Runners are no strangers to the occasional aches and pains, but during my marathon training this fall I found myself struggling with nagging lower back pain on longer runs.
More often than not, I’d have to pull over mid-way through to stretch for some relief. Case in point: This was me about 14 miles into one of my weekend runs (thanks to Hubby for capturing this oh-so-flattering moment).
In comparison, here’s another shot of me about 11 miles into the marathon — with no back pain whatsoever.
Well, in a word: Opedix.
Never heard of ’em? Me neither, until I started doing some research on support gear that would allow me to run longer, stronger.
I’m already a big fan of compression socks, and I’ve had success with CW-X tights, but Opedix technology is scientifically designed to aid the recovery of back, leg and knee injuries, which can improve performance for runners, as well as athletes across other disciplines.
The company makes what they call “Kinetic Health” gear to enhance performance, recovery and rehabilitation by improving joint alignment and promoting proper movement.
Bottom line: They make shorts that could possibly let me say “sayonara” to back pain, so I decided to put them to the ultimate test — marathon training.
Here’s the lowdown on how they work: Think of the joints in your body as being connected structurally and functionally in a kinetic chain (meaning, it’s dynamic). Most of your joints have a three-dimensional range of motion, and the concurrent motion of these joints produces movement.
When this happens, your muscles fatigue more quickly and your body is exposed to unnecessary stress that causes the progressive destruction of your joints.
The result? A chain reaction that can range from annoying…to downright nasty.
But Opedix’s CORE-Tec Shorts are designed to work like an extra layer of muscle and use a combination of fabric tensions to anatomically direct the body’s inside forces and reconnect the joints to harmoniously function in that kinetic chain.
We could all use a little extra support (that’s putting it mildly!), and Opedix claims to deliver just that — and in just the right spots.
But do they really work?
Yes; I tested them on several different types of training runs (speed, tempo and long) before using them in my actual race, and they performed beautifully every time.
Full disclosure — they are a bit snug and the waist sits high — but once you get used to the feel of this fit and realize that it’s in the name of function, you all but forget you’ve got ’em on.
The fabric is also breathable, moisture-wicking and anti-stink, which also comes in handy on those mega-long runs and vigorous workouts.
And they’re well-made, too. Not only is the design top-notch (there’s a strategic 29-panel construction with a combination of stretch and non-stretch fabrics), but Opedix also pays special attention to the small details, such as silicon elastic binding at the leg-openings to help keep the shorts properly anchored.
Now, if you’re plagued with poor form or an existing injury, these shorts won’t rid you of either — let’s be realistic — but they can help delay the effects of fatigue, keep you better aligned and give you that extra boost to keep doing what you love with less bodily wear and tear.
Now that’s gear that’s gear that’s good for you for long runs…and in the long run.
Thanks to the folks at Opedix for providing a sample for review; all opinions are my own.