Friday, February 18, 2011

Posterior tibialis tendinitis

Have you ever had pain right at the instep and at the bony protrusion on the inner side of your ankle when walking or running?  If so, you might have had a strain of the posterior tibialis tendon. If the pain spreads up the back of your leg, but isn't in your achilles, the posterior tibialis muscle itself could be involved as well. That's what has happened to me recently.
The problem seemed to come out of the blue. everything was find one day, then the next day some pain started up during a run, then the following day it was fine again, then the next day running brought the pain back, and it's hung around since then. Whenever I run, the pain returned. It felt for a time like it must by my achilles of calf, but it was actually my posterior tibialis muscle and tendon, which are deeper, underneath those other, more familiar muscles and tendons.

In a way, I was glad it wasn't my achilles, because that can be such a big problem for so many people, but the problem is that the posterior tibialis can also become a chronic problem and be nearly as debilitating.  So, once the pain has fallen back to where I could really get a handle on it by palpating, and figured out it was my posterior tibialis, I breathed a sigh of relief, then headed to the physician for a steroid pack, and ended up with a physical therapy appointment as well. So hopefully, I'll be able to get a handle on the inflammation and some taping/support and exercise recommendations that I don't already know from a previous posterior tibialis experience.

The bright spot in all this is that it has given me an incentive to get my indoor bike trainer set up to accomodate my road bike - something I've needed to do for some time, because cycling doesn't stress the muscle or tendon as as much. It's the only way I'll be able to maintain my condition until I can run again.

So far, I'm about two weeks into this injury, and my running mileage is done to zilch. My cycling mileage is coming back up, but I can't pretend that will be enough. No, I need to run to really stay in condition for the Colorado Marathon, but it's just not the wisest thing to do at the moment. It's a rock and hard place situation...  A crap sandwich if you will--and it looks like I'm gonna have to take a bite.

Actually, despite the diagnosis, it really could be one of the flexor longus muscles/tendons in the same locations...  But it hardly matters. They are in the same place, play a similar role, and pobably heal at about the same rate.  Blah.

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