Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Everybody Hurts

Not too much news with the running, I’m still schlepping along trying to keep my heart rate just below 75%.  It’s still too soon to see any improvement and while I can manage 14km the last four or so incredibly slow.  I opted to cut short yesterday’s run to 10K and the degradation in time wasn’t quite so bad.

I’ve also taken a bit of a do-over on the orthotic front.

I’ve had a pair of new orthotics that supposed to correct a couple of deficiencies in my first pair.  These have more cushioning in the heel and the addition of a metatarsal pad.  Since I’m blaming my previous pair for my plantar fasciitis woes, my intention was to avoid using new shoe implants as a crutch and try and develop my foot muscles without assistance.

So, why the change?

First my left ankle was really bothering me, bothering me enough that I was taking a couple of days off between runs to rest it.

I was also reading some of the work of Dr. Burton S. Schuler.  Dr Schuler is a podiatrist of Panama City Fl, and wrote the book Why You Really Hurt: It All Starts In the Foot

He is an expert on Mortons’ Toe (not to be confused with Mortons' Neuroma) and how it cannot only cause foot problems but can cause pains all over the body.

Morton’s Toe is a common foot problem due to excessive pressure under the second metatarsal head cause by the short first metatarsal bone.  For good balance and stability, the foot should contact the ground like a tripod, with the weight evenly spread between the heel and the heads of the first and fifth metatarsals.  When the second metatarsal is too long, its head contacts the ground first and takes the full weight meant for both points at the front of the foot. This gives you a two-point support instead of a three-point support. This is like trying to walking on ice skates. Your ankles become unstable, too easily bending in and out

Morton's Foot creates an instability in the ankle that causes ankle weakness. The feet compensate by turning the toes outward, which turns the ankles inward and flattens the arch. Physical stress from this abnormal posture promotes the development of myofascial trigger points (tiny contraction knots) in the muscles of the lower leg and foot.

Pain referred by these trigger points to the ankles and foot is frequently misdiagnosed as Achilles tendinitis or plantar fasciitis. The tibialis posterior muscle deep in the calf is particularly vulnerable. This muscle is a primary support for the arch. Tibialis posterior trigger points weaken the muscle (and the arch) and send pain to the back of the ankle (and the Achilles tendon).

The soleus muscle of the calf is also affected by ankle instability. Soleus trigger points send sharp pain to the bottom of the heel. Morton’s Foot causes enough dysfunction in the legs and hips that it can be the unsuspected ultimate source of back pain, hip pain, knee pain, neck pain, and even headaches.

To me, this explains my chronically tight calves, hamstrings, lower back issues and even my speed wobble on the treadmill.   So why not try the orthotics with the metatarsal pad.  Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

First of all, the left ankle pain was alleviated.

My balance felt just that little bit better.

And now I’m curious because " Every Body Hurts"


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