But let’s get back to those bumps. First bump was a mean case of plantar fasciitis. Or so I thought. I found out later the pain was actually irritation of the tibial nerve, a branch of the sciatic nerve. We actually see this misdiagnosis and consequently, improper treatment, quite often in our practice.
So, what is the difference between Plantar fasciitis and tibial nerve entrapment?
Plantar fasciitis is the micro tearing and subsequent inflammation of the plantar fascia of the foot. It’s difficult to heal because of the pressure exerted from walking. As we sleep the fascia begins to heal, but in the morning when we step out of bed we reinjure the area.
Tibial nerve entrapment/compression is pain in the heel of the foot caused by the tibial nerve which branches off of the Sciatic nerve. It may be caused by structural misalignment or muscle entrapment further up the leg at the knee or hip.
Both cause extreme heel pain and both can cause tightness and pain when walking after being immobile for a while (like sleeping). However, the morning pain is usually (but not always) more intense with Plantar fasciitis pain.
The first inkling I got that I wasn’t dealing with Plantar fasciitis was when Janni worked my low back and sacrum and I could feel my heel burning in the exact location of my issue. Patti stepped in as well and she found there was no lymphatic flow to the entire leg. After she restored fluid movement, my heel would feel better.
On top of these two pros, I also added chiropractice care from Dr. Lynn Carter. After multiple sessions with Patti and Dr. Carter, my heel pain was gone. The structural imbalance was corrected and proper muscle tone and fluid movement had been restored.
Not so fast
Excited about my new-found relief, I decided it was time to start running. I had tried before but had to stop because the pain was too intense. Not 30 seconds out the door, I stepped in a hole and damaged the tendons and ligaments in my ankle. On the very foot we had just heeled. I hopped back to Echo and immediately put ice on my already swollen ankle. Long story short—an MRI showed damage to the two Peroneal tendons on the outside of the ankle as well as overall ankle joint effusion and trauma.
My first thought? How are crutches and an air cast going to fit into my training? In the past, this would be my cue to quit. I’d see it as a “sign” that I shouldn’t be doing this. Not this time. My focus was not on why can’t I, but How can I? (Thank you Coach Andy) With the support of my fabulous team of therapists, lots of icing and taking it slowly, I worked my way back. At first it was only the bike, then I added swimming. Now, only 6 weeks behind schedule, I have slowly added running and am back on track to complete my half. Today’s workout was a 7 mile run on the Suwanee Greenway. And I’m routinely biking three days a week, swimming two days, and running three days. I never thought I would be back on track so quickly. I’m so grateful to my team of healers.
Day by day I am getting closer to my goal. This process has been such a great lesson so far. Success in business and in life requires consistency and being willing to make the hard decisions and painful steps. Every day and in every action I take, I have a choice. I can choose mediocrity or I can choose excellence. I choose excellence.