>Health and Nutrition>lost flexibility in one foot
Hello everyone... just joined this group to see if anyone can help me understand what might be causing a sudden loss of flexibility in one of my feet.
My background: I'm a cyclist, trail runner and occasional street runner - relatively fit and have always been slim with strong "cycling" knees (as a physio once told me). My running pattern is nothing hardcore, just 4-5 mile runs 2-3 times a week for fun. I've been running for about three years now and apart from once spraining an ankle coming down a rocky hill I have never had anything other than minor muscle tweaks to worry about.
However, last week I went for a run after about a week off (for no other reason than schedule) and found that all of a sudden my left foot was not rolling properly. I'm a light heel striker (slowly working toward becoming more of a midfoot striker over time) and I overpronate but I normally have a pretty smooth foot roll, heel to ball. Now, however, my right foot continues to do its normal thing, but my left foot no longer rolls heel to toe. The heel hits then it's "splat" with no roll to the ball of the foot. Obviously this threw all my kinetics off for one leg and cause some muscle soreness, so I laid off running for a week until I felt no more muscle pain and I was walking with a normal foot fall. Then I went running again and same thing happened with my left vs right foot... "splat-roll-splat-roll".
This happens in multiple pairs of shoes, so I've ruled out some shoe problem. I also have no pain of note anywhere in my left leg. Can anyone suggest what has happened? Despite no pain or soreness, my foot is behaving like the muscles/tendons that flex the foot upward are no longer able to support the foot and so just let the foot fall flat instead of rolling it forward. But it's odd that this happened seemingly out of the blue and with no accompanying pain.
When you say your foot goes "splat" do you mean it slaps the floor rather than landing easily and rolling quietly?
My feet will occasionally start slapping rather than landing quietly when my lower legs are cold from too much sitting, or I'm having shin splints for some reason. Shin splints in my case are/were caused by over-pronation (collapsing arches) caused by lack of support in the arches of my shoes and running lots of miles.
Cold legs and resulting slapping of feet is contributed to by low mileage and not running for several days or more at a time. Your mileage is pretty low and you took a week of and then another week off, so my guess is lack of consistency in your running. Do you spend a lot of time sitting at a desk or a computer all day?
Yes, by "splat" I mean the foot slaps the ground rather than rolling smoothly and quietly heel-to-toe. One foot only, though, and with no apparent pain/soreness in that shin. Taking a week off every now and then is normal for me and in that week I'm still usually pretty active (walking or cycling several miles every day is usual).
I did just did a quick exercise -- stood feet together and raised my toes as far off the ground as I could. The toes of my right (normal) foot could be raised several inches higher than those of my left foot, so I can only assume something is going on with the muscles/tendons in my left shin despite feeling no pain or stiffness. It's like a mild form of "foot drop", which I can only assume is due to some inflammation somewhere in my leg that I cannot feel.