Ankle and Heel

Dec 09th, 2020

Hi, I was wondering if you had any advice for me on a long term persistent problem I have with my left ankle. It feels like 2 problems – I think I have tendonitis just above my ankle bone in my achilles and secondly I get diffuse low level pain around the cup of my heel – back and sides but not on the sole.

I was running several times a week during lockdown 1 but had to stop because of my ankle. I rested it for almost 5 months and then recently started running again but only for very short periods of time (only 10 minutes 3 times a week as rehab) with the hope of being able to build back up. That was ok for 3 weeks but now it’s swollen again and sore.

The pain is not intense – I could certainly run through it no problem but I worry that that would make it worse and also concerned that despite not really running for 5 months it’s not better. I think maybe I have an underlying weakness in that ankle because I have had achilles tendonitis several times in my life. The thing with the heel is new though. I’m usually moderately fit (though not currently given the 5 month break) and active.

Do you have ideas as to what may be going on and how I can fix it?

Many thanks, Kelly

Dec 09th, 2020

The Guru Responded:

Hi Kelly – a few symptoms (and I guess that’s what drove you hear in the first place) but I’d be amazed if you’ve got 2 different causes, especially with you previous Achilles issues.

Do think about downloading the Couch to 5K app – it’s a good load disseminator, and helps you keep track of what you’ve done.

What would be good if you could do a single knee squat on the right and then the left and see how much more wobble, knee roll in or foot collapse you have on the left v right – I think this is probably an issue with stability and control and not just brut strength or endurance.

Let me know

The Guru

Nov 22nd, 2020

Hi Matt,

Thanks very much for the tips.

I’ve tried the single leg knee squats and find them difficult on both legs though can do a deeper squat on my right side.  Although that said my right knee rolls in more than my left knee. Is this something you would recommend I practice to strengthen the left?

Many thanks,

Nov 23rd, 2020

The Guru Responded:

Hi Kelly – yes, definitely BUT this is about control and not strength.

Most people don’t get better (despite lots of rehab) if they just get strong – you need to get control of the strength.

Start with with controlled single knee squats and then progress to more functional running type drills – have a look at these videos (don’t worry about the names!)

Merry Christmas!

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