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Faces of Physio (June): Sandi

Our June nominee for 'Faces of Physio is Sandi Pinkerton, a local recreational runner. She was experiencing knee and ankle pain, especially after running and came to Royal City Physio for help to keep her moving. After performing a full biomechanical assessment, it was found that she had stiffness in her ankle, which was causing her to have achilles tendinopathy and patellofemoral pain, both overuse injuries. Essentially, the way Sandi was landing on her stiff foot and ankle was causing her achilles tendon to be over-worked, and her patella (knee-cap bone) to be subject to abnormal compression forces and movement. Her physiotherapy treatment focused on loosening-up her stiff ankle, and strengthening the stabilizing muscles of her ankle, knee, and hip in order to re-train her movement patterns. Because Sandi’s current level of running wasn’t causing serious flare-ups in symptoms, once her biomechanics and strength changed for the better, we were confident her symptoms would also improve.

What activities are you involved in?

I run recreationally.

What were the first symptoms that you experienced? How did it limit you? What is your injury?

Soreness outside of left foot, sore heel and tightness in the foot when getting up in the morning. No pain during running. Just after. It limited me because I started to miss runs and had difficulty moving around in the morning.

How did you end up at physio? Did a friend or doctor refer you?

I knew that if I continued running on a sore foot I would injure myself more and my purpose for starting running again was as a lifestyle, not just to prepare for an event. I knew Physiotherapists helped runners and my son had been treated by Davin for a different injury a year ago, so I knew who to go to.

What type of exercises did your physiotherapist give you?

Ankle, hip and knee exercises to strengthen the muscles supporting the foot.

Were there any modifications that you had to make? Did you have to cease activity for a while?

I did not have to stop running, in fact I was encouraged to continue at the current level. Not increase, but stay where I was in training.

Give us a timeline of how it took to resolve your issue. (How long did it take? Do you keep up with your exercises and home program?)

A couple of months. I do the exercises at home but not as disciplined as when I'm at the clinic.

What activity are you excited to get back to?

I am excited that I am able to keep running and that I feel stronger and more stable when running.

What have you learned from your time with Royal City Physio?

That it was very smart to get help before the injury forced me to stop altogether. I have not missed any running due to the injury.

Note: This post was written by Davin MacKenzie, edited by Cassady Ranford.

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