Tendinitis, what?

I have been complaining about my ankle so much that the injury has its own name:  Anklemania.  This particular problem traces all the way back to January or February.  It’s come and gone a little bit.  I am still surprised I made it through the quarter marathon on it.  After that race, my phyiscal therapist encouraged me to take time off and see a doctor.

I waited a while to do either of those things.

Actually, I haven’t been running very much at all.  Major life changes and timing and the heat and my aversion to pain have all played a part in that.  I haven’t run in a week! But on Thursday, I did finally go to a sports medicine doctor.

That doctor asked questions and felt all around my left foot and ankle and decided that I probably had peroneal tendonitis. You can read things about it here and here. Basically, there are two tendons that run behind the ankle bone and one of them attaches down along the side of your foot.  Because the main part of the tendons’ job is to stabilize the foot so running on uneven surfaces (like I did back in January when the trouble started) can cause problems.  Not resting it enough right off (especially from injury through March, when I ran the most) probably aggravated it.

I have been prescribed physical therapy for six weeks to strengthen it.  If it doesn’t start to feel better pretty quickly, I go back in three weeks and we look at maybe a stress fracture and start taking x-rays, etc.  If it takes a turn for the worst, I go back ASAP. But, if I go six weeks of PT and all goes well, I should be good. I am allowed to run unless it hurts or I end up limping afterwards.  If that happens, I have to use the elliptical, bike, etc.

Incidentally, I had a final PT check up for my back on Wednesday which went really well.  My therapist joked that he would see me in two weeks for my ankle.  Boy, was he right!  I wonder if he’ll take my PT graduation shirt away…

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It’s Not a Tumor… Just a Strain.

My physical therapist took a look at my ankle yesterday.  I see him every two weeks and since I had complained about it for the past session and the one yesterday, he started poking around.  His diagnosis: it’s probably just strained.  Not sprained, but strained.  I told him I thought it was probably overuse and he agreed it could be.

ankle elevation and calf sleeves

New CEP calf sleeves and ankle elevation up the wall.

I am to keep icing it, elevating it, etc.  If it isn’t better in another two weeks, I am being sent to the doctor. I took yesterday off from running despite my plan for a long run.  I had intended to do six miles either Monday or yesterday, but my ankle + rain on Monday left things a little short and then yesterday was yesterday.  Originally, I had planned to do weights today and maybe try the elliptical or bike for cardio with less impact.  I decided this morning (after a somewhat painful evening of standing at work last night) that I was taking a full day off from extra activity.

I know this is probably a good idea.  Mentally, it’s hard to swallow.  I want to do things and it makes me feel so much better to do them.  I feel kind of defeated even though I logically know I’m just resting so that I can do more later. Funny how your brain can work against you like that.

On a side note: the other day, I snagged some of those lovely CEP calf sleeves you see in the picture above.  My ankle felt pretty rough for a lot of my run on Monday, but man did my legs feel great!  I have to say I think I’m a true believer in compression now.