You head out the door for a run. It’s time for your long run of the week. You are looking forward to getting away for an hour or so to clear your head and tune up your body.
However, you don’t make it to the end of the block before. . . OUCH! Something in your ankle doesn’t feel quite right.
You slow down, decide you need to stretch a bit more, and then give running another attempt. Your ankle just won’t have it!
What do you do about your ankle pain?
Keep on despite the pain? Turn around and limp home?
Whether you are a runner, or even walker, we would like every step to be pain free. A life free of surprise twinges, nagging aches, or lingering soreness from yesterday’s activity.
The reality is, ankle pain and soreness is very common in our clients who enjoy a long distance run or walk.
The culprit of this ankle pain is usually the Achilles’ tendon. It sits at the back of your heel and is one of the thickest tendons in your body.
This is the common story we hear:
An avid runner has a race quickly approaching. Unfortunately, he is frustrated by Achilles’ tendon pain that kept him from his ideal training schedule.
He comes to us frustrated and not very optimistic that physical therapy can help. In fact, he had some treatments elsewhere in the past. A few sessions here and there to ease the tendon pain and inflammation. Each time it works for awhile but the pain always returns when he least expects it and he has to start back at square one.
So why would this time be any different?
The reason the Achilles’ tendon pain keeps coming back in these runners, the reasons they continue to have recurrences of the same pain, is that the root cause was not identified. In this clients case, the root cause is the patient’s foot position.
“How can foot position affect your Achilles’ tendon?”
Your feet are the foundations of your body, and just like a house without a strong foundation, cracks will begin to appear. The same happens if your feet are not in the correct position when you stand, walk, or run. More stress will be going through parts of your body such as your Achilles’ tendon.
When the Achilles’ tendon is put under more stress over time it will get tighter and rub more and more behind the heel. Ultimately, it becomes very sore and painful with each step.
Since we can’t avoid standing and walking throughout our day (and we don’t encourage you to sit too much), it’s no surprise the irritation continues to worsen and keeps coming back!
For many clients, the root cause of pain is easily corrected with prescription orthotics or insoles. When placed inside your shoes, the feet will be put into the appropriate position to handle the forces you put through them.
Making A Full Recovery
An orthotic is just one part of a treatment plan for these runners, although that one change often makes a HUGE difference!
The goal is to initially reduce pain, get the client stronger, and more flexible. We ensure they can run or walk to their heart’s content without fear of the pain coming back again.
So don’t ignore that ankle pain or shaky foundation. Make sure to have YOUR root cause identified so that you can continue all your favorite activities comfortable and worry free!
If ankle pain is getting in the way of your training, you aren’t logging the miles you would like, you are not making progress you expect, or have difficulty even walking the dog then please contact us. A simple FREE Discovery Call with a Doctor of Physical Therapy can get the ball rolling in the right direction. Let us put you on the path to PERMANENT recovery!