Entire Left Leg Tendonitis? Haven't been able to run for a year
(Brisbane, QLD, Australia)
I have taken a year out of running in an attempt to treat my my left leg. Initially I just rested from running for 4 months and cycled or windsurfed.
It started with really stiff calf muscles and an inability to walk in the normal heel-toe foot motion when first getting out of bed in the mornings. This was initially for both legs and feet. There was no pain just a stiffness / weakness that seemed to improve after warming up. My right leg healed.
My left leg has never healed. I did have a sore left ankle from running. Local sports running shop analysis suggested my left foot pronates slightly. Although I have always been a neutral runner. I think the pronation is caused by the weakness and not the other way round.
My return to running enabled me to run for up to 2 hours without problems. It was not until I started to run a bit faster that the problem returned in my left leg and I was right back to day one with it.
X-rays and physio eliminated sciatica. I do sometimes get pins and needles on the outside of my left quadracep. Phsio identifed a really stiff top left hamstring. Dry needled and ultra sound was tried. I felt like the physio was just attempting or exploring different things every time I returned and no problem was identied to work on.
Podiatrist tried low dye strapping which appeared to eliminate the problem so long as the strapping is on, but without the strapping it is no good.
I started a stretching routine that I now do every day or two after a warm shower or bath. The stretch that has the most affect is one where I lie on my back on the floor, raise my left knee to my chest, point my left foot to the ceiling, grap my left foot and pull it towards my head with my knee bent. This really releases the hamstring muscle nicely. I also do light weight dead-lifts every other day to warm up and stretch out the hamstrings. It feels good afterwards.
I now am between appointments with a remedial massage therapist this appears to loosen up a things and am beginning to identify individual problem areas. I also have another appointment with a sports physiotherapist coming up.
Right now it feels as though there is a string starting in my lower back, running through my left glute, down my hamstring, then down the skin and along the top of my foot and from my inside of my ankle under my foot to my big toe that has been pulled to be slightly stiffer than my right leg. My left shin tendon clicks ever time I taken a few steps. I feel as though my left foot hits the ground harder than my right when I walk or jog a few steps. The remedial massage therapist says my left ankle was stiff like wood, he even asked if I had broken it - answer no.
This has stopped me from running for a year and it was initially just my entire left leg that was an unidentifable problem area, it was simply weaker and stiffer than my right leg.
Now I think its the tendons that join my left leg to my hip, my left hamstring, my left shin, my tendon from the inside of my left ankle to under my foot and the tendon along the top of my foot to my big toe as well as the outside of my left quadracep.
This is over a year long episode now. I really want to start healing this soon. The only question is what exactly is it and whatever it is I need to do, I will do it, but am not sure. Is there medication - oh yeah I did spend a week in rest on ibuprofen and paracetomal to try to cure it before I went to the doctor and was referred for x ray.
Am happy to answer any questions you may have. I hope you are able to assist.
Would compression clothing help this problem?
Joshua Tucker, B.A., C.M.T.
The Tendonitis Expert