For the most part, my biggest problems have been my knees (my right knee back in college, and in recent years my left knee). My left IT band syndrome has joyously rippled its effects into surrounding areas, most notably my left hip flexor. I've also been working to overcome some muscle imbalances, which have lead to weak hips and glutes.
I have had some minor bouts of heel pain (aka plantar fasciitis) in the past, but usually nothing to sneeze at. Until this past Monday.
I woke up on Monday morning. As per my usual practice, I gallantly sprang out of bed with a HUGE smile on my face!
OK, OK, maybe not so much.
In any event, upon getting out of bed, I experienced a stinging pain in my left heel. Wow. Never in my life had it been so painful to walk.
Thankfully I had a PT appointment first thing Monday morning. The timing couldn't have been better. My PT helped me stretch, gave me an ultrasound on my heel, and instructed me to use a tennis ball or foam roller on my heel.
My heel was still painful for the rest of the day. It made me contemplate even the simplest things, like getting up to go to the printer or the bathroom. On the way home from the office, I was crossing the street and had to speed up to get through the intersection. Yowza!!!
When I got home on Monday evening, I took off my shoes. I was surprised to find out that when walking around barefoot, the pain nearly disappeared altogether. It made me think about the stories I'd heard about people's running injuries fading once they run barefoot or wear minimalist running shoes. Maybe there really is something to be said about natural foot mechanics after all?
I went ahead and did a yoga video, then dutifully pulled out a golf ball. (You may recall that I've had my awkward moments with golf ball therapy in the past, so this time I did this in the privacy of my own living room.) I rolled my heel for a good 15 minutes, applying as much pressure as I could bear. Not fun, but all in the name of healing.
When I went to bed, I remembered seeing all these pictures of these splints that you can wear on your feet overnight to help with your plantar fasciitis.
|Sexy fashion accessory|
Not having one of those splints on hand, I did my best to imitate the foot position as I was falling asleep. Not easy to do!
Yesterday morning when I woke up, I braced myself as I got out of bed, anticipating more stinging pain. But... nothing. Barely a twitch.
All throughout the day, I walked around very gingerly, just in case. No issue. I even put on heels when I got to the office. Then I gradually began bringing my walking motion back to normal, so as not to favor my left foot. Still almost nothing.
Last night I repeated the routine - more yoga, and more rolling my heel with a golf ball. This morning again, no relapses of pain.
I don't know what the heck happened in the last 48 hours. If this was a "ghost" injury, it was certainly the most painful one I've ever experienced. But thank God for miraculous physical therapy and for golf balls!!!
|For now, at least.|
On a closing note, I haven't worn my Sauconys (my minimalist running shoes) in quite some time. But given my experience with natural foot motion immediately alleviating my heel pain, I think it may be good to start wearing the minimalist running shoes again at least once a week. I am becoming a believer!