Runners can entertain each other for hours talking about the symptoms and effects of various leg injuries and ailments. Useful treatments, however, tend to amount to one thing: RICE.
For the newbies out there, RICE stands for Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. It’s my experience that relatively few injuries require compression and elevation, so I made up my own acronym: AIR, which stands for Anti-inflammatories, Ice and Rest, usually in that order. I don’t have much hope it will catch on, or I would put one of those copyright or trademark thingies next to it.
A check of the Web shows an amazing number of ailments that are supposed to be treated with AIR: stress fractures, shin splints, compartment syndrome, hamstring tears, patellafemoral syndrome, and my favorite, tendonitis.
I developed peroneal tendonitis last December, recognizing the symptoms rather early on. A little research and I learned it was slow to heal, probably taking six weeks to disappear.
OK, after six weeks I still had some soreness and not much push off my left leg. Time for a doctor, right? Aha, here’s where the miracle cure comes in. I don’t have to tell you how long it takes to get an appointment these days. So, in the meantime, you wait and rest.
And guess what? By the time you see the doctor, you’re cured! I kept my appointment in order to rule out any complicating condition, but after having my foot poked, prodded, and stretched, the diagnosis was in: I had peroneal tendonitis! I knew I should have gone to medical school.
I received a nice handout about the condition, including a series of stretching exercises and the advice to use AIR on it. (OK, it didn’t say AIR, but it takes time to make your acronym buzz-worthy.) It also says you can use an ankle brace, which, strangely enough, I was already using!
I’m self-employed so I can’t fob the cost of this priceless knowledge onto my boss. I can hardly wait for the bill to come in.
But now that I’ve written about it, it’s a business expense, right?