Happy, happy Friday everyone!
Earlier today, I took Harley for a nice hike, and made peace with the idea that it might be the last challenging hike I go on for a bit, because I have some injury news to share..
In the past week, I’ve had appointments for meeting with a sports medicine doctor, getting an x-ray and an MRI as well, all to figure out what the hell is going on with my foot and calf. You may or may not have read my posts where I’ve talked about my never-ending calf injury – a muscle I tore 3 years ago and have gone to physical therapy at two different facilities in an attempt to fully recover from it, which I haven’t felt like I’ve done thus far.
Last summer, I started to experience some weird foot pain by my big toe. After a general practitioner diagnosed it as plantar fasciitis after having barely looking at it, I took it upon myself to go to a rehab center. Based on my explaining a previous calf tear, talking about the aches and pains, and their telling me that my calf felt super tight, they ruled it to be a calf that is probably still partially torn and we began rehabbing it.
The people at the rehab center believed that my foot pain was just a side-effect of my calf injury. Looking back on it, I wish that we would have run some tests at the time to know for sure, but they said that there’s no point in doing an MRI unless I was considering surgery (which I wasn’t). Rehab there involved a lot of focusing on strengthening my left leg and glutes in general, with little to no emphasis on my foot. My foot pain only started to subside after months of rest, but as soon as I started to integrate more exercise back in, the pain came back. Now don’t get me wrong, I love the people at that rehab center, but I think they missed the mark with my diagnosis a bit because….
Fast forward to last week, and I’m talking with a sports medicine doctor, who wants me to get an x-ray because he’s worried I have a stress fracture in my foot.
Oh jeez, pleasseee let me not have a stress fracture! I’ll be out of commission for too long…
Luckily I didn’t. My MRI test results from a few days ago showed that oddly enough, my calf actually looks fine. The doc said that this isn’t uncommon for people with old injuries that are still bothering them. However, my foot MRI showed that I have sesamoiditis. If you’re wondering, what the the hell is that? – well, so was I.
Why yes, apparently I do. Thank heaven for the Internet, so I could research just what that means. Sesamoiditis is the irration of the sesamoid bones, which are tiny bones within the tendons that run to the big toe. According to foot.com:
Like the kneecap, the sesamoids function as a pulley, increasing the leverage of the tendons controlling the toe. Every time you push off against the toe the sesamoids are involved, and eventually they can become irritated, even fractured. Because the bones are actually within the tendons, sesamoiditis is really a kind of tendinitis – the tendons around the bones become inflamed as well.
Sesamoiditis is common in young people who are highly active – pretty accurate description of myself. To be frank, injuries are just plain annoying and aggravating. I’ve been walking around with sesamoiditis for probably a year, so I’m at least happy that I now actually have a diagnosis for this dull pain I’ve been experiencing.
According to the sports medicine doctor, my foot injury is not related to my calf injury, but I beg to differ. I’ve always had this natural outward stance on only my left leg. So which came first, the weird positioning of my foot/leg that caused my calf tear while running, or did my calf tear cause me to start unconsciously compensating and putting too much pressure on my inner foot, resulting in sesamoiditis? I’ll never know, and I suppose it doesn’t matter at this point.
I acknowledge that a big part of healthy living is listening to your body. While my foot pain has never been enough to sideline me completely from working out – because 1.) I don’t give up easily, 2.) the pain isn’t so bad that I can’t exercise and 3.) being active is just engrained in my lifestyle and is not something I am willing to just stop – I know that I’ll have to make some changes moving forward. The pain started last year as just a nagging ache under my foot, and now it’s turned into pain on the bottom of my foot, the top of my foot near my big toe, and even is kind of tweaking my ankle. I sometimes feel a dull pain when I’m laying in bed or watching TV on the couch, so clearly my body is telling me I need to do something besides icing it post-workout.
I have a hard time taking it easy, and I’m sure that this will be a big part of what the podiatrist tells me when I meet him/her. While I will not comply with completely stopping exercise, I certainly will decrease my activity to allow it to get better. We’ll see what the docs say about how to move forward, but I’m looking at it this way: It could be a lot worse. I’m not in horrible pain, and the scans didn’t show any fracturing of my bones, so I need to just be diligent with allowing it to heal so I can get back to 100%. Unfortunately I feel like it’s going to be hard to get better – I mean how I can I not use my feet a lot on a daily basis?
If you’ve gotten to the end of my long blabbering post, I thank you for reading. Sometimes when something like an annoying injury is taking up a lot of space in my mind, it’s therapeutic for me to write my thoughts down and vent a little. Moving forward I just want to be positive about it and remember that energy follows intention.
To end this post on a good note, I’m sharing a photo that I submitted today on Instagram for a yoga pose challenge that Fit Approach is doing:
I had other photos where my form is better and my head isn’t cut off from the picture like this one (like the photo above, when Harley was finishing her breakfast, thus not in the middle of the picture), but I couldn’t stop smiling at how accurate it is that Harley is 2 feet away from me licking her lips and being funny while I’m trying to take a photo of myself doing a yoga pose. This is how at-home workouts always seem to be with her around, and it cracks me up. Think it’s safe to say that my puppy is attached to her mother!
There might be a lot more low-impact exercise like yoga in my life moving forward. On the bright side, maybe I can improve my poses a lot more. Namaste everyone, enjoy your weekend!