Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Avoid Tendinitis, Check Your Tennis Shoes

Last week, I got out of bed unable to walk due to a sharp and stabbing pain that started in my ankle and eventually traveled up to my knee. The only way I can explain the severity of the pain is shin splints times 100. At times, the sensation felt so "nervy" that it took my breath away.

The orthopedic physician diagnosed acute and severe tendinitis of my anterior tibialisis (think front of the ankle). The interesting thing is that tendinitis in this area is highly unusual and generally only seen in athletes who participate in high intensity sports, which is definitely not me. The physician was surprised to learn that I walk and practice yoga for exercise, thinking that I must be a high endurance athlete to have this type of tendinitis. He got a good laugh out of my definition of "regular"cardio: vacuuming my house twice daily to stay on top of the dog hair!

So I'm walking around now in a huge boot that looks like something that Luke Skywalker might wear. My son, B, thinks its very cool.

I am scheduled for a MRI next week and physical therapy later this month. In the meantime, I'll be doing lots of yoga (one legged Down Dogs and planks!) and modifying Reformer exercises to incorporate upper body and abdominals.

As I was cleaning out my gym bag this morning, I took a good, hard look at my exercise shoes and wondered why in the world I've continued to use the SAME shoes for the last year and a half. I'm sure you've seen them...the light blue, split toe Nikes that offer virtually no support whatsoever. I wear them all the time. And I definitely know better.

Truth be told, I became very lazy about my footwear, thinking that my low intensity style of exercise didn't warrant a pair of decent shoes. I've logged a lot of miles on the treadmill, on the streets with the dog and on the elliptical. Far too many for my old Nikes to support the repetitive impact.

The lesson here is quite simple. Avoid injuries of any type by upgrading your exercise footwear at least twice a year. Consider doing this more frequently if you live in your tennies, like I do.

You can bet that when this tendinitis is healed, I'll be at Fleet Feet treating myself to a more-than-decent pair of shoes.

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