Question for the docs

Discussion in 'Ask the Docs' started by NickW, Jun 27, 2012.

  1. NickW

    NickW Guest

    I've got a question and I know it's against the grain of what most of us on the BRS believe. Is it possible that some of us cannot transition properly to a bf lifestyle? I've been doing mostly bfr for a little over a year (15 months or so) and the last 7-8 months or so I've been dealing with PF (never had this before ever in my life). Nothing from rest to stretching to rolling to trying to find trigger points on my own has helped completely relieve it. It's a temporary solution that sometimes helps, but mostly seems almost like a waste of time.

    The last 4 days or so I've been wearing some old hiking shoes I have because my heels seemed to hurt less in them. Today, I am walking around barefoot in the house with almost no pain in either heel. The last 2 days I've jumped out of bed in the morning (literally because my toddler was crying and I wasn't fully awake to be thinking properly) and didn't have the searing pain that I normally have. Is it possible that maybe my heels are just beat up and need a break? Is it possible that since I've been a shoe wearer for such a long time (30+ years) that my muscles just are not long enough to support a fully barefoot lifestyle?

    I'm really curious to hear what the docs have to say because honestly, I feel better than I have in a long time when wearing these hiking shoes when going anywhere out of the house. Kind of disappoints me but then maybe gives me a glimmer of hope that I can get rid of this pain completely.
     
  2. NickW

    NickW Guest

    Before I get crucified here I should mention I am not saying I am going away from a barefoot or minimalist lifestyle. I am more just wondering if it is beneficial for people like me who seem to be having a harder time than most in transitioning (I have had a ton of injuries in the last little over a year), to maybe have "rest days" so to speak from being barefoot. Would that help alleviate some of the tension and help me with a smoother transition? Seems I am having a harder time than most on here, of course maybe that's just because I am still on here and haven't just simply left like some may have done. I want to do and love barefoot running, that's not the problem.
     
  3. migangelo

    migangelo Chapter Presidents
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    sorry nick, no hope for you and you know why. :p
     

  4. jldeleon

    jldeleon Barefooters
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    I do not know what kind of crack you two are smoking, but if this is the "crucification/torching" thread of which you are referring, you both need to get out more. Otherwise, carry on!
     

  5. NickW

    NickW Guest

    So I guess no Docs are going to try to answer or give their opinion on this.

    Since I wrote this I have bought a pair of New Balance 1400 shoes and inserted an orthotic in them (yes, bad I know although it's just temporary for me till I get this PF cleared up). They seem to be making a huge difference for me and I have been able to run short distances again. What's more is I haven't been in the pain that I was in within a couple hours after a run when barefoot. I've been wearing them all day everyday for the last week. Last night I took them off about an hour before I went to bed and inside of 10 minutes being barefoot in the house the familiar heel pain started coming back. I'm hoping once this gets cleared up that I can start transitioning back to being barefoot/minimalist but am having my doubts as to if I can even do it. I've never had PF before and it had gotten to the point where I would miss lots of training time because of it. It made it miserable just to walk later in the day and made me question why I was even running... Anyhow, I would like to hear your alls (docs please) input and any suggestions or advice. Like I said above I've tried and still do use the foam roller on my lower extremities, do stretches and some yoga, try to find trigger points (I'm not that great at this part), self massage, and recently I've been trying ice baths after a run. Oh I forgot that I also have been trying to do leg exercises in the gym as well as the eccentric heel raise or whatever it's called.
     
  6. Lomad

    Lomad Barefooters
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    Nick, I know you're waiting for a doc to respond, but I'll stir things a little with my progress (since you're about where I was 6 months ago, with a different injury/condition): I started out in "standard drop trainers" plus over the counter orthotics (Sole footbeds) and felt almost instant relief, like you describe. Until I went barefoot; then it would flare again. anyway; I kept running in my shoes/orthotics, building slowly almost as if in my barefoot transition in reverse:). Three months ago I dropped the orthotics and went back to the standard sockliner in the shoes with no ill effects. My discomfort level has stayed at zero. Unless barefoot. I still can't do much more than lounge around the house bare without issues. I've just this week taken the sockliner out and am just using a flat 'odor eaters' type insole to cover stitching in my shoes while I run and so far have had no issues. I even ran a personal best 8.2 miler Wednesday, after a 6.6 mile run Monday. All this to say: there is a bright future for you.

    Here's where the BRS and I may further disconnect, though: As a barefoot runner I heard, more than any other advice, to "listen to your body and do what feels right." Nick, I think your body is telling you something, even if for the short-ish term, and that is that shod is what your body wants/needs. Don't take my word, or Jason's, or Mike's, or Lee's, or Gentile's, or Agile's or any one else's for that matter. Listen to the voice from inside you: your physical body and your soul together will tell you what's best.

    Shod or not, we all have our own path to follow. I'm proof that this community really doesn't care if you're shod or not, as long as you're running, healthy, and happy. They're very welcoming. I credit a lot of my shod running success to 'thinking like a barefoot runner' and recalling all the points that keep my form in check. I think I'd lose some of that if i didn't stay with this community.
     
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  7. Haselsmasher

    Haselsmasher Barefooters
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    I'll offer my $.02 - and it didn't even cost that! :) I'm kind of where you (Nick) and Lomad are: Been trying to true minimalist thing a LONG time (multiple years), did real barefoot in there as well, but the fact of the matter is that when I run in Kinvaras (I don't claim they're minimalist) my foot basically doesn't hurt, but when I run in minimalists (Altra Samson) it does. If I walk all day on my hardwood floors barefoot the heel hurts, but if I wear my Kinvaras during the day it doesn't.

    I'm concluding what is causing this is not my foot, but my calves. The pain is in my heel, but I think the problem is my calf. I believe that my 11+ years of high drop motion control shoes WITH orthotics not only made everything weak, but cause all of the important calf-muscles-that-control-the-foot (Peroneals, Post Tib, etc.) to become VERY tight and not work/glide well. My peroneals are like piano wire, for example. So while I'm running in my Kinvaras, I'm also doing lots of stuff with my calves to get them healthy, strong and moving well again. I believe the heel will clear up once that calf "suspension" is more effective.

    So maybe it's STILL just a question of time and patience for those of us that still can't quite seem to get to real bf/minimalist. I've very slowly, but consistently, been seeing various foot problems fade away as I've done this.

    Jim
     
  8. Barefoot TJ

    Barefoot TJ Administrator
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    I don't think that any of them are ignoring your question, Nick. Sometimes, a thread may just get lost, which is what I believe happened here. Another thing is if the "doc on call" for the week sees a post that has multiple responses to it, he may think the question had already been answered by another doc.
     
  9. jldeleon

    jldeleon Barefooters
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    With regard to that post about slow twitch vs. fast twitch muscles, and how some have more of one than the other, I can't help but wonder if the predominance of one type of muscle makes a difference in how difficult it is for the body to adapt to barefooting.
     

  10. NickW

    NickW Guest

    I didn't really think they were ignoring me TJ. I was just trying to goad someone into a response. :D

    Lomad, I learned the hard way not to run barefoot right now. I was about a mile and a half in when I realized the socks (compression socks) were killing my feet. I stopped and took them off and then figured I would just try bf and see how I would do. Inside of a half mile my heels were killing me and unfortunately I didn't want to stop in front of everyone in the park to put shoes on so I ran the half mile further to put my shoes on in the wooded trail. The next mile and a half was miserable going home. I am going to stick to shod for a while I guess and see how it goes. I can tell I am going to be in quite a lot of pain later on. It was stupid and I should have known better. BTW I am planning once this PF clears up to get rid of the orthotics for a while and then drop into some 4mm drop minshoes and see how I do and then drop down from there if I can. It kills me to say that too because I am looking at a long process here.
     
  11. NickW

    NickW Guest

    I've been wondering about that too Jen. Maybe someone with more knowledge than us can answer that too.
     
  12. kozz

    kozz Barefooters
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    I'm no doctor, but when you run barefoot, do your heels touch the ground?
     
  13. NickW

    NickW Guest

    They just ever so slightly kiss the ground. They never used to when I first started bf. I ran more up on the ball of my foot, or as some people call it, running on the toes.
     
  14. jldeleon

    jldeleon Barefooters
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    Mmmmmm kissing!!! :D
     

  15. kozz

    kozz Barefooters
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    I used to run without my heels touching, or barely letting them touch, for a couple years, when I started speeding up I got pf for a while. I heard from various sources that toe-running could cause that, so I adjusted my form a bit. Before, I allowed my heel to touch with about enough force to crack an egg, and after, about enough force to crush a hard-boiled egg. The pf eased up.

    My hypothesis about the biomechanics of this is that the force absorbed by the heel and leg is still much less than from heel striking, while allowing the heel to touch firmly enough to stabilize the calcaneus and the tendons attached to it greatly reduces lateral stresses on those ligaments, as well as reducing the overall load on them somewhat. That is, if your heel doesn't firmly touch the ground, then the pf and achilles have to exert extra pressure to keep it stable, and in the process they get damaged.

    This is just what I think, as I said, I'm not a doctor, nor trainer, nor orthopedist. I could be wrong.
     
  16. jldeleon

    jldeleon Barefooters
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    This happened to me initially, as well, and there were a couple times when my PF got so bad during runs that I almost had to stop, but my running buddy suggested I lift my feet faster and I did and was always able to resume running. I was also wearing VFFs at that time and once I ditched those I didn't have any more "attacks" of PF while running. Occasionally I feel a slight stretchy feeling coming on in my arch, but that is always caused by trigger points in my arch and once I work out a couple of knots it always goes instantly away.
     

  17. Barefoot Dama

    Barefoot Dama Barefooters
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    You might be into something here Jen, what I have noticed is that when I run fast my heel barely touch the ground but when I run slow it looks like I am landing flat footed and I can definitely feel my heel kissing the ground.
     

  18. NickW

    NickW Guest

    Same here.
     
  19. Dr. Gangemi_SockDoc

    Dr. Gangemi_SockDoc Barefooters

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    I don't know where this thread is at this point but here's a post I wrote about transitioning to barefoot and what it takes (in regards to health) to be able to do so and why some people cannot and never will be able to run, or maybe even walk, barefoot.
    http://sock-doc.com/2012/03/healthy-people-barefoot-people/
     
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