Hi all, I hope you can help and that I'm posting this in the right place.
I'm on week 2 of Couch to 5K 2 days into that week. I'm 5 stone over weight and have a back problem called scheuermanns disease. I'm combining Cto5K with healthy eating and have lost 7lbs over this 2 weeks. (So was 5 stone 7lbs overweight) However, I can barely walk where my knees and ankles are now so painful and a couple of days ago I got up and my feet are swollen to twice their normal size - I've never been prone to swollen feet before except in pregnancy. I went to the doctors about my knees and she thinks it's where I was doing the program on concrete (I don't have proper running shoes yet, am saving up, been wearing normal trainers) She's put me on a 2 week ban. Said to try walking briskly within that 2 weeks.
Can any of you give me any advice? Is the swollen feet all connected? Am scared I have really done something bad to my legs now or is it just where my body is not used to the exercise and has got all that extra weight landing on them when I do the jogging bit? Any advice very much appreciated as I don't want to give up - in a weird way I'm enjoying the program.
Did your Scheuermann's result in kyphosis? Possible spinal cord compression? You have certainly set quite a goal for yourself by running, especially on concrete, though you are somewhat safer from traffic there. My hat's off to your docs if they prescribed or condoned this exercise for you, since your condition presents postural challenges most runners do not face. These postural issues are likely to affect the knees and ankles as you compensate for spinal inflexibility. I suppose your body could take more than two weeks to get used to the punishment.
I've treated patients with your condition and have seen others with similar posture, out jogging or walking briskly, and I can't help but feel there comes a point in life, when you must decide whether to give in to the condition, or to fight back and suck the orange of life dry. Kudos to you for your efforts, but I am hoping you engaged in some preparatory exercises and conditioning before taking on the 5k challenge. If not, I really think you should take a few month's break from your programme and work on some lower back strengthening, rowing exercises, neck lifts, low impact trampoline work, and perhaps some pool running to condition your legs in zero gravity. When my back has been sore, I've even parked at the far end of store parking lots, and run leaning on a shopping cart - a poor man's zero-gravity trainer - and it makes you feel like you are running on the moon (if your health insurance will pay for it, there is always the real thing that Paula Radcliffe used):
All those mechanical issues aside, running outdoors this time of year can cause salt-loss through sweat, and one has to be careful not to unbalance the electrolytes that are lost through sweat. This highlights another challenge of Scheuermann's, which poses the possibility of splanchnic nerve impingement that can affect the proper operation of your vital organs. Persons with low adrenal function may be more vulnerable to salt loss, as well as foot and ankle swelling. This effect would be complicated by a low-salt diet, as well as by improper levels of potassium and B6. Make sure all your electrolytes are up to snuff and switch to sea salt. Swelling can be the body's attempt to retain salt. A thorough checkup by your doctor that includes adrenal and kidney function would be a good idea before you are cleared for exercise in warmer weather.