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Mysterious Injury

Posted Aug 22 2013 1:05pm

It’s back.

It, being my stupid, annoying, no good foot pain. Causing me to feel like this:


Sure, I can finish a marathon as part of an Ironman without the pain showing it’s ugly face, but throw in one day of speedwork (IT WASN’T EVEN FAST) and I’m limping around.

It felt a little tight on Monday night after my speedwork, and I woke up on Tuesay with that same exact feeling I felt back when I had a “stress fracture”. Or “Posterior Tibial Tendonitis”. Or whatever it was that forced me into a boot for a month.

Remember this stupid I mean helpful thing?

Remember this stupid I mean helpful thing?

I’m beginning to truly believe the second doctor’s diagnosis was closer to the truth, because I’m pretty sure a stress fracture doesn’t just come and go as it pleases.

Regardless of the diagnosis, I’ve been told various things about the origin of the injury. It’s lack of strength in my hips. My glutes. One side of something being stronger than the other side. So I did squats. Lunges. Single leg squats. Single leg deadlifts. Full body exercises.

Abby recently mentioned calf weakness, which is actually something I hadn’t really heard before. Makes sense. And my PT did always have me doing calf stretches and would work with that wonderfully painfully tool called the dolphin or something equally as friendly-sounding (but friendly it is not…oh boy is it not.)

Could ONE day of fast running send me back into a full-blown injury? Again, I hit the track on Monday (HAVE I MENTIONED IT WASN’T EVEN THAT FAST?), and every day since, I’ve felt the same exact pain I felt earlier this Spring.

What I do know:

  • Heat helps. Cold doesn’t.
  • My achilles constantly feels tight.
  • I do need new shoes. (This screams injury, I know, but can it really make this much of a difference?)
  • When first start walking in the morning, or after sitting for awhile, it hurts the most if I put pressure on the inside of my foot. I know, this screams Plantar Fasciitis, but the pain isn’t on the bottom of my foot (which is where I understand PF to be).
In case you want a visual of the pain in my pale little foot.

In case you want a visual. Ignore the paleness.

  • It only hurts when I actually put pressure on the inside of my foot. Like if you were trying to walk like a duck. Which, no, I don’t normally do. Normal walking doesn’t hurt, but I can just tell it’s tight and I’m constantly “testing” it, wondering if it’s going to hurt when I twist my foot inward. Maybe I should stop.


  • It also hurts when I first stand up after sitting for awhile. Once I’ve been walking for a minute or two, it usually goes away. BUT,  sometimes if I’m walking for awhile (more than 15-ish minutes), I can feel it coming back.
Obviously I had to break out an anatomy book.

Obviously I had to break out an anatomy book.

Anatomy lesson time! These are the deeper muscles of the foot. The circles above point out two things.

1. My superior extensor retinaculum (or some muscle in that area) feels tight when I push on it, and this is where the pain (when walking on the inside of my foot) originates. As I push off, it sort of radiates down the top of my foot. I can’t pinpoint one spot that hurts, it’s just kind of that whole section pictured above in my fancy foot photo.

2. The tibialis posterior, which is what the second doctor thinks is the problem. This muscle inverts the foot; meaning it twists it inward…which is when I feel the pain. It attaches to the navicular bone, which is where the first doctor said I had a stress fracture. IT’S ALL CONNECTED, PEOPLE! Now we’re getting somewhere…

Where does this leave me? I have no idea. I know this isn’t exactly thrilling reading, but I’m hoping someone out there on the internet will be like HEY THAT’S WHAT HAPPENED TO ME AND I HAVE ADVICE FOR YOU! Because frankly, my copay is too high to keep going to doctors who aren’t telling me anything I don’t already know.

Here’s to hoping a solid sports massage and a little more strengthening will save the day. Cross your fingers.

Do you have any mystery injuries? (Ever solved one?) Love looking at anatomy books? (I do!) 

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