Turned Navicular --> back pain

Discussion in 'Ask the Docs' started by Danny D, Sep 7, 2016.

  1. Danny D

    Danny D Barefooters

    Nov 12, 2015
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    Dear docs,

    I'll start with a brief history in the first paragraph then describe the current pressing issue in the second

    A year ago I was a runner/hiker, had a habit of running and hiking in slightly too long and worn out shoes with a conventional drop. I started getting pain in the bones of my ankle after maybe 5-10k of running. I tried to switch to barefoot/minimalist shoes way too fast, ended up suffering from plantar fasciitus and posterior tibilal tendonitus most of last winter, swimming/working out on the mat was my only pain free way of exercising. I thought things were looking better this summer, I was walking 5k happily in Salming running shoes (terrible choice in retrospect, my pair was a tad small and 5mm drop + no flex at arch is bad for walking). In retrospect, it seems that I was not really rolling over the transverse arch, My toes seemed to do this strange wiggle instead of holding the line while walking barefoot.

    A week ago I tried on a pair of dressy shoes which were quite narrow at the front. I went out for a 500m walk but had pain in the right big toe joint most of the way. A day before this I had had pain in the right big toe. During the following days I had a very strange sensation in the longitudinal arch of my right foot where a bone in the middle of the arch (cuneiform or navicular) hurt and seemed to click in and out of place before staying in the 'out' position. The bone in my right arch protrudes slightly, it feels as though the right longitudinal arch has a slight bend in the middle, and is weaker than before. The bone had protruded for a while, but it now feels as though the position is more 'fixed' than before. I must note that the pain was never excruciating, no tissue has broken or torn. My right leg immediately took dominance in my gait, I had a few flashbacks of heel pain and tendon pain. My right transverse arch seemed to spread, and I am currently holding it together with tube bandage. My right hamstring seemed to tighten up a lot. It feels as though my right quad and hamstring are doing less work than they used to, with the right calf and inner thigh doing more than they used to, in addition the left side of my back has hurt over the last few days. I'm not walking much, instead concentrating on working out at home - no back pain today after gently working out for a few hours.

    A doc who I saw reckoned that my right navicular bone has turned over time, as it has, but stated that he doesn't believe that anything significant has happened seeing as there had been no sudden trauma. I, on the other hand, feel as though there has been some kind of massive shift in my body, even my spine seems more curved than it was. I will likely wear a supportive shoe with or without an orthotic for a month while trying to strengthen my feet and core and stretch out the hamstring.

    I would be very grateful for an answer to the following question; was the doc right or can a bone suddenly shift in the arch leading to large changes all over despite no sudden trauma? What should I do next?

    To anyone who is not a doctor, please feel free to link any material - forum posts, literature, whatever - related to what I have described, I found barely any medical literature on the topic.

    Just to specify, I am a barefoot runner at heart only; I tried it, loved it and thoroughly failed at it. I'm posting here because you docs seem so much more professional than the ones I have access to

    #1 Danny D, Sep 7, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2016
  2. Backfixer

    Backfixer Barefooters

    Oct 28, 2012
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    There is more than just a navicular problem here. I am assuming that the foot with the toe problem likely flares out. Typically, with symptoms like this the tibialis posterior, the hallicus longus have alot to do with foot overpronation rather than just a navicular problem.

    Without actually seeing you walk, it is hard to diagnose you, however, a good sports chiropractor who does myofascial release can likely help. My book, Cheating Mother Nature, what you need to know to beat chronic pain can also be a good resource since it will explain why you hurt and give you some understanding of the mechanics behind your pain

    Rarely are problems like this just limited to the foot. Usually it involved the pelvis too, which can explain some of the hamstring issues as well. Hope that helps.

    Dr. C
    Barefoot TJ and Sid like this.

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