Heel Spur or Raptor Claw?
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The contents of this post are not intended to be medical advice, merely an opinion based on a real experience. Always consult your physician.
For almost six months, I had been waging war with an unknown foot injury that seemed to be progressively getting worse. There were days and weeks it didn't seem as bad as the others. Then there were obvious days and weeks that left me in severe pain.
I would go back and fourth in my mind, trying to find a reason to explain my state. Maybe it's the long hours of standing at work, maybe it was when I ran from a tropical storm down Blood Mountain. Maybe it was when I first hiked on the Appalachian Trail. Maybe it's those shoes, or because I didn't wear those shoes. Maybe it's all these rocks!
Eventually, I got to the place where my foot didn't just hurt, it throbbed, and the pain was radiating up my calf muscle. My foot would swell and I couldn't seem to alleviate it. It got to the point where I struggled to walk. I had to cancel trips and adventures because I could barely handle walking down the hall in my house.
I would beg my husband to rub my foot, to squeeze and put pressure on it as I yelled out in pain. It was as I so often say, the hurt so good pain. It was unbearable, yet magical at the same time. Whatever it was, I couldn't dance around with it anymore. These two needed their Mama back in action.
It was time to seek the professionals, yucky work foot and a half shaven leg - here we come unplanned X-ray. (What? Ya'll don't sometimes lazily shave your legs?)
This is my foot and that saber-tooth tiger looking claw coming out of my foot is the heel spur who has been living it's best life sprouting out of my heel. There also appeared to be a healed or healing avulsion fracture on the very back of my heel. UGH!
There were many words of warning about not properly treating this issue. I already knew about plantar fasciitis and had suspected that to be the likely culprit. But now, having a wolverine claw in there potentially slicing and dicing the soft tissue I wish to keep intact, this situation now had my full attention.
I was gonna go at this thing pretty aggressively to avoid the cortisone shots and always the last resort, surgery. These two options weren't even options in my book. I had no interest in going down that path and if I could, I would avoid it at all possible. So, here is what I did.
KT Tape - This was first time I ever actually used KT tape on my foot. I had used it on my shoulder and knee which I reserved only for hiking excursions of more than a couple miles. So, I was already a fan before applying it to my foot. Remember, with KT tape you can google video tutorials in regards to apply it.
Get yours here: https://amzn.to/3y6y1EF
Tuli's Heel Cups - These were recommended to me by my Dr. and the pair I have now, he gave to me. While my foot pain didn't completely dissipate by adding these to my shoes, I can say there was an immediate feeling of relief once I added them. Props to the Doc!
Getcha some here: https://amzn.to/3lOFGCu
Brooks Shoes - This was my very first pair of Brooks ever. I personally know so many people who love them, but I just never got around to investing in a pair. Feeling like my options were to invest or be in agony, I decided it was a much easier choice now. I want to be very honest here friends: I never in my life put on a pair of shoes that felt like straight magic. I was like Cinderella at the ball y'all.
I mean when I was younger, I definitely believed with new shoes I could run faster. This was a whole new experience. Usually when getting a new pair of shoes, there is a breaking in period. I did not have this experience. I slipped them on and the relief was almost instant.
I worked three very long days on my feet with them on feeling better than I had felt in months. For all my friends out there hurting with feet issues, if you ask me, this is what I'd suggest. I will note, I have not worn my Tuli's with my Brooks shoes. I use them for shoes that I need extra support in.
Grab your pair: https://amzn.to/3lMEAHk
For hiking, my Solomon Trail runners still do the job. My feet do just fine laced up in those and they were my saving grace when my other shoes were no longer aiding my cause. Just in case you're interested in those, this is the exact pair I have. They are my favorite hiking shoe hands down.
Get some for yourself: https://amzn.to/3rPFTZN
Remember friends, I'm not a doctor. I'm just a gal who loves to adventure and now has a raptor claw. All of this is my perspective, which I am sharing authentically, hoping it helps someone out there. Don't forget stretching, pain medication, ice, etc are also ways to help if you're struggling. Always consult with your doc!
As always, keep it safe, keep it cool, and stay curious.
Any name suggestions for the spur? Leave them below in the comments.