Blame It On The Sprain (yep, I went there)

As you probably know I’m currently nursing a bit of an ankle injury. Last time I updated I was waiting on pending x-ray results and heading off to my first physiotherapy appointment. So, I thought I’d give you all a little update on the ol’ ankle sprain.

The day after my last blog I received a call from my doctor, my x-ray was negative, meaning that there was no fracture and my sprain was just a regular eversion sprain, not the dreaded high ankle sprain that I had previously feared.  Regular sprain = GOOD!  She advised that I not run for at least a week and “take it easy” after that. *booo*  And at this point she was going to turn over my care to my physiotherapist Steve.

tape job

My first visit with Steve at Vancouver Physiotherapy and Sports Clinic went really well.  I haven’t been to physio in a number of years, I used to go regularly for the treatment of my left IT band issues, but haven’t been since I started running.  Steve did a full work-up on me, starting with the basics and working towards my injury. The first thing he pointed out to me was my leg length discrepancy. Who knew I was lopsided? Certainly not me! Turns out my right leg is just over a cm shorter than my left leg, which in turn explains why I’ve had IT band issues for so long, my left leg is literally in a micro-squat ALL THE TIME to try to get down to the length of my right leg.  Anyways, back to my ankle.  My physio treated me with electroshock therapy, laser therapy (which helps the healing of soft tissue injuries) and at the end of my visit he taped up my ankle.  Steve asked me to take a very small, easy run on my taped up ankle the day after to see how it felt, and he referred me to Active Orthopaedic Inc. to see a pedorthist to get a biomechanical assessment, gait analysis as well as a F-Scan for pressure mapping and then I was to follow up with him again in a few days.

The next morning I was able to get out and go for a quick little 1 1/2 mile “run”, it felt awful, my ankle felt weak, I was extremely frustrated, but it felt better with the tape than without.  Fortunately I was able to get an appointment for my biomechanical assessment, gait analysis and F-scan that same day though, so that was a big plus!

my newest fashion accessory

My appointment was with Lawson and his apprentice Tim.  I don’t know if I got the luck of the draw or what, but it was really interesting since Tim is really into forefoot running and was extremely knowledgable and helpful since he was so in the know about the mechanics of forefoot running. I’m looking forward to chatting with him more in the future once I’m back to 100% to work on my technique.  My visit at Active Ortho lasted about 2 hours, they did a very hands on exam of my joints, ligaments, muscles etc. They too confirmed my leg length discrepancy and made me a custom lift to insert into my short legs shoe.  I found out a lot of really useful information on where my troubled areas are and what I can do to improve them, including stretching and strengthening.

my sexy concrete-like boot.

After the hands-on assessment was done I hopped on the treadmill. They did some tests to assess my running/walking gait, all of which they video tape and projected onto the computer. I did a number of tests, including walking barefoot on the treadmill, running with my Newton’s on, as well as an F-Scan pressure mapping test where they slipped weight-bearing/heat sensors into my shoes, hooked me up to readers and then I ran, as they recorded data.  I’ll be honest, this was a really great experience. Having the opportunity to watch my running gait in extreme slow motion to see what I need to improve on and where my weak points are was a unique experience.  I was most interested in the F-scan pressure readings.  The readings confirmed my leg length discrepancy once again, and it showed how uneven my left vs. my right toe-off was. I could go on and on about this stuff, but I won’t because it’ll probably be boring for most of you, but if anyone wants more details I’d be happy to share. 🙂  The outcome of my visit with the pedorthists: they made me a custom lift for my short leg, it inserts into my shoe under the insole, this over time will help correct my IT band issues and will help even out my hips, they prescribed me a brace for my ankle which I’ll wear during any activity from now until after the SF Marathon at which time I’ll go back in for re-assessment, and we talked a bit about orthotics and what they can do for me to improve the efficiency of my running stride, but I opted to not get them until after my SF half marathon.

Whew…you all still with me?

right shoe bursting at the seams!

So, here is where I’m at. I’m a little depressed, a lot frustrated and feeling seriously challenged (in a good way).  I have my half marathon coming up in under 3 weeks from now and I’m stressing hard! The longest distance I’ve been able to run post-injury is about 2 miles…painfully. I don’t know if I should even go to SF for the half or not. I’ve never been one to give up, but I realize that attempting to do a half marathon in less that 3 weeks is VERY far-fetched. What’s a girl to do?  Just getting used to having so much EXTRA stuff in my right shoe (brace and lift) is a lot, my poor right Newton is stuffed to the max! Having the brace on and in my shoe changes the feel and fit of my shoe incredibly. This in itself is a huge feat!  I’m on the fence, I need a hug, a cuddle and some advice.  At this point I’m probably going to push forward and see what I can do without re-injuring myself. What’s the worst that can happen? I don’t finish the half marathon and enjoy my favorite city anyways!

Thank you all for the kind words of encouragement and well wishes! It’s going to be an interesting journey that’s for sure! 🙂

xoxo, MLL

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