Tuesday Topics: The Foot Saga aka Running with Pain


Since today is Tuesday, I’m  linking up with Zenaida and Kim (Kooky Runner) and you should too.

My Topic today is about my recent Foot Pain.

Here’s the whole story (in case you don’t read all my blog posts):

So…last November after my marathon and 15k, I experienced PAIN in my left foot after walking around NYC in tight boots. I rested/ran/rested/raced/rested and then finally went to the Doctor.

I feared a stress fracture. The Doc took an xray and felt around my foot for pain.  Xray looked normal and no pain so his recommended treatment was:

  • No walking, standing or running until pain-free.
  • Take anti-inflammatory meds 2x/day for 2 weeks.
  • Come back in a month and we’ll take an MRI if it still hurts.

So I stopped running, walked minimally and stood (for work) only when I had to.

After 2 weeks, there was NO real improvement so I started Googling (Ok, I really started Googling from day one lol) and talked to my BRF Barbara.

My (Googled) diagnosis: Neuroma

A neuroma is a painful condition, also referred to as a “pinched nerve” or a nerve tumor. It is a benign growth of nerve tissue frequently found between the third and fourth toes. It brings on pain, a burning sensation, tingling, or numbness between the toes and in the ball of the foot. YES

preview-full-metatarsal-stress-fracture-podcast

Risk Factors that appear to contribute to a neuroma include:

  1. Wearing shoes that are tight or ill fitting can place extra pressure on your toes and the ball of your foot. YES
  2. Certain sports. Participating in high-impact athletic activities such as running may subject your feet to repetitive traumaYES
  3. Foot deformities. People who have bunions, hammertoes, high arches are at higher risk of developing a neuroma. YES to all 

There were many home treatments suggested but my bunion and high arches made things more complicated.  What seemed to work for me was toe spacers, wearing shoes with a wider toe box and RUNNING again.  The turning point proved to be 3 weeks after my doctor visit:

After this run, the pain that seemed to be constant, came and went and was gone more than present when I ran. But still hurt after.

Four weeks after my first podiatrist appointment, my doc offered to give me a cortisone shot for the pain. I insisted on an MRI first just to make sure that it was a neuroma (which I had diagnosed.)

Unfortunately the MRI showed nothing. No neuroma!!!

I was not convinced.

I went back to my doctor and re-explained my symptoms.

He agreed that it was probably a neuroma but too small to show up on a MRI. So he gave me a cortisone shot and told me to contact him in 2-3 weeks if it didn’t feel better.

Well, he said to continue normal activities. That meant running, right? So I did. It felt the same.

I experimented with different shoes and went a PT consult. And I ran a half marathon.

I finished though it was painful

The next day, I went to a PT doctor recommended by a running friend who suffered from similar foot pain.

According to my symptoms, she agreed that it was some kind of nerve impingement.  She said that she thought she could get rid of my pain. At this point, I was skeptical.  But I went twice a week for several weeks.  Treatment included, scraping, massaging, electrical ultrasound, CBD oil, home exercises for my posture and quads…

I also changed shoes several times, as well. (Thank goodness for return policies…)

from Mizunos to Altras to Brooks

I continued running as my PT doctor said that I could and should even though my foot HURT:

I got a laser treatment at PT and I also ran 4 mile race.

in pain

And then I went to Bermuda…hoping the sun and warmth would heal my foot.

It healed my spirits and had a SUPER time but ran again a race where my foot hurt every step!!!

Yes, I’m getting impatient…

Today, my PT listened to my racing woes and recommended that I see a different podiatrist (one who is a runner.)

Luckily, I just an immediate appt.  Finger crossed….

As always, you are not alone with nerve foot pain. Here are some related blog posts:

about running & nerve pain – https://www.irunfar.com/2017/08/six-signs-that-your-running-injury-is-nerve-pain.html

about running & a neuroma:

Possible solutions (form corrections):

Going Wide: The Role of Stride Width in Running Injury and Economy

I’m definitely not an expert on foot pain so take these recommendations with a grain of salt:

  • See a doctor for an xray at the first sign of pain (to rule out something serious).
  • Insist on an MRI even if the Xray shows nothing (to rule out a stress fracture).
  • Keep active and if it hurts too much to run (the stationary bike will keep your legs fit).
  • Cut back on your mileage even if you are training for a big race.
  • Adjust race goals if you do run a race. (Running for fun is an option.)
  • Try different running shoes (most companies have free returns).
  • Add inserts to your shoes (and it doesn’t have to be $500 custom orthotics).
  • Keep running (unless running makes your pain worse).
  • Seek different treatment options… visit a Chiro or try PT.
  • Drink lots of wine lol

I’m linking up also with this new link-up:

Formerly the Running Coaches’ Corner, it’s back with new co-hosts Coach Debbie RunsRunning on HappyConfessions of a Mother RunnerMile by MileRuns with Pugs, and Fauxrunner.

Happy Running! Have you ever used Google as you medical professional? Any foot pain experiences? Please share.

runner-sig

37 thoughts on “Tuesday Topics: The Foot Saga aka Running with Pain

  1. I think everyone uses Google, but most of the time I know when it’s time to seek medical intervention. Unless I don’t, of course.

    I have had foot pain, but from a very different source & not as bad. Doesn’t actually hurt while running. It’s never completely gone away but it’s mostly quiet these days.

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  2. I’m sorry to hear that the foot pain persists. A friend of mine had a neuroma–for the life of me, I don’t remember what she did to treat it. But it bothered her for a long time. I hope you get relief soon!

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  3. OH I am so sorry to hear that your foot bothered you the entire time in Bermuda. So frustrating! That is one thing I have not had so advice to give you on that one.I hope you get some answers and relief soon. Thanks (in advance) for joining the Wednesday Runners Roundup

    Liked by 1 person

  4. “No walking, standing or running until pain-free.”
    So basically I should have given you a hovercraft for my birthday. LOL.
    I hate that you’re still in pain.

    Like

  5. I’m so sorry you are still dealing with this! I rely on google more than I should with injuries, but what else can you do when the professionals don’t have the answers? I like your last tip- drink lots of wine! Totally agree with that!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Foot pain is, well, a pain. I’ve been dealing with a little bit of neuroma too as I increased my mileage leading up to my marathon. Not really pain, but some numbness and a feeling of swelling on the ball of my right foot. I iced, taped, massaged. and it’s really not better, but it’s not worse either. Good luck finding a solution. I hope you get it soon!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Pingback: Friday Five: Running with a Neuroma – My First 5K and More…

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