Sunday, August 26, 2012

A New Kind of Pain

I've been in denial.  So what else is new?

For the past couple of months I've had a new pain in my feet.  I'm used to getting toe cramps and cramps in the arch of my foot.  I like to think of these as good pain, as in "No pain, no gain."  I'm giving my feet a workout every day, so of course the muscles are going to be cramped and sore sometimes.  Massage and ice usually take care of these.

But this new pain has worried me.  It's a sharper pain, and it's in the top of the foot.  Initially just in the right foot, but now in both.  I thought it might be from overworking my feet, because I wore my minimal shoes all summer, and walked so much on vacation.  I iced my foot a few times, and wore regular shoes(my old Clarks) for a few days.  It seemed to help.

When the pain returned, I became more concerned.  What if I'm doing some permanent harm to my feet?  What if all this barefoot walking stuff is baloney?

I considered going to the doctor.  I should go to the doctor for a pain I'm worried about, right?  But the podiatrist is the one who told me my feet were hopeless, that I was fated to suffer debilitating hammertoes which would someday require surgery.  She's the one who told me there was nothing I could do to stop it.  So what's she going to tell me?  I can just hear it, "Those silly five finger shoes are not supportive enough.  You need to wear custom orthotic inserts.  And get ready for surgery."  Of course, this is just what I imagine, but really, she doesn't know much about barefoot walking.

Susan, you've gone rogue, remember?  You are NOT willing to give up on these feet.  You're on your own.

So I started paying attention to this pain.  I treated it just like my chronic mid-back pain, and my occasional shoulder pain.  To my morning ritual of yoga stretches and leg exercises, I added icing the top of my foot.  I iced it before bed.  And I took 600 mg of ibuprofen 3 times a day to reduce swelling.  I even added a gentle stretch: while standing, I curl the toes of one foot under and hold it for a count of 30.  And guess what?  The pain is greatly diminished.  Not gone, mind you, but manageable.  And at age 50, that's the best I can hope for, right?

Reminds me of a Louis CK shtick about his ankle when he turned 40. 
Louis CK

I'm going to go ice my foot now.

1 comment:

  1. Appreciate your sharing! I have been suffering from the same kind of pain and I was so helpless because even after visiting few doctors, there is no improvement in my feet pain. I will surely follow your tips because I am so fed up with this feet pain. Hope it helps me too lessening my pain.

    Custom Orthotic Inserts