New Developments!

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!!

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27 Responses

    1. My PT says that if I have this issue, it will never go away, but I will learn to manage it. At my age, if I’m determined to run, that’s probably the best case scenario, and I can live with that! 🙂

  1. This is fantastic news! After reading your post the other day I totally forgot to mention that I had found an exercise that was helping me and, like you surprisingly, could possibly be stemming from pain from my sciatic nerve. I can’t seem to find the video I had previously seen, but this article is very similar. I can feel the relief after I do the exercise. I’ve also incorporated some yoga stretches to my morning routine. Tough getting old, but I want to maintain flexibility!

  2. This is great news! Whenever I’m injured or sick, I tend to see my chiropractor first. He works wonders – and 9 times out of 10, whatever is ailing me is related to my back.

  3. Such great news! I know with mine, my back hurt and hips due to limping and such due to my foot hurting so much! How does the song go? The hip bone is connected to the… I have to say I laughed at loud at “at my age”!!! I do that now that I am in my 40’s and my husband just laughs. Yes, our bodies are wonderful and we do not always treat them as such. I think I need to cross train more too instead of walk/jog/ run. I love biking in the summer but am scared to do a spin class and my friends love them.

  4. Oh Wow! I wonder if that was the culprit with my “plantar faciitis” too. Mine came on right after a pregnancy. That would make more sense. Very interesting. So glad you can run again and that the pain is subsiding.

  5. THAT.IS.FANTASTIC! I am so happy for you! I am going to try this straight away! I ran this morning while dodging ice patches and my foot didn’t hurt too badly. (I’m sure by the end of the day I will be singing a different tune) either it was the double socks or the freezing temperature! Keep us updated on the bone scan!

  6. I am so glad you finally found some answers and are your way to recovery! That is great. I have commented that I have been dealing with PF for a long time as well. I have been seeing an acupuncturist this month and she is great. I drink kombucha a few times a week and as good as it is for you some people’s bodies cannot handle it and she is thinking this has caused/created not let heal my PF. I have been drinking kombucha for about 2 years and I have been having PF for almost 2 years – interesting huh? I am now on a kombucha detox – no kombucha for 4 weeks and we will see what happens. I am hoping and praying for good things because I want to be out there running marathons as well! Heck at this point I would be happy with a few 3 to 5 mile runs a week. =)

  7. Yay! Glad you can ‘move forward’ now that they know what the cause is. My husband is a runner so I know how important it is to get back out on the street again.

    1. Thank you. Hers was even more specific, in the legs there were different colors, even in the feet?

      I am a bit frustrated that the orthopedist was so dismissive. I am sure there is still PF at work but I do believe my back is a piece in the puzzle, not just a coincidence. Sigh…. I guess I’ll let my PT keep treating me and see where it leads. Thanks for the link! And for the well wishes!

  8. I’m making it a goal to run Broad Street too! Maybe we can get some training in together this spring. You know, after I birth this baby…

  9. Great news! Good luck with Broad Street! Dream of mine 🙂

    My doctor “prescribed” yoga for me bc my lower back and hips were in bad shape and I started running again last year. Honestly, yoga has done a world of difference. Amazing how my stiffness is almost gone and the pain has disappeared.

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