A Quality Recovery Plan

Just three short months ago I wrote about my process of recovering from a knee injury.  I am pleased to announce that my knee feels great but right around the time when my knee started feeling better, my achilles on the other leg began barking at me.  Ugh, don’t you hate it when you fix a problem only to have another one crop up?

Just this week I have reintroduced hills and speed work back into my routine and my achilles Portals_0_altman2_Running_achilles_Tendonfinally feels back to normal.  Without spending too much time talking about running injuries on a customer service blog, I want to share what I did to rehab my achilles.  Bear with me because I think I have a good insight to wrap this thing up.  Here’s what I did:

1. Cut Back On The Miles, Hills and Speed: Achilles Tendonitis can get worse if you over train, run fast and run a lot of hills.  All of these put extra stress on that tendon.  Cutting back can spell instant relief and give your body a chance to repair itself.

2. Cross Train: When I realized I couldn’t run as much I dusted off my bike trainer in the garage and found I really love riding and reading a book at the same time.

3. Strengthen and Stretch: Drawing from my recovery from the knee injury I focused on stretching my calves, hamstrings and quads.  Stretching is a great way to take the pressure off the achilles by stretching supporting muscles.  I then mixed in some calf raises for strengthening.

4. Patience: I’d be lying if I said I didn’t get impatient and bummed out at times while I waited for my body to heal but patience really is a virtue.

5. Return Slowly: As my achilles began to heal I began to mix in a few hills and a little speed to see how it responded.  If it was really sore I would rest and ice.  If it responded well I would add a little bit more the next time and celebrate improvement.

Ultimately when coming back from injury it is imperative that you LISTEN TO YOUR BODY!  Pain is actually a good thing because it tells you something is wrong.  To an extent it’s ok to play through the pain of an injury but with pain like an achilles you have to respect it and allow for recovery.

At Phone.com one of our service standards is quality and the thing I love about quality is the focus on continuous improvement.  When presented with an issue or problem in a process, the point isn’t to fix it all at once, but to find small, meaningful ways to improve constantly.  If you develop a pattern of doing so it’s much like running up a major hill or battling back from an injury.  You’ll look back and say “Wow, look how far we’ve come!”


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