This week will mark almost 2 months of no running for me.
Well, let me qualify that – 2 months of not training hard. I have been running, but I have not been able to just leave the house, find a trail and GO. Trust me, it is absolutely nothing of my own doing!
Why am I not running? I had self-diagnosed myself with achilles tendonitis, but when I went to my physiotherapist, what I actually am dealing with is achilles tenosynovitis, which means that the sheath or layer surrounding my achilles is inflamed. In my defence all the symptoms and treatments are the same, so I wasn’t that far off!
What am I doing about it? Well, I am a firm believer that although no one plans to be injured, it is a normal part of being an athlete, so I am trying to use the downtime to become the best athlete I can. I am trying different sports to cross train such as climbing, tennis and snowboarding.
I am also doing physiotherapy. I have been seeing a fantastic local specialist who has done biomechanics analysis and has me doing therapy exercises and stretches.
What have we found?
The small little problem that has caused everything has been a small tweak in my stride where I float my left foot to far to my midline which causes stress on my right hip. Basically, because I twist my left foot and collapse my right hip, I have achilles issues on my left side and IT band issues on my right.
I have been retraining my stride by running short intervals and thinking “1/2 cm to the left” which helps correct my movements. It is the equivalent of learning to write with your left hand when you are right handed so it is a slow and awkward process.
I also have been doing a lot of heel lifts and foam rolling to help strengthen the area and stretch out tired muscles.
I have also been seeing my chiropractor who has been resetting the bones in my foot. Because I was favouring my foot, I was locking it and causing more problems.
Another thing I have been working with has been acupuncture.
More specifically, trigger point acupuncture which is where a needle is inserted right at the trigger point of pain. Yes, it is as painful as it sounds but it works. It is more aggressive and invasive then regular acupuncture treatments, but I found that my injury was feeling better after only one session. I also have been receiving natural injections into the area to relax and speed up the healing process.
Aside from that, I have been taking the time to focus on what I want my goals to be in the new year and how I am going to achieve them. I have a lot of exciting things in store for me, so I need to hurry up and heal this injury so I can get out there and go!
Have you ever struggled from a running injury? What steps did you take to overcome it?