A Wrench in the Works, Part 2

2008 PsychoWycoIn part 1, I mentioned my ankle injury. In January, I was increasing my mileage (from 20 to 25) and my long runs, when I developed some soreness and bruising on my inner left ankle. My first thought was that it was an ankle sprain. This didn’t develop from a traumatic injury, but inner ankle sprains, while less common than lateral sprains, can result from over use. This never seemed fully correct, but I went with it for a while.

I also didn’t like the idea that a relativity low mileage load increase would have this sort of an impact. So I turned my amazing (read: not amazing) powers of self-diagnosis to the Internet. Along the way I came across several articles about plantar fasciitis. While this seem close, the location of the pain wasn’t correct. My pain was tenderness (and originally bruising) just below the medial talus (that inner bump on your ankle). When I have had mild bouts with plantar fasciitis in the past, massaging my calf and working flexibility have helped.

I have to admit that I had let my stretching program slide for a while. So I hit it again along with self massage of my lower leg, mostly by rolling a golf ball around on the floor with my leg on top of it. This hits many trigger points quite well. I found that this offered quite a bit of relief, specifically when massaging the soleus area. (Note: I am not a doctor, or even close. My educated friends are probably cursing my slaughtering of their practice.)

Ryan S and Mike D

More searching of the Intertubes revealed what I finally think the true culprit is: postierior tibialis tendonitis. When I engaged in suggested therapy techniques for this, I found great results. I found particularly good results from trigger point self-massage. I’m not a doctor, but I would recommend that you be careful when experimenting on yourself. Consult a doctor, lawyer, or priest if you have any questions.

Now that I found relief from the symptoms, a cause needed to be identified. I was sure that the mileage

alone wasn’t the issue, but I didn’t want it to be my new shoes. I knew my trail shoes were fine, but the pain did coincide with my new trainers. It turns out that my new trainers (New Balance MR 846) aren’t really meant for training. They are a little light on the pronation protection. I have a pretty neutral foot, with a mildly low arch and mild over-pronation. The 846s just didn’t do it for me.

After taking some time off, I have begun running again in my old New Balance 978s. My foot feels stable again. So now I’m slowly working my mileage back up and being conscious of my foot. I’m also going to take a little more care when purchasing a new style of shoe.

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