High-Fiving Palm Trees

Running, and other aspect of my life.

My Achilles Heel

Since I started running, I have been lucky enough to avoid all major injuries. I’m not counting blisters and loss of toenails as they all healed up again.

However, last December, while walking round Milton Keynes shopping centre for 4 hours doing Christmas shopping, I did injure myself and it has affected my running all year.

I was wearing a comfortable pair of flat Ugg type boots which I had always, up until then, favoured for shopping/walking.

I began to feel quite tired and uncomfortable in both legs and decided that enough was enough time to go back to the car. Within a few more steps I could hardly put my right foot on the ground and my left was very painful as well.

Hobbling back to the car laden with carrier bags I began to realise that something was properly wrong.

Over the next few days it became apparent that I’d really strained my right Achilles. It actually took a while for me to believe it. I’d been running for three and a half years, gone from couch to Marathon all by myself and been fine. I couldn’t possibly have done so much damage just walking round the shops.

And so I tried to ignore it and carry on running. That, I soon realised, was not an option.

The Internet is a mine of information and if you search Google for “Achilles Tendon Problems” it’ll return enough results to keep you reading until the damn things clears up on its own or you die old age.

I didn’t go to a physio.

I really thought that I could fix it myself with rest, ice and elevation. It didn’t get better.

I bought kinesiology tape and watched a You Tube tutorial on how to strap it up. I liked it! I felt like a ‘proper runner’ walking about with pink tape up my leg. It didn’t get better and it probably got worse as I thought I’d be able to run with my pink tape on but it hurt.

I went on like this for 8 or 9 months. Trying something I’d read on the Internet. Having a little run now and again and finding that I still couldn’t, and NOT going to a physio.

In August, I was at a funeral, and was chatting to a person who is a Physio. “Have you heard of a Strassburg Sock ” she asked. “Nnnnooooooooo”.

“I think it will help.” said she “You can buy them on Amazon.”

Willing to give something else a try I bought one. It is not an attractive device. It’s a white elastic stocking with Velcro straps which you adjust to fit. It doesn’t look cool or sexy.

You wear it in bed at night and it keeps your foot in a right-angled position thereby stretching the Achilles’ tendon out all night.

After the first night I got out of bed, tentatively put my foot on the floor and……. walked perfectly normally with no pain! (Mornings used to be the worst as the tendon was always tight after a night lying down)

After using it for a week I went for a little run, and everything was perfectly OK.

Since then I haven’t worn the sock unless I begin to feel any slight twinge, or I’ve done a lot of walking in stupid shoes (flip-flops).

The problem is completely resolved.

If you’ve had a niggling Achilles and nothing is helping, I thoroughly recommend the Strassburg Sock

It’s got to be worth a try.

{For some reason the iPad won’t cooperate and let me add the link to the page where you can buy it, but just search on Amazon and it will come up straight away.}

2 Comments »