress fracture in my right foot and my 15 year old son uses it to strengthen his IT band after a recent injury. My younger son is now able to fully extend forward and backwards so that the ProStretch Plus touches the ground in the front and back, which is a testament to both his increased flexibility and strength (which is required to fully extend).
What we like:
- The ProStretch Plus rocker design holds the foot in position on a large, stable platform and enables an accurate, efficient and safe stretch of the foot, ankle and leg.
- The heel rest and the toe lift are removable (we use both) and allow an adjustment of the degree of stretch. It also enables multiple users with different size feet to use the same ProStretch Plus. Using the toe lift provides a wonderful stretch of the toe and Plantar fascia.
- The ProStretch Plus unit is engineered to be strong, durable and light (it weighs 16 ounces and can be easily carried in a sports bag).
- The ProStretch Plus is manufactured in the USA from high tensile plastic in attractive royal blue and black colors.
- Two strips of dense polyurethane foam are attached to the bottom of the rocker to guarantee smooth operation (we use ours on hardwood floors, so the foam protects the floor).
- We are impressed with the overall quality of the ProStretch Plus (design, materials, and workmanship) and expect to use it daily for many years to come.
- The ProStretch Plus costs $40 at Medi-Dyne.
- A less expensive, prior generation model, the original ProStretch, costs $30, but we believe the upgraded Plus is worth more than the additional $10.
What we would improve:
- Both the heel rest and toe lift are removable, and insert with prongs into the rocker unit. The heel rest can pop out when trying to remove the foot from the ProStretch Plus, which simply means it has to be re-inserted before using with the other foot.
- We would like to see perhaps slightly longer prongs to prevent the heel rest from popping out.