Sunday, November 23, 2008

Foot Issues

I am seeking advice about my feet, friends. Please chime in! Here's the story:

I have been a heel striker for as long as I can recall. Almost exactly three years ago I was prescribed custom orthotics due to tarsal tunnel syndrome. The previous pain I was having disappeared! Yet I have continued to be a heel striker. That is manageable; I just change shoes regularly.

Since being pregnant (and gaining weight) and, mind you, recovering from a torn peroneal tendon in my right foot, I have been having shin and ankle pains in BOTH feet when I hit the roads. It generally seems to subside after about a mile and a half, but it is definitely a pain. Pun intended.

My current shoes with about 200 miles on them, mostly from walking. See how the right one is extra-crooked?

So I started thinking... my custom orthotics really prop up my arches, which in turn angles my feet outward -- which, in my mind, could completely explain the heel striking and perhaps "strained ankle and shin" pains. So I got the idea to try some over-the-counter orthotics. That would be the least expensive option, considering the alternatives (running store inserts, new shoes or new custom orthotics).

Custom orthotics and over-the-counter orthotics -- $400 vs. $4.

See how much more the custom ones prop up my arches? At least a quarter inch more.

Well, I'm sad to say that my $4 solution has not solved my problems. But it was worth a try! I wore the OTC inserts as we walked a zillion miles around the Smoky Mountains. Of course my feet hurt; they would have hurt no matter what I was wearing in those conditions (trust me on this one). Since we returned I have walked three times and have actually been quite speedy. But my pain has not gone away, and now the top of my left foot hurts. Yeesh.

I blame pregnancy... but obviously I can't do anything about that for another +/- 13 weeks. What to do?


Tammy said...

Well It could be the extra weight from the pregnancy. I use to have the same problem but it went away, foot problems just love me :D. I hope you feel better. Maybe accupuncture or maybe you need just a bit more rest. Hope again you feel better.

Arland said...

Without knowing the exact shoe you are running in it would be hard to say. But I have learned that most orthotics are made to put your feet in a neutral position. I was an overpronator so now my orthotics take care of that. So I had to go with a neutral shoe vs a stability shoe. Also with your pregnancy you may need something more like the Brooks Beast. Looks like the shoes you have there are done for though. Take a trip over to Fleet Feet off of Popular and let them do a scan. Its a pretty neat process and even if you don't buy shoes there you will learn something about your feet.

Road Warrior said...

I wonder if part of it is in how you're lacing your shoes. Runner's World did an article about alternate ways to lace (,7120,s6-238-267--12334-0,00.html). Maybe be worth a try.

Are you stretching your feet enough? Stretching barefoot has helped me.

Cara said...

Although not pregnant i have a lot of ankle/achilies tendon pain from running. You are the first I have heard about on the blogs with similar issues. I might need to look into some orthotics. Hmm

Nat said...

My feet killed throughout my pregnancy, in fact my feet actually went up a full size (and didn't go back.) And my arches pretty much went flat.

The arches seem to have gone back to normal but my feet are still longer. So you may have to invest in a new pair of shoes.

Gordon said...

I agree with Nat. My wife's feet got bigger during pregnancy, which might explain your top of foot pain. She had to wear birkenstocks for months before Preston was born. You may have to wait until you are post-partem to see the true nature fo the issue. But short term, you might have to go UP a half or full size in your shoe! How's chasen doing? Let's just say that it is quite easy for dads-to-be to gain weight with their wives. i know I did.

Newly and Forever, Tamantha said...

Ugh..I feel your pain! I am having the exact same problem! Maybe I should try a neutral shoe?

Newly and Forever, Tamantha said...

Now that I think about it..they did a "foot scan" at the New Balance store in LR on Chenal and they were the ones that put me in a stability shoe....the arch support wasn't enough, so I have tried the custom and some "cheaper" running store insoles called Powerstep (about 25$) but they seem to prop up my arch (maybe too much?) because now I am having posterior tibial and ankle area pain...