Have you ever had a sore foot? I mean really sore to the point where you can’t walk or put the slightest amount of pressure on it? Sore to the point where it doesn’t just hurt, but it means that you are officially injured. This happened to me recently and while many injuries are the result of some kind of trauma, this foot injury manifested in an odd and unexpected way. The pain was excruciating and obviously, no fun at all.
The origin of the injury
It all started with a new pair of boots, which isn’t all that crazy. Many foot (and back) injuries actually stem from poor or ill fitting footwear. Considering how much time many of us spend on our feet, we should all be wearing footwear that is most comfortable and will promote good posture as well as healthy feet. Taking my own advice last month, I picked up a new pair of Blundstones. I’ve become quite fond of Blundstones over the years for the simple fact that they are durable, lightweight and very comfortable. This new pair though, was a little tight on my right foot and I knew that they were going to take a few weeks to break in, at least.
Fast-forward one week later and I’m at the cinema with my dad. For 90 minutes, we watched the film. In hindsight, I realized that my foot may have been bent in an awkward position while I escaped into the film. Or at least that is the only way that I can explain the stiffness I experienced in my right foot when I stood up after the lights went up. You know the way you might sit on you foot or your leg causing it to fall asleep? You don’t realize you’re doing it until it’s too late. That stiffness that I was experiencing soon gave way to excruciating pain. Within an hour I couldn’t put any pressure on my right foot.
After struggling to get my boot off (the foot had become just swollen enough to create this challenge), I had to deal with the discomfort and pain immediately (I could not put any pressure on the foot, with sensitivity akin to when your foot falls asleep). I turned to the RICE therapy method: Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. This helped greatly although sleeping was a challenge due to the slight throbbing and ongoing sensitivity. By morning I felt better and by the afternoon (24 hours after the initial trauma), I was back to my normal gait.
But, it was too good to be true…
After employing RICE, I had a few days of reprieve before the stiffness and discomfort returned to my foot. I’d feel pain during the night and my foot would be very stiff in the mornings. Clearly, it was time to break out the bug guns:
The next day, I made an appointment with a local physiotherapist which was conveniently located next door to my office. A qualified physiotherapist will be able to pinpoint where your injury lies and be able to prescribe the right exercises, tailored to tour needs.
The first session with my physiotherapist was quite uncomfortable since he had to do a lot of manipulation on my foot just to determine where the injury lay. The muscles were still quite tender so this was a painful experience. After about 45 minutes though, he had found the source of the injury and was able to work out some of the tension. While there was some pain deep in the sole of the foot, he determined that this wasn’t a case of plantar fasciitis. It turned out that the tight boot and awkward positioning of my foot had set off a sort of compression injury beneath the dorsal bones of the foot. The next step would be to follow a set of exercises over the next week.
It actually took just a few more weeks and after a few followup appointments and regular exercise, my foot is now about 98% healed and should be ready for jogging by spring. We’re happy to say the least:)