Saturday, December 13, 2014

Peroneal tendonitis

I saw a podiatrist this week about the peroneal tendonitis that began to flare up a couple of weeks ago. As a precaution, I taped up my foot/leg in the week before the Sussan Fun Run in the hope that it would not worsen before then. It didn't, but I did end up with a not-so-nice skin reaction to the sports tape. That'll teach me for not applying Fixomull everywhere (and did apply Fixomull everywhere under the tape on run day.)

The day after the run I made an appointment to see a podiatrist who had been recommended to me by a couple of the Dandenong Trail Runners that I run around the Mullum Mullum with on Tuesday mornings.

We don't have a set route on Mullum Tuesdays, so sometimes it really is Spaghetti Tuesday on a Tuesday.

I ended up seeing him on Monday, and confirmed my suspicions about peroneal tendonitis (I've only had it once before, when it flared up due to walking around a lot in ballet flat style shoes). He assessed my walk/run (apparently I'm a crazier crazy-arse supinator than I had thought), released a few tight and knotty muscles (no pain, no gain definitely applies in sports medicine), and showed me a few techniques on the foam roller and spikey ball to help release and loosen some of the naughty muscles and tendons. I had been using a tennis ball, but the spikey ball is truly fantastic.

The main problem stems from my supination. Supination is like the opposite of overpronation. Your foot should naturally pronate - you land towards the outside of the foot, and the foot rolls in to take all of the load until you push off with all of the toes. This generally works regardless of whether you're a heel striker or someone who lands on the mid/fore-foot. Overpronation is when there is too much rolling in - the arches can collapse, the shins and knees rotate inwards, and you can pick up a variety of injuries from all the twisting (which is why shoes for overpronators tend to feel like they push the foot out, they try and limit the amount of twisting). A supinator does not pronate sufficiently. The feet don't roll and "cushion" the load (thus why we like neutral cushioned shoes - Mizuno Wave Rider, Saucony Triumph, Brooks Glycerin, Nike Vomero and Pegasus), and when it comes to push-off it is the outer toes that do much of the running.

In my case, my outer toes apparently do ALL of the running. It's caused the peroneal set of muscles and tendons to do a bit more work than they need to, and it's why they're a fairly angry group at the moment - along with my outer calf muscles! So I have very little push-off from my big toe, and that needs to be corrected because it's inefficient (and causing problems). I'm now doing single-leg calf raises and pushing through the big toe to help the medial calf become a bit more active (the medial calf has a proper name, but it's not part of my natural vocabulary so I'm not including it in my writing).

I was assigned 3 sets of 10-12 reps. The first few days were hilarious as I could only manage 1 set of 10 and 1 set of 5 before being pooped and losing form. After a week of attempts and foam/spikey rolling, I finally managed to get to 3 sets of 10! But it still wasn't as easy as it should have been!

Coincidentally, or perhaps in league with the podiatrist, "Hello calf muscles!" says Running Times magazine. Yes, I do believe Rodale Inc. (the publisher), the Zinio app (which allows me to subscribe to US publications cheaply), and my podiatrist are involved in some sort of conspiracy.

In addition for pointing out how awesome Rolanda Bell's calves look, this month's Running Times also has me highly tempted to walk into Mecca Cosmetica and to buy a jar of Valeria nail polish. It's more of a turquoise, but the light blue toenails here are clearly a sign. Because it IS a conspiracy.


  1. Interesting reading Cecilia. Supinators are unusual. Definitely worth trying to (gradually) change that movement as you're doing.
    Thanks for the tip on the Zinio app - used to buy Running Times regularly in the newsagents (about $10!) until it disappeared one month.

    1. Got hooked onto Zinio thanks to Wellbeing Magazine advertising the digital subscription in their publication, and then I realised there was this entire wonderful world of cheap magazines from o/s without the paper and timely too!

      Don't go too crazy on subscriptions right now - Zinio will have offers quite frequently, so I sometimes let my RT subscription lapse until there's a bargain (e.g. there was recently a 40% off everything one!)

    2. Thanks. Wondering if my 'old' smartphone has enough RAM etc.. I know FB is a terrible app on android.

    3. If you're happy to read on a computer screen you can just read from their website (they also have software you can install on your computer if you plan to read offline).