Injuries Happen

When I think about my training over the past few months, I feel very up and down about it. When my training goes well, it goes really, really well. When it goes poorly, it goes especially poorly.

For example: December. I was sick and ran all of 22km in an entire month. No joke. December was a super, duper crappy month.

January was much, much better. I was healthy (yay!) and was able to train for the Glass Slipper Challenge and I felt pretty good about my runs. (Total mileage 100km).

February was better than January, with the exception of the cold that took me down for a few days – I managed 127km in February.

Why am I telling you all of this? Because if you look at my mileage for January and February and then I tell you I ran 54km in seven days in March, it’s pretty easy to see why I have some lower leg pain. I ran more than double of my December mileage, over half of my January mileage and 43% of my February mileage in one week.

I think that’s probably the definitely of too much too soon. Whoops.

And so this week? I’ve been resting and researching.

I’ve struggled with outer lower leg pain for a quite a while. When I first experienced it, I mentioned to my old massage therapist and my chiropractor that it felt more like tendonitis than what I thought shin splints would feel like, mainly because the pain originates near my ankle bone.

After doing some research with Dr Google today, it seems it might actually be tendonitis. Peroneal Tendonitis to be exact.

So, what the heck it is?

Symptoms of peroneal tendonitis include pain and swelling on the outside of the ankle just below the bony bit or lateral malleolus. Pain is often worse during activity but gets better with rest. There may be pain when pressing in on the peroneal tendons on the outside of the ankle. Pain may be recreated by stretching the peroneal muscles by inverting the foot or turning it inwards as well as attempting to do the reverse against resistance.

(source)

tendonitis

In my highly non-doctor opinion, this very much sounds like what I’m experiencing, and not actual shin splits. This can also be caused by high arches (check!) because additional pressure is put on the outer edge of the foot.

I first started experiencing this pain in yoga (weird, I know) because in wide-leg poses, I tend to put more pressure on the outer edge of my foot and not equally over the 4-corners of my foot (in yoga-speak).

Lucky for me, I have a massage therapy appointment this evening, so I’ll see what my therapist thinks and what she recommends for rehab. Having a crazy insane race scheduled in 11 weeks is a tough balance for me. I have a lot of high-mileage weeks coming up, so taking a lot of time off scares me, but so does injuring myself further, so I need to come up with a good plan of attack.

The last time I saw her I asked what her feelings were about the Graston technique (and, if you remember, I think my therapist is pretty awesome) and she’s not a fan. Her reasoning is that it’s similar to massage, but can create additional swelling and scar tissue due to the intensity of the procedure, thus increasing the risk of injury. So, while I’m intrigued by it, I think I’m going to hold off and try some other rehab techniques instead.

What rehab am I looking at?

First off, massage. I’ve used both massage and chiropractic techniques to treat the majority of my running pains and it’s always worked very well for me. My massage therapist uses both massage and cupping to treat tight areas and it’s worked very well for me.

My chiropractor uses active release and electrotherapy and is very encouraging when it comes to running and not stopping (so long as it won’t make it worse).

For at home recovery, I’m a big fan of ProCompression sleeves for recovery when at work (they hide well under pants!) and KT Tape. When my legs are quite bad, I find taping works wonders and I’ve been using KT Tape for years without issue.

photo (34)

Athletic tape is now fashionable – look at me coordinating to my shorts!!

I’m also considering purchasing a PowerPlay compression wrap. I first heard about these from Danielle and given I’m a fan of compression for healing, I think a wrap that includes both compression and icing is a great idea.

powerplay

What’s holding me back? The price tag. Since I’m still in saving mode (and I should probably write a post about this since my debt free timeline has been moved by about 3 months, and not in the good direction) I’m hesitant to pay $350 for this, but if it works, it would definitely be worth it!

I’m also, not-very-seriously-but-it’s-in-the-back-of-my-mind, considering a Compex electrotherapy device for at-home use. These guys are also pricey, so it would certainly be purchased after the wrap (possibly well after). The Compex Edge (the lowest model) is $399 and while I’m certain it would be helpful, I can also see my chiropractor eight times for the price of the Compex.

compex

I’m definitely a bit bummed that I’ve missed my scheduled Monday and Tuesday runs, but I know rest is the best way to approach this. I’m hopeful I can come up with a plan with my massage therapist this evening and maybe dial down my mileage a tad so I don’t keep injuring myself – this one was definitely all on me.

Tell me: How do you approach injury? What do you use to recovery quickly?

***

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21 thoughts on “Injuries Happen

  1. Uhh..injuries are the worst. I hope you are catching this one early and can rehab quickly. Last year I hurt myself from yoga, so it’s weird but totally happens! You know some physios will rent out those electrotherapy devices, I know mine does. Might be a more cost efficient way of rehabing!
    My old knee injury has been bugging me since my long run on Saturday. So I’ve been trying real hard to do all my physio exercises, roll like crazy and not push it too hard. Half marathon in 10 days and I don’t want to injure last minute.

  2. Ugh.. is a complex like a tense machine? Your chiropractor might have them and you could see maybe about borrowing or renting it? I know physio’s have them and they sometimes get lent out

  3. I’ve been running through some IT stuff,probably due to me wearing my old shoes too long. Just got an early birthday present from my husband-a pair of CW-X stabilyx tights I’ve been ogling-they have panels that mimic the KT tape you use and give support around the knee. Looking forward to trying them on my long run tomorrow!

    • I’ve heard REALLY good things about CW-X tights. I’ve yet to buy a pair (maybe one day) but I love that they now have the stability panels in them.

      • Yay! I read enough good stuff about them that I put them on a wish list, but if it was just me buying myself stuff I know I never would have shelled out for them. I’ll let you know how they “work”! They definitely aren’t going to fall down-hello compression!

  4. I’m sad to hear your legs aren’t doing well and I hope you have a speedy recovery. Those devices look pretty nifty! I’m so tired of being injured that I almost feel willing to drop the coin on the electrotherapy thingy and compression wrap.

    • After dealing with my lower leg issue for nearly 3 years, I know how you feel. I just want it to be healthy so I can RUN!
      I hope your legs start cooperating soon!!

  5. Hope things feel better for you soon! When I start to feel a twinge, I really try to ease back on my runs in regards to duration, frequency, and effort until things feel better again. Sometimes that is taking it easy completely. I also sometimes switch to other cardio in the mean time. I love the pool. Getting out all the physio exercises and actually doing them helps a lot too. 😉 Takes care of those biomachanical weaknesses.

    • I’m hopeful icing, a few days of rest and some cross training will mean I can start up by the weekend! And yes, I do need to do more strengthening exercises – I know better 🙂

  6. Sending you positive vibes … it’s so tempting to run, run, run when the sun finally shines! Take it easy and you will be good as new 🙂 I like to ice, ice and more ice. Does the trick for me (for my legs anyway).

    • I’ve definitely neglected the icing – but no more! I’ll ice after my massage and when chilling and watching TV for the rest of this week. It does seem a shame to waste the nice weather, but maybe this will motivate me to get my bike in shape for the spring and I can use that as my cross training 🙂

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  9. I am so sorry you are dealing with this, I have been through it and it BLOWS. It took me quite a while to heal from it the first time around, I hate to say. I have had little flares of it ever since, but you just have to massage the crap out of it and warm it up ahead of time. I have found that, depending on where it bothering you, calf sleeves can hep, but if you have it in the area beneath your ankle (I have dealt with both), you just have to wait it out. And RICE is the best thing I have found for it (with rolling now add it in). Let me know if these other things work! Good, good luck.

    • My massage therapist thinks we/I caught it before it turned into full blown tendinitis. After some ice and rest I’m feeling better! I’m crossing my fingers it stays that way.
      And yes, mine is the area below my ankle, so it’s VERY hard to massage myself.

      • Errrrg I hated that. Mine got bad really quickly and from nowhere– and then got so bad that I literally COULDN’T run, even if I wanted to. I remember trying to jog across the street once and my leg almost gave out. I am sure, though, that you are far better off than I. Had I known then what I know now (this was before I started running real distance, probably would’ve been different.

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