I've been experiencing pain in the inner portion of my right shin since early April. I first wrote it off as my body trying to adjust to being back on the trails instead of the treadmill. I learned some self-massage techniques and it slowly improved and became manageable. During the Ravenswood 5K my right ankle started to burn like crazy. I've had ankle problems on and off since I sprained it 2 years ago and never let it heal properly. I finally said enough was enough and wanted to get everything checked out and dealt with before marathon training got underway.
I made a call into Athletico and took advantage of the free injury screening that they offer. I wasn't expecting a whole lot since I previously had a PT check out my knee last fall after a race and she spent 5 minutes going over it before telling me I had PFS. I was completely blown away by the experience and glad I made the call. I originally had an appointment for the week after Memorial Day, but they called me up and let me know they had a cancellation for the same time slot a week earlier and asked if I wanted to take it, so I said sure, the earlier the better.
After a bit of paperwork I was finally seen by Kathy. She took me to the other side of their center where they had what looked like an army hospital set up of doctor's beds. She asked me some questions and then had me take my shoes and socks off and started examining me. She confirmed the tenderness of the post-tibial tendon which meant a strain or tendonitis. The post-tibial tendon runs from the fascia in the bottom of the heel up into the calf and can cause symptoms similar to shin splits. She also took a good look at my feet and told me I had a fallen arch which would cause excessive pronation where the post-tibial tendon comes into play to try and stabilize the leg when that happens. So not only did she diagnose the injury, she figured out the root cause. She spent almost and hour going over my feet and legs and then showed me some exercises I could do to hold me over until I could see a doctor and get a formal prescription for physical therapy. She even recommended a doctor that was in network for me to go see.
I did see the doctor the following week and finally had my first physical therapy session today where Kathy re-examined me and did strength and flexibility tests all over my lower half to see what else may be going on. She also had me jump on the treadmill to do a little stride analysis. Once all was said and done I came out with a laundry list of issues that makes it sound like I've been beat up, yet here I am still running.
The list of issues:
Post-Tibial Tendonitis in right leg
Fallen arch in right foot
Early signs of bunion in right big toe (X-Ray confirmed early signs of degenerative disease)
Tight right heel
Right foot has limited range of motion compared to left
65% flexibility of hamstrings
Tight IT bands on both sides
Tight right hip flexor
While running my left leg serves like a pivot while right leg swings around instead of moving perfectly straight.
I now have diagrams of exercises and stretches to start working on all these issues. Session #2 is on Thursday. The PT knows I'm starting marathon training so she really wants to help me work out as much as possible this month. If I've been running all this time with these issues, it makes me wonder how much I could improve if I got myself to 100% health.