Posted by: Karen | January 25, 2014

Running Injury Recovery

In early January I gave up on waiting for my foot pain to go away on its own, and enlisted the help of a local physiotherapist and the Running Injury Clinic.

I could get into physio sooner than the clinic, so that’s where I started. Gina of Action Sports confirmed that yes, I was suffering from plantar fasciitis, but it was also combined with achilles tendonitis. This is common stuff for runners, and if caught soon enough, very treatable.  Gina used an electronic thing to zap my foot while heating up my calf. She massaged it and used ultrasound, and then taped up the bottom of my foot. After two weekly treatments and finally breaking my daily running streak last week, I’m feeling much improved. Heck, after yesterday’s (third) treatment she didn’t even need to tape it, and I’m bending my foot normally when walking in daily life.

Wednesday I got in to the Running Injury Clinic (RIC) for a separate assessment. Earlier this year I joined their Healthy Runners Study as a research subject, and was eligible for an injury assessment if needed – kind of like a “Get Out of Jail Free Card” in Monopoly. Also, as part of the study, I had agreed to report any injuries anyway.

Thursday night I went back to the RIC for biomechanical data collection, so they could compare my new injured running with my June running. They stuck a bunch of reflective balls on my legs and lower torso again, and I ran for a couple of minutes on their big treadmill. My foot hurt a lot that evening, but it really felt good to run.

Biomechanical Data Collection

Biomechanical Data Collection

Shari at the RIC agreed that I should not-run for another week (except to gently participate 12 Mile Coulee XC 4k today for the XC streak), and work on strengthening rotational exercises for my hips, ankles, feet and calves with a theraband, which is a flat stretchy piece of rubber. I’m to do these exercises daily for six weeks as I ease back into walk-running to train for the L’Arche Half Marathon. Walk/run intervals are recommended. I’m to email the clinic with any questions or concerns.

I should not require much more physio, but should check out acupuncture or “needling” for the bottom and back of my heel. Deep water running is encouraged. Yoga and massages sound like very good things to try.

Shock wave treatment would be last resort, as it’s expensive, my marathon training this spring would not be complementary, and I might not need it if I behave myself now.

I’m told I also need new shoes – mine are Motion Control (for floppy feet), but I actually need to pronate more. I should change immediately to a Stabilizing shoe, then over time work towards a Neutral, but don’t need to go as far as minimalist. The shoes I have now don’t let my foot use its own strength, and I can’t soften my own impact with the ground. This is not a surprise – a new kind of shoe  helped me last time I hurt (2003, I think).

So, Deep Water running in NW Calgary – anyone want to join me? I hear there a new, newbie-friendly Yoga for Runners class in Hillhurst – who’s in? And I’ll be off to visit Gord for some new shoes.


  1. This sounds a lot like my Achilles injury from a couple years ago. It sounds like you’re in good hands, doing all the right things. I also switched to a neutral shoe, I did have shockwave (but my chiro didn’t charge extra, just his normal office visit get), and I came back stronger than ever. I have also taken to the pool when on a running break. I pop my nano into a ziplock and put it in my swimming cap. That way I can listen to audiobooks. Makes the time go by way faster. Fingers crossed that things heal up quick!!


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