Saturday, December 31, 2016

Dealing With Running Injury (Morton's neuroma)

My marathon training has suffered a few hiccups of late. First, I had a sore ankle, the pain sitting more or less on the top of the foot near the outside of the ankle. A slight roll that I exacerbated by not taking a rest day when I should have. Lesson learned. That subsided with rest. Second, only after the second scheduled run back after the ankle sprain, I felt the popping on the bottom of my foot that has plagued me in the past. I'm fairly certain it's Morton's neuroma, which is nerve damage/inflammation of a nerve that is connected to the third toe.

Symptoms include numbness in the second and third toes when running, as well as a popping in the bottom of the foot on the occasional step taken. The sensation isn't necessarily acute pain, but rather an uncomfortable feeling accompanied by the sense that acute pain will follow if this action is repeated for a prolonged amount of time.

As for treatment there are a few options, one of which is a cortisone shot that I'm intrigued by. I also read about orthotic inserts, massaging, icing, and toe spacing. My intuition tells me that my big toe isn't gripping the ground forcefully enough while I run, nor are my other toes splayed widely for incidental support. I've known this for some time because my eyes-closed balancing practice is much harder to perform on this injured side than the healthy one. I bought some five finger toe socks and am working on splaying my big toe out using a spacer so that it properly aligns with the connecting bone in my foot. I am also getting more aggressive with the pressure I put while massaging now that I am pretty sure this isn't a soft tissue issue. This thread on r/running proved to be useful for anyone with similar pain.

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