My first major running injury

I recently completed the C25K without any injuries except a tight right leg calf muscle which just caused me to miss a few days. I went for a run on the 8th Jan and had a niggling pain in my left ankle for the entire run, however I carried on and then did my cool down walk (without limping). However at home within an hour I was limping very badly and my ankle was slightly swollen . Been resting ever since, just walking in the house; however last Saturday I ventured out and did a short walk, and within a short time my ankle was painful again and I resorted to limping again ( back to square one :( ).

Even though its cold outside I am really missing my runs.

At the time of the recent injury I didn't think it was that bad and thought it would be OK after a few days' rest. How wrong was I. Starting to wonder how long this injury will last before I can run again. If I press with my fingers on either side of the heel (just behind the ankle bone) it is painful. However if I move my foot from the ankle there is no pain from moving it up and down and rotating.

When I have been in running I have been wearing proper trial/running shoes so I do not think its the shoes I am wearing. What I do tend to do is near the end of my run I normally do an extra push to finish on a high.

I have booked an appointment with my doctor to possibly arrange some physio; however they can't fit me in till next Friday. Has anyone else had a similar issue, or could offer any advice?


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12 Replies

  • Really sorry to hear you've been having problems ... it's the worst thing when you've put in the effort, completed the programme then feel you can start to build on things. No experience myself by my hubs is a seasoned runner and he recently had to take several months out because of a knee problem. He did however get help, physio and did as he was told and despite the long break, he's picked up pretty much where he left off which is encouraging for him. See what the doctor says but for now, rest it and fingers crossed its nothing too serious :-)

  • You might find you can self-refer to the physio (you can in my area), sometimes that speeds up the process of getting expert input.

    It could still be the shoes - doesn't matter how 'good' (or expensive) they are. I had some fitted, seemed fine in the shop, my knees knocked together, I kept struggling not to fall over... I am someone who needs to feel the ground. The shoes weren't rubbish, just not right for me. But worth seeing someone before you do anything about yours.

  • So sorry to hear of your injury. If you get a choice of physio, try ringing your local running club and ask who they all use -- you want someone with an interest in running if possible. I saw a physio for knee trouble not long after I graduated, and later for rehab after breaking my ankle. He was brilliant and really helped me. He did tell me the cautionary tale of a man in his 70s who went to him with back pain. The man walked with a pronounced limp. Whilst taking the man's medical history before starting treatment, the physio learned that the limp wasn't due to the back pain but to an old, untreated ankle injury sustained when the man was in his 30s. The physio gave him exercises to sort out his back AND his ankle, and he ended up limp-free after 3 weeks. The moral of this story - ankles are tricky things and some injuries don't resolve without the proper treatment. Hope you have a sympathetic doctor and get a quick referral. Good luck :)

  • Sounds like Achilles to me. Does it hurt walking downstairs. I was out for 8 weeks with that injury. It did recover but I still ice it after every run and do heel drops every day.

    Good luck x

  • Can't offer any advice, but hope the doc can help and you can get back out there soon

  • Hi I agree with SarahFox it does sound very like the Achilles problem I have had. Pretty much identical in fact. I have been off running for a year (!) because of it but (a) I left it untreated for ages because I had a lot of heavy stuff elsewhere in life to deal with, and (b) it took me ages to go and see a physio and when I did I was hopeless at buckling down and doing the exercises. So it probably won't take that long for you to get clear of it.

    I am now lots better, seeing a physio and doing the exercises! Still a weakness there but I miss running a lot so am trying for a comeback! One thing my current physio said that rang true - don't wait for when you are totally pain-free to get running is partly about strengthening yourself and especially if you are not working out in other ways you could end up waiting a very long time - like me! Best of luck. Andy.

  • Yep, this sounds like Achilles (which I am currently recovering from). Rest is a good start, and get an ice pack on it. Then a decent physio (which is likely to hurt - no pain, no gain).

    I went to my doctor originally, and he referred me to an NHS Physio. She was OK, but to be honest, I gave up. No disrespect to the NHS (had nothing but great service in our family), I just felt that she was limited in what she could really do for me. I went to a local Sports Injury Clinic, and one session with a physio and I was on my feet again. Some months on I am still tending to it with Ice post run, but I am running again.

    Good luck

  • seek expert advice asap in form of sports physio if you see a GP they will tell you to rest which is no good Lol!!

    It nay be nothing but nip it in the bud early..You could always cross train ie swim or cycle in the interim


  • Sounds just like my injury last year, and like MoreMindlessOptimism. Obviously seek advice from the professionals, but try a couple of places if you are not sure about what you are hearing. I'd just completed my first year couch to 5k and had enjoyed 6+ months of 5 k runs. I then had a month off due to a chest infection and just went back to running a bit too quickly.

    It felt like a bruised heel but was all achillies/calf related. I tried to self treat, but ended up at the Physio, after a few months treatment and strapping I was referred onto a podiatrist... Eventually after a couple of sessions there and me actually doing the excercises they gave me, and a few more months of patience, it's almost gone. Don't want to depress you but it's taken be 6+ months to get back on the road and I'm back to week 3 couch to 5k, slowly building up again. I was so annoyed as I really missed the running.

    Hope you find someone to help... And do the exercises they tell you to do. Wishing you a speedy recovery!

  • Oh dear sorry to hear of your injury always, always, always, stop running if you get PAIN! a bit late now I know but you should always stop if you get any sort of pain and always see your doctor, I had a knee problem years ago it was fluid build up I stopped for a year and then continued running have not had any problems since. Hope your soon back up and about :))

  • This happened to me about 2 years ago. I suddenly got some pain after pushing myself to run up a hill which was fairly steep and ended up hobbling home. The pain was awful and like you even walking caused the pain to come back. I ended up having a whole month off from running, although after 2 weeks was able to walk 3-5k with pain killers. Once I felt better I ended up with a sport stretch support bandage for another 6 months to support the ankle. So I do hope your not in the same position as it was really frustrating.

    As for the physiotherapy, I assume you are going to pay for the treatment as my GP practice would not do a referral for a sports injury, but yours might be more understanding.

    Good luck

  • Thank you for all the comments I have received regarding my recent post.

    After consultation with the doctor, he believes it’s a sprained ankle and the injury was mostly caused by having weak ankles which have not hardened to the pressures of running. I need to firstly rest the ankle as much as possible in a raised position to make the swelling go down. I did already suspect that I have weak ankles which have in the past collapsed on me a few times (ever since ice skating). Also I have been noticing that prior to the incident my left foot insole has been a bit achy and I wondered if I needed an insole.

    The Doctor has given me some exercises to strengthen my ankle muscles so there will be less strain on the tendons which have been strained by the high impact running activities.

    I have been advised to repeat the various exercises at least twice a day. I am already noticing an improvement. Hopefully I will only be out of action for a few weeks, and be able to ease back into running again with stronger ankles!

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