Posts tagged pain

Diagnosis: Plantar Fasciitis

By | February 10, 2010 9:46 am | 1 Comment

Since we last talked, I was self-diagnosing myself with posterial tibial tendonitis.

I was wrong.

And, it turns out that’s a good thing because posterial tibial tendonitis is much more serious problem than what I actually have which is a common runners  problem — plantar fasciitis, so say the good folks at Hertle & Brown Physical Therapy.

I have heard all about P.F., but….I thought P.F. was pain on the bottom of the foot and my pain is on the side of the inside arch…almost on top of my foot.

Turns out P.F. can manifest itself in many different places, including the backs of the heels! This is something I did serious battle with in 2009 when the backs of my heels hurt so badly they felt bruised and it hurt to wear shoes.

Ah ha.

As I read more about P.F, there are a lot of things that are making sense now. So many minor injuries, annoyances, small running layoffs….all can be attributed to the plantar fascia. Who knew? (Um, well…the therapists at Hertle & Brown did, but..we covered that).

“Plantar fascia is the flat band of tissue (ligament) that connects your heel bone to your toes. It supports the arch of your foot. If you strain your plantar fascia, it gets weak, swollen, and irritated (inflamed). Then your heel or the bottom of your foot hurts when you stand or walk.”

What causes it?

  • Excessive pronation (feet roll inward when you walk). (CHECK)
  • High (or low) arches (mine are, apparently, sky-high).(CHECK)
  • Walking, running or standing for prolonged periods. (CHECK)
  • Being overweight. (NO CHECK…thankfully)
  • Worn out shoes (POSSIBLY?)
  • Tight calf muscles. (BIG CHECK)

What can one do about it?

  • Rest (most effective, but….possibly the HARDEST treatment!)
  • Ice it (roll frozen water bottles under your feet after a run)
  • New shoes (where’s my credit card)
  • Stretches (calves, towel stretches, etc.)
  • Orthotics (custom-made inserts for your shoes that support the arch).

I’ve been having therapy (icing, stretches, massage/manipulation and sonogram treatments) at Hertle & Brown and trying to do some of the stuff at home.

You know what’s fun? Rolling ice bottles under your feet when you get back from a 15-degree run in Erie in February. Ah…the things we runners will do to fix our feet!

So…that’s the saga so far. Add to this P.F. problem the fact that I’ve been sick since Christmas and…it’s no wonder that my running (and enthusiasm for running) has been waning.Yesterday, however, I bit the bullet and begged the doctor for an antibiotic to get rid of this sinus infection — that should help with the case of dragon ass I have right now (draggin’ ass).

I guess, however, if there is a time for me to be doing battle with P.F. it’s now when there is plenty of incentive to rest and heal (If only my guilty conscious will let me).

These arches aren’t golden

By | February 2, 2010 9:05 am | 2 Comments

foot-arch-pain-main_full

I have a few recurring foot injuries that crop up from time to time. I’ve never been officially diagnosed or sought professional help because, frankly, I don’t know where to go (or if my insurance will cover it) and both problems typically go away with rest…which would indicate that they are overuse injuries.

One is a morton’s neuroma (my self-diagnosis) and involves an incredibly sharp/pinching pain between the third and fourth toes on one foot. I notice that this happens most often if I wear shoes that are too tight for me. It typically takes a day or two to subside.

The other recurring injury is a pain in my inside arch of the foot — something I’m suffering through right now. I felt it coming on 1/2 way through a 6 mile run on Sunday (following a 10-miler on Saturday).

Googling around and checking my symptoms would lead me to believe it’s posterial tibial tendonitis. It calls for rest, ice and compression as a first step in treatment — that’s always worked in the past. It’s hard for me to do nothing (and I mean nothing…aerobics hurts, walking hurts, standing hurts) for days on end, but…with complete rest it usually goes away within a week.

I’m hoping the cause of the PTT is wearing my high heel boots I’ve come to love this winter. I’m praying it’s not something more…or a more permanent problem.

For now, I rest….restlessly.

All knotted up

By | November 5, 2009 9:18 am | 0 Comments

knot

I’ve been having some nagging pain in my right heel for several weeks. It started with the bad shoes and just wouldn’t go away…except when I ran…which was weird, right?

It would hurt for the first mile and then — voila! — the pain in my heel was gone and I’d finish the rest of my run without so much as a twinge.

But..when I wasn’t running..oh..the pain. It became painful to wear certain shoes. My heel was painful to the touch — the pain centered in the back and sides of the heel bone leading me to start wondering if it was a stress fracture.

My running friend thought it had more to do with ligaments or tendons.

When I saw chiropractor (and ultra-marathoner/running guru) Dan Young on Tuesday I mentioned the heel pain.

He grabbed hold of my right calf…dug his thumbs deep into the muscle and hit pay dirt. I nearly jumped off the table.

“aaahhh…uuhhhhhuuuh….” he said in his trademark lilting…I-found-the-problem voice.

Knots. Several knots, actually, causing the ligaments and muscles in my leg to contract and pull tight. This caused the connections to my heel to be taut and strained …which, in turn, caused the heel pain.

The solution? Rubbing those knots out with my fingers, “the stick,” my knuckles…whatever I can use to break up the party in my right calf.

An article I found calls this “releasing the trigger points” and has some interesting information that would be useful to all runners — knotted up or not. Check it out  here.

OH….and the reason it didn’t hurt once I got moving? Because once I warmed up…the muscles, tendons and ligaments relaxed and stretched out.