I went over to Woden to the podiatrist today.
I'd recently spoken to a mate of mine John Casey, a Bowen therapist, about my Achilles tendinitis and he suggested go and see Ben Balthazaar and get a pair of orthotics.
Christine's daughter works there so she arranged an appointment for me. I blanched when she said what orthotics cost.
Anyway I paid the visit this afternoon and got a very attentive and thoughtful appraisal. Ben is highly regarded in sporting circles around Canberra for his expertise in foot and leg function.
Part of the analysis was checking out my foot structure and whether function is normal. It's not.
He pointed out that I have high arches and tight feet, calf and hip muscles. Hamstrings are OK. I do stretches for the calf and hip muscles but they don't seem to have much effect.
Plus, I know that the musculo-skeletal structure I'm left with after 60 years of racing around might be difficult to change. That's why I went to see Ben, to get a different opinion.
Then it was time to video my gait while walking on the treadmill.
The analysis showed that my foot didn't strike the way it's meant to. Instead of leaning in as it strikes it moves out. I would not have been able to pick this myself.
The upshot was a tailor-made insert to get my foot striking better.
Ben noticed that the leg with the Achilles problem appeared to be shorter the other one by almost a centimetre. Egoscue says that in most cases the legs are the same length but the misalignment of the pelvis gives the appearance that leg length is uneven.
I've known for some time that I'm slightly twisted and as a result more of my weight rests on my right side _where the Achilles problem is - than my left side. If you stand on two scales you can find out how much you are leaning to one side. It's a useful exercise.
Now, I've been working on getting my hips better aligned, lying on the floor with my legs resting, outstretched against the wall - bottom in close to the wall.
I've also been doing the supine groin stretch and the static back exercise. I'm hopeful that in the medium term I'm going to get back into better alignment.
But to cut a long story short I've got the inserts in my running shoes. If my feet strike the ground better maybe there's the chance that the pressure will come off the Achilles and the tendon inflammation will disappear. I'm hoping so.
There is a good chance that these things are caused by more than one dysfunction. Here's hoping if I can get the feet and hips better aligned I'll be pain free.
I'll report back on how it all goes.
On the track
Did 40 minutes walking with the boys. Had trouble keeping up due to the strength training session the night before. My legs and calves were tired. But sheesh, those blokes walk fast. I have trouble keeping up.
Weight 86.4 kg.
In the mean time stay tuned, highly tuned and put yourself in the hands of an expert.