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Sunday, August 12, 2012

I'm not just stretching the truth......

 Don't know if I've mentioned this before, but I have a chronic problem with a sort of tendinitis in my left heel area (not the bottom like plantar fasciatis--but around the back and sides of my ankle).

My doctor explained that there is a tendon that runs the full length of the back of the leg down to the ankle, then branches out to tiny branches on either side of the ankle.

If you power walk (like I do) or walk a lot (like I do) you can damage that area (which I have).  This has been going on for a few years.

Doc advises that since it is a chronic condition, I need to ice the area each time I walk (which I do) and take Ibuprofen on a regular basis (which I also do....well alternating with Tylenol)....  He also told me to get some heel lifts to put in my tennis shoes and NO flat flip flops....can't do them, can't go barefoot....If I do I pay dearly for it.  So now all my flip flops that I mostly live in except at the gym or in a fitness class have the higher wedged heel (my heels thank me for that)!

But what he didn't tell me (or maybe he did and I wasn't listening) is that I really really really need to stretch the full length of that tendon everyday.

I've started doing that and I am here to tell you (living proof) that it has made all the difference in the world. 

My heel got to hurting me so bad about a month ago that I conceded to my trainer who on more than one occassion said, "What are you doing for it".....I replied 'icing and ibuprofen'...and he said, "Peggy, do you ever give it any rest?"  (I'm a bit of a gym rat....a littel addicted to exercise since I realized how much I love it and how good it is for you!!

!.....anyway back to my thought..(see earlier post) and just did not exercise for a full week (well OK...almost a full week) and then I started these serious daily stretches.

I try to do the forward seated toe touches Pinned Image  but still have difficulty because my hamstrings are so tight. 

I also lay on my back on a mat and use a band to pull my leg up toward the ceiling as high as I can get it.  Sometimes I do that against a wall where you scooch up your butt as close to the baseboard as you can get and put your legs up against the wall. I do standing hip flexars.
 I do inverted A'sStretching for calves, hamstrings and ITband

My goal is to do something like this    Pinned Image 
or thisPinned Image or thisPinned Image  

The goal is really 2 part...well maybe 3 part.... 1)I'd love to be able to do those poses...2) I know if I could stretch like that my tendon would be more flexible and my heel would hurt less (at least I hope that would be how it worked) and 3) if my heel hurt less I could get back to the exercises that bring me the most joy--power walking and jogging.  I mean if I can't power walk or jog or will I ever be the 64 year old winner of the San Antonio Rock and Roll Half Marathon (and someday Marathon)...OK wait...if by some miracle I did it this year, I'd be the 63 year old winner, cause it happens the day before my birthday!  This goal may be "stretching" myself to my current limit, but it's a goal (bucket list) dream of mine and if you know me, you know I'm determined enough to do it!

So don't forget one of the most important before and after parts of exercising......

See you in the gym...

PS.  If you have any real good stretches or tips for helping my hurting heel...write me a comment or e-mail me at and put Hurting Heel in the subject line (ya get a lot of spam these days and I tend to just delete if it shows up there or I don't recognize a me crazy, but that's just me!)

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