You’re not my doctor, blah blah…
A bit more than two months back, thanks to my #@#% neighbors who couldn’t be arsed to shovel their sidewalks for most of the winter, which meant that if I wanted to go farther than half a block from home I was skating and my feet would slide around sideways at odd angles, I injured the muscles across the top of my left foot. For placement, these muscles would hurt when I pointed my foot, and would hurt more if I pointed my foot and flexed my toes (like in walking on tip-toes, only at a more extreme angle).
Way back then, I thought it was a fairly typical over-use kind of soreness, so I stopped running for 5 days, and afterward ran carefully with my foot and ankle in a bandage to keep my foot/ankle from moving around too much, and iced daily. This seemed to work fine, and I was steadily improving, until 6 weeks ago. I went for a run, foot wrapped, which felt fine until two hours later when I couldn’t move my foot again.
So, at that point, I stopped exercising completely for two and a half weeks (which made me miserable because exercise is the only thing that controls the pain in my shoulder), kept it wrapped, and iced it every day. In that time, it healed progressively in stages: it would stay pretty much the same for most of a week, then overnight would suddenly hurt a lot less, repeat about two times. The last time, at the end of two and a half weeks, I woke up and it was almost, but not quite, painless.
The problem is, it’s stayed exactly like this for the last three weeks. In the morning it barely hurts or doesn’t hurt at all. By evening, it’s slightly sore again, since I can’t avoid walking completely. I have been biking for shorter periods of time, rather than running, which I don’t even do every day. I am, obviously, reluctant to just start running again (although I really want to), because I don’t want to re-injure it and start all over from the beginning again.
Yes, I understand that muscle/tendon strains take a long time to heal, but most figures I’ve seen say complete healing in four to six weeks.
So, what now? I’m still icing daily, sometimes twice a day. It was nice yesterday, and I’ve been shorting myself on exercise because of this, so I went for a longer bike ride, which made it a bit more sore than usual. Is it time to see a doctor? Can a doctor do anything except tell me to do what I’m already doing? Do I need to stop exercising completely until it completely heals? I still can’t avoid walking entirely – I have to leave the house on occasion.
And if anyone can come up with a form of aerobic exercise that doesn’t involve the use of my foot, let me know. I’ve tried doing calisthenics, but it’s just not enough to deal with my shoulder or keep me from gaining weight. For the record, I had over-use injuries in my ankles last summer (the soft tissue on either side of the Achilles tendon), which healed fine just by switching to biking for a month, so I’m pretty weirded out that I’m still having problems.