19 August 2006

The Rage of Achilles

Over the last week or so, I've developed an irritating soreness and tenderness in my heels. This is something I've never really experienced before, so I didn't really worry too much, figuring it was probably due to my old shoes and would quickly be remedied by running in the nice spongy-soled pair I got a week ago. But the heels are still giving me trouble, to the point where I'm doing this weird balancing-on-the-balls-of-the feet walk around the apartment. Of course, less resourceful runners would make an appointment with a doctor specializing in sports medicine or podiatry, but a dearth of resources (and a surfeit of time) led me to the internet to for additional self-diagnosis. Plantar fasciitis was quickly ruled out, and I soon arrived at the inescapable conclusion that I'm suffering from achilles tendonitis. Additional research confirmed the likelihood of this, but also prescribed extended rest for the afflicted body parts, something that's more or less out of the question given my obsessive need to keep running until such point that my legs actually fall off. More disturbingly, however, most of the websites I consulted (which are surely reputable and authoritative, right?) informed me that this condition will increase the probability of a ruptured achilles tendon, an injury usually described as excruciatingly painful and not unlike being smacked on the back of the ankle with a baseball bat wielded by a steroid-pumped Jason Giambi.

And while I'm remarkably capable of enduring chronic discomfort (be it in the form of sore hips, tired muscles, or hearing Jessica Simpson blaring from a car radio), I'm also particularly averse to acute pain (whether it's a root canal, a stubbed toe, or hearing Ashley Simpson blaring from a car radio), and thus want to avoid anything having to do with the achilles tendon.

What to do? Today, of course, is my regularly-scheduled day off, so it's no biggie for the time being, and I won't feel too guilty lounging around and catching up on my reading. But tomorrow's another story, and I'm really afraid that the obsessive side of my brain (see Tuesday's post for further explication) will once again win out -- meaning that I'm going to head out tomorrow only to end up writhing on the sidewalk somewhere, clutching that part of my leg where my achilles tendon once was before it snapped and coiled up inside my calf in a burst of blindingly coruscating pain.

Stay tuned. Meanwhile, take a gander at these outtakes from last week:


60th Street


Firehouse on 86th Street


More 60th Street

2 Comments:

At 7:58 AM, Blogger Prospect Park said...

Don't stop running completely. I have it on and off, and there is a number of things that seem to work. Others mke it worse. However, cure is elusive...

Works:
- stretching as a way of life
- strengthening feet
- ultrason and shokwave
- Ice
- keep moving gently during the day
- Yoga
- orthotics, over the counter are for many people as good as tailor made

Does not work:
- immobility, total rest
- casual stratching

Makes it worse:
- going to the movies
- flying in economy class

 
At 9:20 AM, Blogger Gary said...

Thanks for the advice! I think stretching is definitely key here -- and something I probably haven't done enough of in the past.

 

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