I’ve been waiting to write an update on my injured foot until I know more, but my appointment with my orthopedist keeps getting put off due to crazy weather, and it seems pretty definite now that I do NOT have plantar fasciitis.
Except but I do. I just got back and I’m updating this post. Sorry peeps!
Who really KNOWS what I have. You see . . .
There seems to be an issue with my back that is causing the foot pain. Or aggravating the foot pain? Or something?
How strange and wonderfully complex are our bodies!!? It’s amazing to me that anyone even figured this out because who’dathunk that my back (which rarely hurts or gives me trouble of any sort) could be the culprit of this stubborn foot pain I’ve been dealing with for almost two years (and treating – unsuccessfully – for nine months)!?!?
My regular physical therapist has been baffled that my foot isn’t responding better to treatment, especially considering that I pretty much stopped running cold turkey well over 2 months ago, so she sought the second opinion of another PT in their office. This “new” PT happens to be a runner who has knee problems affected by her back so she started putting 2 and 2 together.
Last Thursday they started treating my back rather than my foot, and my foot pain subsided almost immediately. At first I feared it was a fluke, but after a week of doing back exercises and neglecting my foot exercises (which wasn’t recommended but I sort of forgot about them because my foot doesn’t hurt!) we now think that my back is the culprit and probably has been all along.
It’s not uncommon for distance runners to have lower back complaints, and the theory is that something is putting pressure on the S1 nerve, which ironically affects that little corner of my heel where I experience the most discomfort, as well as the outside of my knee (you may or am not remember that I had to stop mid-race during my half marathon to stretch my IT band) and sometimes the outside half of the sole of my foot.
I wish I could find the picture that she showed me in her office. It is color coded and shows which nerves in the body are related. But it totally makes sense based on the complaints I’ve been having.
For the past week I have been successfully managing any minor flare-ups of foot pain by lying on my stomach flat on the floor and allowing my lower back to decompress. The goal is to raise my chest up while resting on my elbows, but at this point that is often too painful.
I’ve been anxious to see my orthopedist to see what he has to say about this recent development and also to get the results of my bone scan which was performed last week. And I just got back from his office.
He thinks it is all a big coincidence. He pressed into my foot and it did hurt. I winced. He said that if it was simply a nerve issue, I wouldn’t have that kind of pain on contact.
Which makes total sense.
But a coincidence? I’m not entirely sure.
There is no doubt that I can get relief from the foot pain by body positioning AND that I saw a sudden and drastic improvement when she started treating my back.
So maybe there are two things going on here.
The orthopedist offered me a cortisone shot right then and there, and I had a good mind to take him up on it. But I have read so much conflicting advice, AND I’ve been feeling so much better, that I decided to hold off a bit longer and see what happens with another week or two of therapy and then trying to get back to running. I can call him and get a cortisone shot anytime I want.
No matter what caused the foot issues, I think we are slowly getting it under control.
Which means I might be doing THIS . . .
again sometime soon!!!!!
I realize that no matter what, I’m getting older and I need to be doing some cross training if I’m going to be able to keep running, so I’ve started incorporating yoga into my workout schedule and I’m planning to get a bike.
And also? My friend just informed me that he signed me up for a Tough Mudder in October. We shall see what becomes of that.
I do have plans to run Broad Street this spring. My PT thinks it’s a realistic goal. That’s an iconic Philadelphia 10-mile race that takes place downtown. It’s sort of a rite of passage for a runner within driving distance of Philly, and I think this year might be my year!
Suffice it to say I am feeling verrrrry optimistic right now!! Now if the snow and freezing temperatures would just move on out, I’ll be all set!!