I have not run for almost two weeks, until today. Today, I ran one mile just to see how it would do. The heel pain was present almost from the beginning, but it got better as the run went along. I felt terribly slow and out of shape… and loud. My footstrikes were pretty loud and I could not seem to quite them. Hours later I tried to walk in the mall, and my foot was getting pretty achy. I cut the walk short.
So, obviously, the cortisone shot spoken of in my last post did not work.
I have started to work with a new chiropractor…. My training plan, that I have given up on…. for now, by Greg McMillan, had a note that he recommended seeing a chiropractor who specialized in Active Release Therapy. I did a google search and found an ART website. The site had a place where you could search for a local provider. There was only one in the Antelope Valley – Dr, Rick Duenas. I was already familiar with Dr. Duenas. Several years ago I went to the YMCA for an open house to hand out race flyers. Dr Duenas was there to represent his office. We talked and discovered that he was the husband of a coworker at Hillview and was also my neighbor – just down the street.
Active Release Therapy focuses on finding and “fixing” what they call trigger points. I am sure I have heard this idea or very similar ones before: Clay has spoken of them, the book “Anatomy for Runners” I have recently read described them (or something similar), I recall a PT from Mt SAC discussing them…. The basic idea is that the fibers that make your muscles got knots in them – (scar tissue?) and these knots prevent the muscle from having its regular mobility and strength. Training with muscles that do not have enough mobility or the proper strength cause other issues that runners experience.
If you roll a muscle with a foam roller, a ball, a stick, etc, these knots will be found. Direct pressure on them is very painful. Dr. Duenas had a class where several of us used a roller and a ball to dig around our lower bodies. I found 34 such spots. The right side, was understandably worse than the left. The worst areas were in the calf and in the area of the piriformis.
My job, with some help from the Dr. is to constantly, daily, work on rolling them out. It is a slow painful process. There are a few spots where the pressure actually causes my stomach to become upset. The pressure on the calf causes aching or tingling in the foot.
So, now I have something to work on…..