Sunday, July 26, 2015

Surviving Tendonitis: Patience You Must Have

training tendonitis yoda Star Wars Half Marathon

It all started in March when I bought a new pair of running shoes:  I noticed that my heels were hurting during and after I ran, especially in the morning.  In fact, I could hardly walk in the moring.    I figured that I just needed to "break in" my new shoes.  But 3 months and lots of pain later, I wasn't in a happy place after I ran.   And taking pain medicine wasn't an answer; pain is your body telling you something is wrong.  This fact made me panicky because I have so many long distance goals next year!  So, I sought out a Sports Medicine/Orthopedic Physician, who I thought would be the best way to help recovery.  And this is what I found out...

How did this happen?
foot pain running

Our feet are rather complicated; and tendonitis in your feet can be from any stress related event:
  • certain antibiotics
  • weight gain
  • speed training
  • quick stops, starts, turns
  • twists, sprains
  • shoes
  • incline training
  • muscle cramps/dehydration
  • past injuries
  • lack of stretching
  • hamstring strain
  • genetics
For me, the Doctor felt like it was a combination of things, new shoes, speed training, dehydration, not enough stretching, and a history of twisted ankles that built up to my tendonitis.

How were we going to fix it?
1. R E S T !  This is really, really hard for me.  I have to ease into running by walking until that feels comfortable, then slowly add running.

2. Anti-inflammatory medicine:  I can't take Advil/Motrin because it makes me feel like a swallowed a bucket of nails!  So, I've been prescribed Mobic to take once a day for inflammation.   

2. The Boot:  In order for your tendons to heel properly, they need to be in the right position, just like fixing a broken bone.  For you feet, tendons heal at night when you are at rest, and they heal best when kept at  a 90 degree angle:  hence the boot!

half marathon

... on both feet!  I got absolutely no sleep for 2 weeks.  And really no relief:  the boot introduced more pain on my bones.  The boot is not an option at this point.

3.  Shots:  Next up was a cortisone shot in each foot.  The pain of the shorts was worth the hope of running again! The result was a success on the left foot; but some inflammations remaining in the right foot resulting in minor pain in the achilles and ankle of my right foot.   So, not a complete fix either.

4.  Physical Therapy:  Next up is physical therapy and massage.   I'm working on stretching every day, alternating heat and ice,  wearing compression, and getting neuromuscular massage.  Formal physical therapy would be 3 days a week, but we aren't at that point yet!

5.  Nutrition:  I made some nutrition changes, such as cutting out bananas and switching protein powders.  As it turned out a bad mistake!   High protein drinks help me manage my low blood sugar, and earlier this year, I switched to a protein powder that was less expensive by about 20 dollars. The new protein powder was missing 2 important nutrients that were in my old favorite: potassium and magnesium.  That move plus not eating bananas, led to severe cramps in my feet which could have been one of the deciding factors in my tendonitis.   So, I am back on the old faithful protein powder with a banana thrown in!  

6.  Patience!  Bottom Line... it takes time and I must be patient!  I don't want to run just another year - I want to run another 50 years!   

I'll be honest with you, I am so worried about gaining weight and getting behind, and even fighting off being depressed.  However, I am taking it slow.  If I can walk without pain, I can start walk/running and then move into slow running.  He said no speed training until I'm fully recovered.  

I must head Master Yoda's advice! Because I am #AllinforParis!!

Have you ever been sidelined?  I"d love to hear your story!

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