It was way back at the beginning of December when I shared a bit about my ongoing foot pain and plantar fasciitis diagnosis. This is something I have been dealing with since July, 2015. My initial consult (after hoping I’d heal on my own, haha) was in November. I went for another check up with the podiatrist in December. Thankfully, he comes to Hazen once a month so I don’t have to travel to Bismarck to see him. He asked me what percentage I thought I had improved and I said maybe 20%. It was better but not good. He examined me and thought I was more like 50+% better. He recommended I see a physical therapist and continue with what he had previously prescribed.
I went to the physical therapist the next week. After he examined me, he told me the following.
My left foot is probably experiencing this issue/pain because:
- I have some tight tension points in my left calf
- My left arch is weak (and I guess I have kind of high arches so this is also a factor)
- My right hip is weak
Please note those are NOT my legs!
For treatment he prescribed:
- 6 shots of dry needling in my left calf muscles to relieve some of the tension. He said he could massage it but this was more effective. It was only slightly uncomfortable and I only bled 1 drop. It was almost like acupuncture. I could feel immediate relief. It was weird, but also kind of neat?
- Stretches to do every day at home for my calf, arch and hip. (Gastroc Stretch, Soleus Stretch, Tibialis Posterior Strengthening and Hip Abduction using a band.)
- Keep wearing the splint every night and shoes at all times.
- Start doing some walking / running on the treadmill increasing slowly to build up my muscle.
- See him again if I feel I need to.
He said it is a slow process to heal but I am strong and if I keep stretching I should get there. I felt pretty optimistic for the first time since this started. He told me not to be scared and go for it.
At the beginning of 2016, I started running again. I have done my best to workout as I normally did (prior to stopping running in mid-October), just subbing other cardio for running. My friend who has run 20+ races (half and full marathons) was helping me with a plan to get back going strong again. I am trying to run three times a week with the goal of upping my pace and distance gradually. So far my foot has felt great while running. The only pain I specifically notice is if I have a day where I am standing a lot. I am working on wearing my shoes a bit less at home. We have a vacation to Mexico in just over a week and I don’t want to wear shoes all the time.
My most recent (and I hope final) appointment with the podiatrist was January 19. I told him I felt about 90%. The pain is still there at times but I know what I need to do to make it better. He is encouraging me to wear the splint less and keep up with my exercise. I just can’t go from 0-100 and must listen to my body. He was happy for me and I left encouraged things will be better.
Kind of a side note, but he recommended this cream and it is amazing for dry feet and making your calluses smaller. I think it is OTC available and has been awesome. A little goes a long way.
Here is to some happy adventuring, running, cycling, walking and more, specifically stretching, for 2016. The most important things I learned from this was to listen to my body and to take it easier on myself.
Oh and also, be thankful for my health – even with insurance this stuff if $$ – don’t be afraid to seek help right away. #lessonslearned