Yesterday I visited with my pedorthist. My orthopedic doctor suggested getting my custom orthotics adjusted, because they MAY have played a part in my foot injury.
I walked into the clinic, and my pedorthist took one look at my walking boot and said, “yeow! What happened?” I explained to him about the stress reaction in my navicular bone. He asked what he could do for me, and I explained that the doc at the sports med clinic wanted him to take a look at the orthotic again, and make adjustments, because my foot felt as if there was pressure being placed on my arch; especially after the injury occurred.
He took my shoes and inserts and started to examine them.
“Now how did you hurt your foot?”
“The saturday before this happened, I ran 9.25 miles. I felt great. The next saturday, when this occurred supposedly, I ran 10 miles. Now I felt awesome. I had no pain, and even stood most of the night later on, for a concert. The next morning I could hardly walk.”
“Did the doctor advise you to stop running for good? ”
He turned over the orthotic and then what he said next verified the suspicions. “Well I made this orthotic to help straighten out your big toe, and the metatarsal bones that connect to it. I was not intended for running long distances. The forced straightening of the 1st metatarsal, put pressure on your arch, and even more pressure on that navicular bone.”
“Are you training for an event?”
“Are you trying to run a marathon?”
“Yes I am”
“When you complete this marathon, are you going to stop?”
“Well I dunno. It really depends on how I feel. ”
He grumbled a little. He then took the orthotic and went to his workshop to make me a new one.
When he returned, I tried the orthotic, and it seemed to feel okay. I won’t know until I get out on the pavement and start running again.
Then he sat down, looked me in the eyes and said, “May I be honest with you?”
“Yes”, I replied.
“With your body mechanics, you are taking a gamble with running. People with your body mechanics cannot take the brutal pounding of running and not get hurt. You continue running long distances, you will be in terrible pain when you are in your 60’s. There are joints that can’t be replaced that you are putting stress on. I’m an athletic trainer, and was an athlete when I was younger. I played football, etc, and I am paying for my involvement in sports.”
I explained to him that I am very observant of how my body is reacting to my running. I keep an eye out for any body aches or muscle/soft tissue twinges. I am aware of these things because I know I have a different gait and different body mechanics than other runners. I want to avoid injury. The foot injury was not suspected during my run, and was not caused by running, but by running with this orthotic.
I then asked him what I should be looking out for when I am running that is a tell-tale sign of something that will carry on years down the road.
“Well your body movement in itself is a sign. You must have one hell of a high pain tolerance!”
“It’s not pain tolerance, because there IS NO PAIN. I feel great when I run.”
“Well you are playing a game of Texas Hold’em with running long distance.”
Did this discourage me? No.
Will I stop running? No!
Am I going to keep an eye out for problematic signs or possible injuries? Of course!
However, don’t ever tell me I cannot do something, or make a blanket statement comparing me to people who are physically unable to do sports due to body mechanics similar to mine. They may be “like” me, but they are NOT me.
I will prove you wrong.