Treading Lightly
Treading Lightly

Posterior Tibial Tendonitis

I think it’s fair to say that injuries bring out the best and the worst in us. For me, they bring out bitterness, jealousy, and depression, but they also reinforce my tenacity, dedication, and focus. I have my flight paid for, hotel booked, and participant shorts waiting in my dresser. I will run in August.

But for now I have Posterior Tibial Tendonitis, and it’s time I accepted that.

After not running for more than two months, I have shed enough tears for the rest of the year. Instead of feeling sorry for myself (which I have done plenty) and snapping at everyone who is just trying to help, it’s time to refocus and make my goal happen.

Asics GT-2000 gell women's black, purple, neon green 2014 treading lightly

How I’m healing:

1. My barefoot-loving, five-finger-vibram-wearing self has accepted my new shoes (in the picture above). I will wear these for the next year while I strengthen my feet and ankles and work on my gait. If it means I can run, I will just about anything at this point. For now I’m wearing the Asics GT-2000 anytime I’m out or I’m walking around (even in the house). I just keep telling myself I don’t care what they look like (which is true until I wear them out with a skirt and people look at me oddly), as long as they are helping.

2. I added inserts. My podiatrist wanted me to get custom orthotics, but those are on the back-burner for now. Instead I have been wearing Superfeet inserts, and they seem to be helping, especially when I have to stand for extended periods of time.

3. Contrast baths. I’ve never loved cold, but increasing the circulation is a major part of healing my PTT. I alternate three minutes in hot water with epsom salts and 1 minute in ice water. The 50 degree temperature swing is miserable, but it usually feels better after.

4. Rest. No really, rest. As much as I hate it, I am staying off my feet. With two weeks until I start my new job (more on that soon), I am making it my full time job to heal my PTT. It’s just about as exciting as it sounds. I still can’t do my usual CrossFit class, and I do a lot of arms and core (all I need is a cut-off tank and a protein powder shaker and I could be a full-fledged bro). No running, no cycling outside, no spin classes, no heavy lifting, etc.

5. Modify. I can swim, but I have to only use my arms and do the saddest, slowest, gentlest flip-turns known to man. My high school swim coach would cry if he saw my new turns.

6. I finally got to go to physical therapy. It’s been making an enormous difference. I tried to doing exercises on my own for PTT, but the next day my pain would always be worse. It has been incredible to have someone walk me through exercises, give me a better understanding of what I can and can’t do, and help me increase blood flow to the area. Plus, my physical therapist’s positivity has been slowly chipping away at my debbie downer, ‘I’m never ever going to be able to run again’ attitude.

7. In an effor to loosen up my muscle fibers and break up scar tissue, I got a much needed (and painful!) deep tissue massage and body work. I wasn’t able to miraculously run the next day (I knew it was a long shot), but it definitely helped relax my lower legs.

8. Just say no to sugar and gluten. Sugar is a known inflammatory and gluten just doesn’t make me feel very well. I tend to break out fairly excessively when I am not careful and I eat too much of either. Since PTT is inflammation and small tears, I’m doing everything I can to turn my body into a healing machine.

9. I’m sleeping as much as I can to increase the amount of time my body spends repairing itself.

While the goal of starting to run again has been pushed back over and over again, I’ve set my sights on mid-June. I’m secretly hoping it will be long before then, but it’s less mentally and emotionally draining to aim for a date so far away than to push it back week after week.

5 Responses

  1. […] out world, I’m making a comeback. For the first time in three months, I was allowed to […]

  2. […] Today I watched the videos of the course and for the first time in nearly four months, I can see myself crossing the finish line. This is happening. I’m running this race and I’m going to finish. This has been quite the comeback. […]

  3. […] shoes took me from injury to an amazing trip to Vancouver. They comforted my aching arches and ankles and gave my friends a […]

  4. […] spent three months seriously injured and another six months or so trying to hack my way through it. Tendonitis is a constant game of […]

  5. […] is that standing on one leg really tugs on my tendons and it’s super easy for me to inflame my PTT without realizing it. In this case, tired legs + a fair amount of balance work = unhappy tendons […]

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