Last September, I noticed some pain in my right Achilles tendon. I had just finished a long drive and really thought it was related to that. I was in the midst of training to run a half marathon at the Dallas Marathon and really didn’t have time for an injury. I taped it and kept to my training schedule, secretly praying it wouldn’t get worse. There were days when I hardly noticed it, and days when it was screaming at me, but I did finish training and ran the half. After that race, I decided to take a break and see if it would heal on its own. I had replaced running with biking and that seemed to prevent it from getting worse. Every so often I would feel the twinge. I joined Orange Theory Fitness in June and one day on the treadmill, I was in terrible pain. So, 10 months after I first noticed the pain, I finally decided to get it checked out.
I went to see the ortho who had treated me for another ankle injury and a hip injury. I don’t think he was surprised to see me. Truthfully, running has been so hard on my body. Every time I train for a half marathon, I end up in his office. The x-ray showed a bone spur at the top of the heel bone. Apparently this was causing the tendonitis. I was fitted for a heel cup, given some steroids and scheduled for physical therapy. The heel cup provided immediate relief. It raised the heel ever so slightly and that released the tension on the tendon. It felt immediately better.
Part of me knows I ignored it because I didn’t want to stop training for the half. I was training with a good friend and it was going to be her first half marathon. I didn’t want to let her down, and deep down I think I knew it would be my last half marathon. After the race, I kept thinking that it would get better if I just rested it. As long as I wasn’t doing anything that caused direct impact to the heel, it was tolerable. I am still in treatment, so not sure how this story ends. But looking back, I really wish I would have gone to see him last fall. The heel cup itself has provided so much relief.
Are you ignoring chronic pain? Get it checked out!