It has been exactly 5 months since I tore my posterial tibial tendon. During that time I have rested, worn an orthopedic immobilizing boot and used crutches. Talk about a long road to healing.
I visited my doctor about a month ago after using crutches for over a month. He told me at that time to try walking for 4-6 weeks and ease back into exercise as tolerated. Monday marked 4 weeks and now is the time to start exercising again!
I like being active and absolutely love riding my bike, so you would think I would be incredibly excited to be at this point. But honestly? I’m kind of scared. Part of me attributes my torn tendon to my own carelessness… inappropriate shoes while hiking. Not enough strength training. Doing too much too soon after my knee surgery.
I don’t want to make the same mistakes again.
We think about the physical aspects of dealing with an injury but in my opinion, the mental aspects are just as hard to overcome. I’ve really been thinking about how I want to ease back into exercising in a way that makes me feel comfortable and confident that I won’t hurt myself again. Here are all of the things going through my mind:
A huge contributor to my torn tendon is the fact that my arches are starting to fall, which puts stress on my posterior tibial tendon. My orthopedic doctor stressed to me that I need to wear supportive shoes and orthotics or else I will be dealing with more issues in the future.
I happened to be wearing my Mizunos to one of my appointments and after looking at the shoe and the insole, he told me that these are not enough support for my feet. At all. I know orthotics are a must but part of me is considering switching back to Brooks. I feel like the Adrenalines just provide a lot more support than the Mizunos.
I have a pair of Power Step orthotics, which got the stamp of approval from my doctor. The only problem is that they are plastic and aren’t the most comfortable for exercising. I will be looking into orthotics at the running store this weekend. My doctor also recommended good ole’ Dr. Scholl’s.
I haven’t mentioned it much on here but I have had a huge regression in my knee pain since I’ve been dealing with my foot. It feels just like it did after my surgery. I haven’t worried about it too much since I feel confident that it will improve with strength training, just like last time. But I know I have a lot of work to do to get to that point.
Building strength in my leg is going to be the foundation of getting me back to some sort of normal workout regimen. Good thing I have a plethora of leg exercises stashed in my back pocket Getting back in the weight room 2-3x per week is really my priority right now.
Obviously, my main goal is to get back on my bike. I want to ride again but I feel like it would be smart to hold off for a few weeks until I get a bit of easier exercises and strength training under my belt first.
This is something that’s very up in the air for me. Back when I was rehabbing my knee, I had gotten to a great point physically with my workouts- swimming, cycling, elliptical and the weight room. Running was the 1 thing that I had yet to do. My PT was also cautious about me running again.
I want to run because it’s something that I’m not good at. It’s a challenge. And I want to do a triathlon. But at the same time, I also know that running is a high impact exercise that will put more stress on my knee and my foot. I was already thinking about whether the risks of injuring myself running are worth it if I can do other things injury-free, and adding a torn tendon into the mix just makes me think about that even more.
I know a lot of you out there have also dealt with injuries. I’d really love to hear how you were able to overcome that mental hurdle of easing back into exercise and if you have any tips about avoiding re-injury!
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