The agony of the feet

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by RayAlazzurra, Jan 6, 2013.

  1. RayAlazzurra

    RayAlazzurra Stuck in the Eighties

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    My feet still hurt this morning as a result of a mistake I made while riding back in mid-June. I did not even crash. The day was hot and I knew that when I left the Colorado rockies behind and headed east across Kansas on US36. I stopped a lot to drink water and Gatorade and sat in the AC during fuel stops. I had ridden on days as hot or hotter than this one. I later learned that the day's high was about 118F. I was wearing mesh jacket and pants with leather gloves and boots. I was actually fairly comfortable for much of the day. At around 3:30 PM I had enough and stopped at an air conditioned motel for a nap.

    I awoke at 6:00 PM with a need to urinate. As soon as I stood severe pain radiated from my heels and knocked me back to the bed. What the hell? I hobbled to the toilet on the balls of my feet and peed profusely from all that water earlier in the day. The heel pain slowly subsided and I was able to walk down the block for dinner.

    Every morning since that day has begun with foot pain that slowly gets better. The cause is plantar fasciitis, an inflammation of the feet and heels. The treatment is ice, rest, and various stretching techniques. I had never had a bit of foot pain before that fateful day, and I have not been completely pain free since. I guess the mistake that I made was assuming that I could ride as long as wanted without consequence as long as I remained well hydrated. My feet did not agree.

    I saw a TV program about the crystal caves of Mexico. These caves lie under a mine and are extremely hot and toxic inside. The scientists and photographers who entered the caves limited their time inside to prevent damage to their extremities. Apparently heat will often damage the hands and feet first in the same way that extreme cold causes frostbite damage to the feet and hand first. I did not know this. Had I know I might have worn ventilated boots, or perhaps just quit riding when it got so hot.

    My feet slowly get better. I shall be back on the bike next spring, but my days in the saddle will be a bit shorter.
    #1
  2. Racer111v

    Racer111v Been here awhile

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    I think you will find lots of people here with the same issue I've dealt with it all summer. I've had it from time to time over the years , but never put a name to it until this year. I'm a machinist so I am on my feet all day. I have worn good boots and take care of my feet. When it didn't get better after a few weeks, I started changing everything. I started wearing sneakers more. This helped my heal feel better, but my whole foot was tied now. I wore a brace at night or when I laying on the couch. I stretched them when ever I could. Riding my motorcycles was more comfortable then my car. Last week I went back to my work boots. I'm pretty much back to normal now. I am interested to hear that yours happened after one specific event.
    Good luck on your recovery...:1drink
    #2
  3. blk-betty

    blk-betty bam-a-lam

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    Good luck with the feet....but did talk to your doctor about the cause.

    I know the first onset of pain was just after riding in the heat for an extended period but plantar fascitis is generally the result of overuse activities and poor arch support. Neither of which would occur while riding unless you were standing on your pegs a lot of the time.

    Hope things get better quickly for you.
    #3
  4. dave0

    dave0 Adventurer

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    Yup, plantar fasciitis. I had it bad enough to crawl to the bathroom in the morning. Two things to improve the condition - stretching and good arch support. Stretch everything along the backside - back, hammies, calves, and feet. Get some marbles and move them around with your toes. Do some yoga, it really helps. The arch support will help stretch the plantar while you walk, ride, etc. For the arch support, I use powersteps. kind of pricey, but I don't have any pain in the mornings now. Still need to stretch a bit tho..
    #4
  5. Little Bike

    Little Bike Air/Clutz Sue

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    Had that, really sucks, especially in the morning. Like everybody said stretching is key. I would put the ball of my foot on the front door sill and drop my heel, gives a very good stretch and helped a lot. Lots of good info on the net for how to deal.
    #5
  6. corndog67

    corndog67 Banned

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    Damn, dudes, I've got bone spurs on both heels and I identify with foot pain. And Sympathize.
    I can only wear these expensive Danner work boots or in an hour or two I'm hobbling bad. Dress shoes really screw me up, too. Good luck with those fleets.
    #6
  7. No False Enthusiasm

    No False Enthusiasm a quiet adventurer

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    I have high arches and am prone to faciitis.

    Stretching the calves is an important part of the healing process, but is a difficult stretch to describe. I'll try...

    Facing a wall, place your elbows against it with your feet a full arms width from the wall. With the proper position, you'll be leaning toward the wall. Extend the left leg to the rear while bending the right knee. Stretch the left calf by slowly extending the left heal to the ground. Do not bounce. Hold this position to a ten count, then relax.

    Slide the left toe to just behind the right heal. Bend both knees and extend the left heal to the ground. This second stretch will work on the interior, smaller calf muscle. Hold for a ten count, then relax.

    Perform both stretches on the right calf.

    Repeat for a total of three iterations.

    These should be performed after moderate exercise... not advisable to stretch a cold muscle.

    Here's a video from Runner's World that explains this ailment and offers treatment suggestions.

    ttp://www.runnersworld.com/injury-prevention-recovery/inside-doctors-office-dr-jordan-metzl-plantar-fasciitis

    NFE
    #7
  8. atomicalex

    atomicalex silly aluminum boxes

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    ^ Good stuff. My sis is a PT, so take this with a grain of salt... When doing the arms to the wall stretch, get the toes turned in a bit. For some reason, this focuses the stretch on the ligament better than with feet straight. It is critical not to overstretch - avoiding cold stretching goes a long way to this.

    The stretch with the modified foot position did more for me in a week than months of other assorted stretching.
    #8
  9. NJ-Brett

    NJ-Brett Brett

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    I USED to have the same issues.
    I thought it was heel spurs.
    I broke my ankle and asked the DR about my heel pain, and he said to get some 3/4 inserts for the shoes.
    Thin foam things with a thick arch support, I forget the brand, and after wearing them a few weeks, I did not have any more pain at all.
    The calf stretching helped a little, but not much.

    Its all in those arch tendons....I never would have believed it, I was sure there were bone spurs or something.

    I now slip the inserts in once and a while to prevent the problem.
    #9
  10. gdenn

    gdenn Adventurer

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    I use to suffer also. MY answer after yrs of pain. In my work shoes I bought shoes one size larger. Went to walmart and bought exercise pad thats about 1/2 to 5/8 inch thick and cut out insoles and place in the shoes. They will usually last a couple of weeks then toss them and replace with fresh one. one pad will make several pairs. I did that for about a year and now 5 yrs later still pain free.
    #10
  11. Timbo813

    Timbo813 Adventurer

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    Here is a completely different take on the subject:

    Research the new popular wave of barefoot shoes. I have 3 pairs of the merrell barefoot shoes. These shoes have zero drop (they don't angle down from the heel to the toe) and less support than traditional shoes. They encourage the wearer to put more weight on the ball of the foot. This lets the foot, ankle, achilles, calf, etc work the way it was designed. It also streches the achilles and calf out during your normal activities.

    I am very impressed with these shoes. I no longer have achilles pain (I think I was on my way to serious problems) and they are the most comfortable shoes I own. I can also run much further now without discomfort. But, I will throw out a couple cautions.

    Don't buy these shoes if you intend to keep putting most of the impact weight on your heels. They won't work and your feet will hurt. You need to land with your weight on the ball of your foot when running.

    Work into these slowly. It took me several months of wearing them before I could run without my achilles hurting (only my bad one hurt). Follow the instructions that Merrell gives on their website. If you run in them your calves will be sore at first.

    I recommend starting with these:
    http://www.merrell.com/US/en-US/Product.mvc.aspx/30584M/73613/Mens/Barefoot-Run-Bare-Access-2
    and then working up to something like this:
    http://www.merrell.com/US/en-US/Pro...37/Mens/Barefoot-Run-Trail-Glove?dimensions=0

    The 1st ones have some cushioning and more arch support. The 2nd ones feel almost like you are really barefoot. I wear the 1st pair for basketball and pavement. The 2nd pair is great for running or walking on trails.
    #11
  12. RayAlazzurra

    RayAlazzurra Stuck in the Eighties

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    The doctor thought it was odd also. The symptoms came on suddenly with no warning. I do put a lot of weight on my feet while riding--even on a street bike. I used to anyway... I was wearing fairly cheap Vega boots that had no ventilation, and had no arch support. I'm going to spend the bucks and buy bates fastlane boots and add arch supports if needed. As everyone says stretching is the key. I have good days and bad days, but I can still walk, ride, and even run a bit. I know people without legs so I'm not complaining.

    I really started this thread to see if anyone else had this problem after riding in the heat. 118 F is hot, but I was not exerting myself. People lived where it was hot when there was no AC and seldom suffered tissue damage as far as I know. The thing is odd.
    #12
  13. Midnullarbor

    Midnullarbor Been here awhile

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    .
    You're right, Ray, it does seem very odd indeed for "Plantar Fasciitis" to come on in both feet at exactly the same time.
    Perhaps you have made a discovery (with the hot feet) about some previously unrecognised aspect of "PF".

    Possibly there could be other explanations/diagnoses ~ so keep your mind open.

    The "worse first thing in the morning, or after rest" does certainly sound suggestive . . . but let's hope it is something other than / better than PF, since that condition usually takes umpteen months to disappear entirely.
    The good news is, once fully settled, you are unlikely to get it a second time around.

    The bad news is that most treatments do little for the condition.
    You'll hear a hundred recommendations of treatments, arch supports, and so on, that helped "me" (friends, neighbours, cousins . . . . ) ~ but when you allow for individual differences, enthusiasms, placebo effects, financial interests, mistaken diagnoses, etcetera, etcetera . . . it doesn't amount to even the small hill of beans that could impress a careful skeptic.

    Not surprising that treatments are feeble, since there's very limited scientific understanding of what's going on in PF or other so-called "chronic inflammations" that have minimal actual inflammation present.
    Why is it that Mother Nature doesn't just clear it up in 3 weeks, like with ordinary sprains?

    More info available from Wikipedia [not too bad, really! . . . but skepticism is need about the list of treatments] and "aafp.org" which has a 2005 review of tests of treatments, and comes to the conclusion that: "No evidence strongly supports the effectiveness of any treatment".

    But few of us can resist the temptation to try this or that treatment : so if I were yakking to you over the back fence (and the PF was definite) I'd say try some ibuprofen tablets at breakfast and lunch during the worst days, or when you absolutely have to do a lot of walking that day . . . and otherwise self-treat by gripping & stretching the toes upwards just 5 times twice per day (up to moderate pain level only).
    The ibuprofen won't give you more than 25 - 50% pain relief; and the sole stretches (not calf stretches) will only be a mild help over the longer course.

    Don't spend too much time or money on faddy treatments . . . or perhaps you can do a scientific trial of treatment on only one foot ~ and see which foot gets better faster!

    Remember the old saw : "If it gets better quickly, it wasn't plantar fasciitis."
    .
    #13
  14. corndog67

    corndog67 Banned

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    I went for Xrays. My feet looked like pteradactyl claws, with hooks in the back and in front of the heels. Looks gruesome. But the doc said, they usually only get so bad, then stop getting worse, your shoe holds them and keeps them contained. Or I could get cut on, the podiatrist said they would cut the tendon from the muscle on my calf, and re-attach it where it isn't so tight across the heel, and would grind the spur down. Down for 1-4 months depending on how well I heal. Fuuuuuuuuccccccckkkkk that. I just wear my Danner boots, plus my doc told me to never go barefoot, which I did/do all the time, and always wear shoes where my heel is elevated. It's a pretty consistent pain, not really bad most of the time, just constant.
    #14
  15. NJ-Brett

    NJ-Brett Brett

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    Well, I had x rays, and asked the foot doctor about heel spurs, as I had so much pain, I thought it had to be something sharp in there.
    I also had it in both feet, and it started quite suddenly.
    It got so bad, it was hard to walk, and got worse when I was off my feet for a while.

    The foot doctor told me to get the inserts, the brand to get, and where to get them, and after wearing them a few weeks I was cured 100%.

    The inserts are not expensive, so its worth a try.



    #15
  16. OldPete

    OldPete Be aware

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    Not to be too bold in stating, HyTest Footrest boots n shoes.

    I'm retired, worked 40 years as a diesel mechanic, a lot of it on concrete floors.
    Nothing came close to the HyTest Footrest I wore during the last 15 years.

    A welder friend was a RedWing guy and when he switched to HyTest the podiatrist was a thing of the past.

    Sorry 'bout the spurs and if Danner works all is good. They sure look the business.
    #16
  17. Mambo Dave

    Mambo Dave Backyard Adventurer

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    This is a great topic, and thanks to Ray for teaching me something I wasn't aware could happen (I've alrady had frost-bite across both hands from about mid-way and to the ends of the fingers... but not heat injuries).

    One thing I've wished to see were motorcycle boots (off-road or adventure) that have the well-engineered-in steel-mesh vents forward and rear like some road cycling shoes have.

    I simply don't care if my feet get wet - they do with most boots after a while anyway. I do care that my boots will dry out, and that my feet are dry (or drier) from sweat and comfortable.

    I live in Florida, so all this craziness of water-proof boots and the hot liners can go to heck. Give me boots I can live with for the most common weather and months motorcyclists ride in.
    #17