I had my long awaited appointment today with the sports medicine doctor to find out what is going on with my toe pain. As an update, my last run was 26 days ago, but at that time I was continuing to run in my Vibram FiveFingers. I have been cross training since then (spin, elliptical and strength).
The pain itself is not really even there anymore — as in the past, it fades after I stop running. So here’s the lowdown. The doctor said I have a weak butt. Literally.
He is sending me to physical therapy sessions to strengthen some of my behind muscles — along with pelvic and hip areas. He said my toe problem is not a toe problem at all. It’s a pain that manifested down there as a result of misalignment of my pelvic region.
The technical term is a misalignment of the sacral region — or a pelvic alignment issue. Here’s an article that talks about physical therapy for this area. And if it’s off — as runners — everything goes haywire!
- As I stand now my right hip is higher than the left. Thank goodness my legs are the same length.
- Growing up I did have scoliosis. However, I had it treated at the time and my back realigned as much as possible. However, my spine will never be straight as intended. While the doctor did not say the scoliosis was a definitive cause for my misaligned pelvis, he was not surprised I had it when he saw my hip issues.
- My toe pain is not really a toe pain at all — just my body trying to compensate for the misalignment. The doctor said strength begins in the core and upper body. If there are issues up there they can roll downward, ie. my toe. An X-ray was taken and my toe is healthy. No bone spurs. No degeneration of the tissue.
- He believes by doing physical therapy (stretching and strength) I will get my alignment straight and my running form will be straighter, and going forward, I will have no more pain. He said the physical therapy will work on “side to side” muscles that can become weak, as they are not used much during running.
- He had no professional decision yet on Vibram FiveFingers, barefoot running or stability shoes. He basically said “wear whatever.”
- “OK, so why was my toe hurting?” The doctor said this misalignment probably caused some sesamoiditis. From the very beginning that was my hunch. According to the X-ray, my sesamoids are not broken or inflamed, and being I don’t have the pain now, the condition has likely subsided.
- So basically everything you read about when I went to the free foot clinic. Throw it out.
- I can run. He advised I go back to my 2 miles per week 2x per week and build from there, slowly. Let a new running plan commence.
- Physical therapy starts February 14, and I have a follow up appointment in March.
I hope once I am better I can run again and continuing using the Vibram FiveFingers.