Foot woes (Read 1373 times)


    I know I should probably knuckle down and see the doctor, but they've been really unhelpful in the past with sports-related things (their advice is always 'stop'), so I'm trying to exhaust all my other resources first.


    Whenever I go further than, say, two miles (running OR walking), I get intense pain along the outside of my left midfoot, about the high point of the outside arch.


    I'd initially thought that it was a tendon problem (particularly since there was a period when it was happening at much, much shorter distances than 2 miles, like walking around a store), and duly quit running for several months. However, 5 months on, there doesn't seem to be much of a change.


    I have highish arches and tend to oversupinate a bit. If all my weight is on my toes or my heels, it doesn't hurt, but obviously that's an extreme way to run (and I don't much like the idea of running stairs the rest of my life!).


    Any ideas? I really miss running, both mentally and in all the weight I've put back on.

      [Disclaimer -- I run barefoot. I only run barefoot. Tried running in running shoes, but didn't like it. Tried minimalist shoes; like barefoot more]


      In the barefoot community, it's common for new barefooters to have what's described as 'top of the foot pain', which sounds similar to what you're describing. I had it alternatively in each foot. I thought I had given myself a stress-fracture. I had my foot X-rayed on a fancy new hi-res machine, but no fracture was found.

      I eventually determined that I was taking too much of the weight of my body on the 3/4/5th metatasal (pad of foot behind the toes). Once I focused on taking the weight of my body on the ball of my foot, the pain went away. I'm 6'1", 230 lbs, and 37, and I'm now running 10-15 miles a week barefoot, with no pain.


      You can experiment both in shoes and without to see where you're loading up your foot. Wear an old pair of socks and go for a mile without shoes...you'll figure out pretty quickly where you're loading weight onto your foot. If you can learn to load weight on the ball of your foot without the shoes, try running the same way in the shoes. 


      As for doctors...they usually tell me I'm crazy. All internists will probably tell you to stop. My guess is podiatrists will too. You probably need a running specialist. If you're near Baltimore, there's an MD named Irene Davis who studies running. There's an MD in West Virginia who is a runner, both barefoot and shod. Might be worth searching city-specific forums for a recommendation of a doctor that won't have the 'stop' reaction.

      good luck 

      sincerely silly

        I was about to post about a similar/perhaps the same pain!  Left foot too. :-)  Outside edge.  No idea what the outside arch is though. :-) Is that around where the metatarsal connects?


        I had a good ortho referred to me by another athlete, who by chance is convenient AND covered in my insurance plan without a referral.  So maybe ask around?  He likes to keep people active as much as possible...when I had really bad shin splints that got to the point where they felt like stress fractures (hurt to the touch in localized areas) I went to this guy and instead of condemning me to total rest, he told me to reduce my "overall mileage" which included walking to run errands.  I mean, obviously, I still had to cut down a lot of the normal impact sports but I got to keep soccer, giving up running and the occasional tennis game, all while following doctor's orders. :-) And they healed. 

        shin splints are my nemesis


          For the outer foot pain that you two are dealing with, is it in the area of the peroneal tendon?





          I dealt with peroneal tendonitis last year and felt pain in the same area, as depicted in the picture above (outside middle of foot).  I was able to overcome it by using The Stick and/or foam roller on the side of the upper-calf area (also the peroneal tendon, I believe), where there were several knots.


          Peroneal Calf


          If you use a foam roller, prop yourself up on your elbow as you would for IT band rolling and roll from top of ankle to just below the knee.


          I hope this helps.  Keep in mind that pain in this area may be the result of a bigger problem.  In my case, I was relying too much on my outer foot during each stride due to some problems in my 1 and 2 metatarsals.  My 3/4/5 were doing too much work and I'm still trying to work through this 12 months later... 

          sincerely silly

            Thanks for the calf massage tip, djtaylor!  I do think it is that tendon (I remember looking it up on some searches a few days ago) but I guess I didn't know what to do about it. :-) I do think I also rely on the outside of my foot...overcompensating for some arch pain I had in the past. 


            I also think having crooked legs and having my second toe being longer than my big toe has sort of confused my running/walking form for life.  Slighty. :-)

            shin splints are my nemesis


              I guess it could be the peroneal tendons, but my ankles don't hurt at all, I only have pain in the foot. I also quit running for about 5 months to see if it would clear up, and, well, it hasn't. I didn't run a step for 3-4 months, and the couple of times I've gone back out since have had me hurting again.


              I tried going barefoot for kicks, but that just led to me basically toe-running. (I don't mean a toe-strike, my heels weren't even touching the ground on most steps).

                I suffered through what I thought was peroneal tendonitis for over a year -- sounded EXACTLY like what you're describing.  It hurt right about where the tip of the lower arrow is in that diagram -- right at the edge of the outside of my foot, under the prominent ankle bone. I also have a similar foot type - high arches, tendency to oversupinate.  I finally found out after two rounds of PT, x-rays, an MRI, a dynamic ultrasound, and innumerable visits to podiatrists, chiropractors, massage therapists and an orthopedic surgeon, that I had torn my peroneal tendon right in that spot where it hurt. I had it surgically repaired three months ago & should be cleared to go back to running next week. PM if you'd like to hear more.