Back in August, I was at a convention in a strange town Boston, and through a little imperfect information, I ended up walking a long way– a couple of miles– in penny loafers. When I got ready to run the next morning, I discovered some serious pain under my left heel. So for the next month or so, although I did continue to run about three miles most days, I never spent any more time than absolutely necessary in hard shoes. The pain went away.
Until December. I assumed that the cushioning in my running shoes had expired, and bought new ones. The pain hasn’t vanished, in fact, on some mornings it was pretty painful when I started moving around in the morning. When I was at the orthopedist the other day for a different reason, I asked, on my way out the door, “Any tips for dealing with a stone bruise?” He asked for more details; I told him about the penny loafers. What he said in reply really surprised me.
He said, “Just make sure you really stretch out that calf muscle. It’s connected there.”
I said, “Oh.” Like I say, I was headed out the door, and he was headed in a different direction, so we didn’t have time to talk it to death. He didn’t correct me about calling it a stone bruise. I have since learned that that isn’t what a stone bruise is. A stone bruise affects the metatarsal area, although as a slang term, there is some inherent vagueness. I have classic plantar faciitis.
ANYWAY, the point is: I did the stretching and it really works! I don’t mean that I’m miraculously better, but it sure is a lot lot lot less painful, and I feel like it really will heel (yuck yuck) one day. Because I’m not giving up the puny amount of running I do.