Treading Lightly
Treading Lightly

Posterior tibial tendonitis management

I have a glaring track record with injuries. They all start the same way. I feel amazing. Unstoppable! And then I push too hard and I am completely stopped by an intense, slow-healing form of tendonitis. I’ve done it again and again, and yet I clearly haven’t learned.

The week after the Nike Women’s Half I felt great. My legs felt strong and I was flying high on a great race. I wanted to run further, faster, more often. I started planning how I would up my mileage this winter and all of the great speed workouts I would do. I was so ready to go.


Except that I wasn’t. I forgot the most important part of training – rest. I pushed too hard, too soon after my race and I aggravated the injury I spent four months battling this year already.

Now every step is a reminder of how big of an idiot I am. Instead of doing all of the amazing running I had imagined in my mind, I’m back to doing what feels like endless PT exercises and wanting to cry every time I see someone else running (how dare they run when I have to rest. I want to run!).

Every step is a very real, painful reminder that I need to rest and take care of myself. I don’t have time for denial or trying to push through. (I wish I would have realized that before I played Ultimate Frisbee with my coworkers for an hour. Ouch.) I am going to do all of my exercises. I will rest and treat my ankles and feet with care. I will do contrast baths and hours of mobility work to break up all of the tight, irritated tissue in my calves, ankles, and feet.

But most importantly, I will stop doing this to myself. I will learn to hold back when I want to push 12 times as hard. I will get my legs strong and ready for all of the running I am desperately dreaming about. I will accept where I’m at when I finally get to run again, and I will ease back into everything when my body is ready.

4 Responses

  1. […] my week and my ankles were feeling pretty good. My PT was going well, and I had recovered from a PTT flair up within a few days (great news for someone who is struggling with fairly chronic tendonitis at this […]

  2. […] for a turning point and for some real hope. I started to throw myself into my PT exercises, contrast baths, and everything else I could do to heal faster. I stayed away from sugar and other foods that are […]

  3. Tracy says:

    Aour experience to be similar to mine. I’m in my boot for about 5 weeks now and still feeling pain and have to take Advil daily. My doc told me not to do PT yet and just let the inflammation heal first. I’m wondering how long were you in your boot and when did the flaring stop for you? When did you start PT? I’ve stopped running and physical activities that will hurt my foot. I’m really worried that I’ll never recover 🙁 any advice and tips are appreciated!!

    • Mandy says:

      Hi Tracy,

      I’m so sorry to hear that you have PTT and that you’re still in pain. I was not put into a boot, so my experience will be a bit different than yours. I had been having PTT trouble for about a month or two before I started PT if I remember correctly. In the meantime I swam (often with a buoy or taped if I was going to be kicking) and did strength training exercises. I would ask your doctor about both. You can always do upper arm/core work in a boot! I have examples of exercises and workouts here from when I was in a boot post surgery to fix a later injury. You can also ask if you can ride a stationary bike in the boot.

      I know it’s incredibly frustrating (and painful!), but it took a while for my inflammation to go down. Contrast baths really helped me, and I also liked using arnica gel (although I have no real data to show that it helps). You will recover, just likely not as quickly as you like. PTT took me months to recover from, if not a full year until I was back to normal.

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