It wouldn’t feel right if I didn’t write a testimony. I have struggled with Achilles tendon pain and swelling for almost 2 years now. In addition to this, I have periodically suffered SI joint pain, hip pain and stiffness in my upper and lower back. The main complaint was really always my Achilles though. It remained constantly painful and was affecting my running. The bursitis was red and swollen all the time and I could not wait to get my shoe off after a run. Even the sock laying on the tendon was excruciating.
I kept believing it was a stretching “issue” and did stretches constantly to correct the problem. I sought care from Rolfers, chiropractors, massage therapist, special socks to hold my foot flexed, stretching devises, lifts in my shoes, anti-inflammatory creams and was going to get a cortisone shot to get through my next marathon.
All these treatments felt like trying to put a band-aid on a greater problem. By luck, I posted a question on a local running club’s website and had a response from John Elder about Egoscue. I liked that Egoscue dealt with whole body imbalances. It made foundational sense to me that the whole body is connected. In addition, John’s explanation of how my tight upper back, painful lower back, tight hip and ultimately my Achilles are all dependent on them working as a unit and in balance. If one is off, the whole body compensates. Finally, someone to take a look at my whole mechanical person.
Naturally, I was skeptical. I previously had many others give me promises of how they could cure my Achilles pain. Most of them focused on the calf and Achilles tendon and their tightness. So, I was shocked when week after week, John did not address the calf or Achilles. My “menus” focused on my shoulders, my hips, arching my back and spending time in “the tower” flat on my back with one leg suspended on a board.
Things did not happen over night. I went 6 weeks doing my menus and continuing to hurt, complain and deep down thinking that scar tissue in my calf was causing this problem. I could even feel the dang knot! I decided to give it all I had through the 8 weeks and then see where I was. I had friends tell me my posture looked straighter so that was a benefit.
Then, it happened. On the Thursday of my 7th week, I did a threshold run. Usually speed and hills would tear up my Achilles tendon. I was surprised that it didn’t really hurt very much. The next day I ran an easy 4 miles as a recovery run. I was shocked that there was no pain at all. On Saturday I ran 20 miles for my marathon training. Again, I had no pain and throughout the day my Achilles never flared up.
I have not run pain free for almost 2 years. Each run since has been pain free and my shoe resting on the Achilles does not cause discomfort. I remembered when even my socks resting on that area was unbearable!
There is only one explanation. Egoscue has brought balance to my body and I am functioning symbiotically with all my joints. My running is back to pain free. I now look forward to trying to regain my speed that I lost during these years nursing my Achilles and believe that my stride will be more efficient which will help me gain strength and speed.
I can’t tell you what a miracle this seems to be. I had resigned that this was a part of aging and am thrilled it is not so.