Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Weird Heel "Pain" Follow-Up
Last summer I developed a stress fracture in my left lower leg/shin and had to stop running smack dab in the middle of half-marathon training. While all my runner friends went on to run 10-milers and run in the race, I was stuck on the sidelines with my fancy icer-cup. It sucked, big time. I never did go see a medial professional to be officially diagnosed for that, I just talked to a family friend physical therapist. I didn't see the point in paying for someone to tell me what he told me, "Stop running for 8-10 weeks". So, I did and it got better and I've been running consistently ever since.
So, when I started to notice a weird numbness/tenderness in the bottom of my right heel, I started to get nervous. I'm only three weeks into training for this years half-marathon and everything was going great--to get injured again this year would be a huge disappointment. So, I kept an eye on it. I called my mom, because I always call her for medical advice first. She told me it didn't sound like plantar fasciitis, which she had, and to just keep an eye on it, noting anything that made it worse. I wasn't too concerned after talking to her, because it didn't specifically hurt, it just felt weird. So, I tried to make sure I wore supportive shoes around the house and I made a point to get my new running shoes before running anymore. I was due for them any mile and I figured it wouldn't hurt.
It was all fine and dandy until I ran five miles on Sunday. It still felt numbish, until I hit the 4.5 mile mark and then it began to hurt. I finished the run (yeah, I know) and iced it when I got home. As the day progressed I noticed that it hurt more than was numb and I got these weird pulling sensations if I shifted my body weight too much if that leg was supporting me. I mentioned it to my runner friend Coleen, who mentioned her runners group had been talked to by a representative of a local urgent care section of the local bone and joint care practice. She gave me their number. I wondered if I should call or just wait out the weirdness, but when I noticed yesterday that the pain was becoming more constant and my heel even ached when I was at rest, I called. I decided that a)if I take care of it now as opposed to later, there would be still hope for the half, b) it might be nothing and I'd rather be safe than sorry, and c)I just needed to know what the heck was wrong with it.
I had my appointment today. The PA I saw is pretty sure it's not plantar fasciitis and took x-rays which shows my bones are all where they are suppose to be, so no stress-fracture or heel spurs or anything weird like that (hallelujah!). So she thinks its a inflammation of the nerves of my foot, specifically the Baxter's nerve, which runs right through/to the area that feels weird. I guess my symptoms are pretty right on for that.
The treatment? Well, I get to wear this plastic heel cup in my shoe for 2 weeks, ice my foot with that fancy icer-cup every night for 10 minutes and take 2 weeks off from running. The pain should go away and I should be able to ease back into running after 2 weeks. I feel a sense of relief. Two weeks is nothing! I can do two weeks, it's a drop in the bucket compared to 2 months. :-) So, I'm wearing my heel cup and hoping this does the trick. I'm sure I'll let you know.