Monday, February 14, 2005

Training Walk and Doctor Update

So I went to see a podiatrist this morning for my heelspur issues. Now, I'm going to confess that I've been calling it heelspur even though the heelspur is just a symptom of the real problem. That's because most people have a vague idea of what a heelspur is, but if I said I'm suffering from Plantar Fasciitis people would say, "What?"

When I first was diagnosed with Plantar Faciitis I started calling it "Facist Feet" since every time I said "plantar" someone would say, "Ewww, you have warts?" No. Sorry. "Plantar" just means "feet". Faciitis doesn't mean facist, but it sounds like it. The plantar fascia is a muscle thing that pretty much covers your entire foot. One end of it attaches to your heel bone and then it extends across your arch and reaches to your toes. When it gets irritated, usually from repetitive strain, it starts to hurt.

When I first got the condition, the podiatrist I visited gave me a night splint and told me to wear a certain brand of shoes. He also gave me a list of exercises to do. I was deeply suspicious, but to my surprise, the night splint worked and within a few months I was "cured".

Unfortunately, this is not a condition you are ever completely cured from. So it returned, and with a vengeance. My new case wouldn't respond to the night splint, I'd forgotten the exercises, and worst of all I couldn't even wear the splint anymore because it hurt so bad.

So I went to the doctor to find out if there is anything that can help me.

First off, I'm not to stop walking, but I should cut back a little and avoid hills completely. The lower leg pain is probably another symptom of the PF, I need to concentrate on walking normally if I can and do exercises to strengthen the muscle in question and also hamstring stretches. In fact, the lack of stretching before I walk probably caused that pain in the first place. Oops.

As for the PF itself, lots of exercises to work on. The doctor is checking into getting a different night splint for me and possibly a couple of other helper apparatuses. Apparati? In addition, I need to get new inserts for my shoes and probably new shoes too. I shouldn't wear one set of inserts for more than six months, although the shoes themselves may last longer... and I might want to replace the inserts more often since I'll be doing a lot of walking.

So, speaking of walking, I only did a mile yesterday, two less than the schedule. But I couldn't walk through the lower leg pain and was afraid to make it worse. We did spot another fowl at the Bothell trail. I swear, it's practically a farm down there...

I didn't get too close to this guy because of the way he (it?) responded to a cyclist going by. I didn't want to risk agitating it. We did wonder that it was sitting on the cement and not moving, but when we got back from the walk, it was up and moving around.

Again, I didn't get too close, but I got a nice picture anyway.

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