Dealing with a Runner Injury (Extensor Tendonitis) – Laughing Through My Pain

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Ack!!!  I’m injured! 😦

About two months ago, I finally had to admit that the nagging pain on my foot wasn’t just a little ache or pain that would go away even if I kept running on it…ugh.  I had been noticing a nagging pain on the top of my foot running over my ankle towards my toes for about a month, and because I’m a runner, I was in complete denial.

028fc4c527438aa9e052a3bf37065a9eDoc: It’s red and swollen.  Me: No!  My feet are just blushing.

Once I got to the point where I was actually limping while running, I decided it was time to call it.  After a normal x-ray and MRI, we’ve settled on the diagnosis of extensor tendonitis of the foot…aka – evil inflammation that makes you want to cuss at the top of your lungs.

Okay, so what now?  Of course, my first question to my doctor and pt was “Can I still run on it?  I’m pretty sure if I just ice it, I’ll be fine.”

2f4f2c98fa17956da26ffd1b30c7edcbRIGHT???

Yeah, that was pretty much my mentality.  Unfortunately….um, no…they both said no running.  So, I went straight to the elliptical and pilates.  However, because of the location being on top of the foot, I quickly learned that the elliptical still puts pressure on the area (heck, just standing puts pressure on the area), and pilates involves a lot of pointing and flexing the foot – not good till I let this thing calm down some.  Sooooo, just this past Sunday, I decided to take about three weeks of complete rest.

TemperTantrum704Yeah, that’s pretty accurate.

After complaining, sobbing, and throwing a temper tantrum that could put some two year olds to shame, I realized that at least this would give me some good material for my blog.  So, here we are.

Runners HATE injuries.  Anything that takes time on the road away from us is the enemy in our eyes.  In my running career, I’ve been blessed that I’ve only had two other injuries aside from this one (An inflamed SI Joint, and a torn hamstring).  This is my first time with tendonitis though.  I figure that I can post from time to time through the healing process on different things I do to help with healing.  Hopefully, it can help others out there dealing with tendonitis as it is an extremely common injury for athletes in general, but runners especially.

As I said, though I am two months into this injury, I really am only just now starting to get serious about treating it with complete rest, etc.  Hubby has had tendonitis in various parts of his body, and he’s said anywhere from 4-11 months to heal, and even after that, I may have some flare ups for a bit.  He is MUCH better at dealing with an injury than I am.  He has no problem taking time off, gaining a bit of happy weight, etc.  I, on the other hand…

01Pretty much a perfect description

Okay, so at my last pt appointment, we decided to rest it and I am going to be using light therapy.  I bought two different home units: the Light Relief unit and the Tendlite unit.  I just started the light relief two days ago, and I am waiting to receive the tendlite in the mail.  I will post again giving a review of these products and let you all know if it helps me.  I know if you’re a runner and you have an injury, you get a little desperate, so hopefully, I can let you all know some things that work and some that don’t!  In the meantime, I will attempt to hang in there! 😛

***UPDATE: All together, it took about a year for things to calm down completely, however, I started running (slow and short distances) again 6 months in.  After the 12 year mark, I was pretty much good to go, with flare ups here and there, and after about 18 months, I was completely healed with no more flare ups.  If you’re dealing with extensor tendonitis, I highly recommend just doing the basics for treatment (rest, ice, etc.) and nothing too aggressive.  Everything that I tried to do outside of the basics made things much worse and seemed to prolong recovery.  At any rate though, I know this is a nasty injury, so just want to say that if you’re dealing with it – don’t worry – it will get better eventually…it just takes time! 🙂

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