Today on the Doc On The Run Podcast, we’re talking about how running on the road might cause Achilles tendinitis in one leg, but a calf strain on the other leg.
This seems like a little counterintuitive how you could possibly get an injury on both legs from something like running on the road, but I think it’s useful to talk about that. And what we’re talking about here is the calf muscle and the Achilles tendon. Sorry about the terrible drawing, but you get the idea.
You have your tibia or shinbone here, you know the tail is, you know, the heel bone underneath there, and you have your calf muscle. The calf muscle is here, and Kelly’s standing comes down and attaches here. And then you have the soleus and all this other stuff, but not really important.
So how can you get a calf strain up here and Achilles issue here on different legs, but in the same person from the road? Well, it’s really simple. Here’s how the road slopes and let’s say you’re running in the road and this is you’re looking toward the cars, your shoes are here. And let’s accentuate this to make it obviously different. On right versus left, okay, so this is if you’re facing the kneecaps are here and this is if you’re facing the cars coming toward you. So this is the front, so this would be the right, this would be the left.
So what’s happening here? Well, a couple of things. One, is if you look at the right foot, it’s basically forcibly pronated and what I mean by that is that when you supinate your foot you tilt outward, but when you tilt outward, you also point your toes down. When you pronate or pull your feet upward. You also tilt your feet this way. So by definition, the waist pronation supination work when you pull your foot up, it actually pulls the you enter pronation.
In this scenario what’s happening is this runner facing the road has the right foot fully pronated and when he fully protonate it actually twist the Achilles tendon around the back of the heel because it’s pulling the foot up, right? So when you pull a foot up, it’s more stress here. These two things together, forcibly pronating the foot puts a lot of stress and strain here because you’re pulling the foot up. Now in contrast, on the other side, what you have is your foot in order to come down here to the slope.
Obviously you can’t run this way where you’d fall over. So this one you actually point the foot down and when you point the foot down, you’re pulling up hard with the calf muscle. You can get a calf strain because you’re running all the time with your left foot, actually pointing down to reach the lower spot in the road. So you’ve got one foot that’s fully pronated the other one supinated pointing down, and then you’re basically reaching over and over and over with every stretch every step trying to reach the road with your foot pulling down and that can actually lead to a calf strain because you’re overusing it.
Running on the slope of the road. I talk about this a lot. It can be bad for you, but if you just switch sides of the road, that can really help obviously you got to be safe and make sure you don’t get run over by car, but running on surfaces that are more very that don’t have that slope working against you can really help you stay healthy and keep running a whole lot longer without one of these injuries.
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