RunningBlog: Injury Update

Injury update: Regular readers will recall that about a year ago I started having some weird tightness and aches in the arch of my right foot. I took a few weeks off and had a bone scan – and was radioactive for a day, which was fun – that didn’t show any fractures or serious inflammation. The doctor (from a local sports med clinic) thought it was just overuse from three months of forefoot running. She advocated ice and stretching. Unfortunately that injury has plagued me off and on ever since, depending on the shoes I wear and the mileage I run. Taking time off hasn’t seemed to have helped at all. So today I finally went to a proper podiatrist to find out what the hell I should do about it.

After hearing the whole saga, he flexed my big toe and poked the tendon in my arch, and I just about jumped off the table. OUCH. He said that even if it didn’t show on the scan last year, I definitely have Plantar Fasciitis. (The most common form involves heel pain, which I’ve never had. But you can have PF without it, apparently.) I’ve also got some strained ligaments along the side of my arch as well. The interesting thing he said is that the injury is such that stopping running wouldn’t help it heal. Simply walking around is enough to keep it from properly healing. I steeled myself at this point, figuring he was going to put me in a cast or something for 3 months. But to my surprise, he said that altering my running schedule would be our LAST resort with treatment. First he wanted to try taking some of the pressure off my arch with tape to see if it made an immediate difference in my pain level. So he strapped me up. He said to go ahead and do my scheduled runs this weekend. (Yay!) I’m also supposed to only wear shoes with support (as opposed to my beloved Converse). Next week I’ll see him again to discuss the outcome. It may well be that I end up getting orthotics for a while to allow me to keep running while it heals.

So it’s both bad news and good news. Now I’m just sorry I waited so long to see a specialist! I’m glad I finally have a diagnosis and I can move forward on this.

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  1. Ooh, sorry! I have PF with the heel pain and it is KILLER. When I first get up in the morning and put weight on my foot, it feels like every little bone in my foot is on fire. I got the same treatment – supportive shoes (I’m big into barefoot around the house, so it’s killing me to have to wear tennis shoes all the time) with a gel heel cup for the pain. I really do notice the difference, though, so I suppose it’s worth it. Good luck getting over yours. I’m glad to hear you can keep running through it!

  2. Oh No!! My dear friend Beck has acute PF and has had it for about a year now, orthodics worked briefly but now it’s back. Horrible. Like Staci she can barely walk in the morning and is in a lot of pain. Years of converse wearing with no arch support have killed her feet. I hope that you can overcome it.

    I hope my years of Birkenstock wearing and being the brunt of ugly shoe jokes will stop me getting PF. It sounds so painful.

    You truly have my sympathy.

  3. My sympathy too – I’ve had it with the heel pain, despite the podiatrist telling me that it wasn’t!! It lasted for months – first one foot then the other. I find when I go bare footed or don’t wear the orthotics it flares up and also achilles tendonitis – that’s why I look so glamorous in my lace up clodhoppers most of the time! I’m glad you don’t have to stop running as you love it so much. Good luck – hope it gets better soon.

  4. Wow…maybe this is what I have. I’ve had arch pain for about a month now. I’m going to go to my podiatrist and see. (Reading your blog is always informative.)

  5. Hope your injury goes away soon!

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