View Full Version : Foot Pain

06-03-2015, 13:16
Hey all. Wanted to tap into this forum's collective knowledge.

On my last few hikes, I've been having this right foot pain which ends up as ankle-ish weakness. The location of the foot pain is the top of the foot where the shin area meets the ankle/foot. It feels like there is a little tendon/ligament there right where the body of the foot meets the lower part of the leg. The pain shows up as an inability to fully extend/retract my foot up and down and pain left and right. When walking and flat surfaces, there is virtually no pain, but when hiking and landing on uneven surfaces (rocks, roots, etc), there is pain and weakness there.

On my last hike through the smokies, the pain/weakness got progressively worse as I did my 4 1/2 section hike. It didn't really slow me down much, but it would cause me to stop once in a while to let it rest for 30 seconds. Not excruciating pain by any means, but very annoying.

After 1 1/2 weeks off, it is still there. There is stiffness/pain with fully extending and retracting my foot up and down, althought it may be getting marginally better.

Anyone have this pain? Know what it is? Any special treatment other than RICE?

I am thinking maybe Extensor Tendonitis is a very strong candidate for this pain, which usually occurs with a poorly fitting shoe. Of course, that may mean I am still looking for a shoe that works. I've long given up looking for the "perfect shoe." I haven't had any luck. I liked my Salomon X Ultra Mid II GTX Hiking Boots - Men's. I thought they were the solution, but maybe not.

Extensor Tendonitis

06-03-2015, 18:22
I am not a doctor. Is it swollen? If after doing RICE for a 11/2 weeks you still have the same pain see a sports doctor. While you wait on your appt. I would try ice massage rather than an ice pack. Remember do not do an ice massage longer than a couple of min. For tendonitis what has helped me immensely is ice massage and not eating nightshades (potatoes,peppers, tomatoes or eggplant for a couple of weeks. But the long and the short of it is see your doc.)

06-03-2015, 20:37
I carried something similar to this for the last 1000 miles on my thru hike last year. It started out as a lower shin splint feeling injury heading into Duncanon, I rested and iced it for 2 days then went back at it making it to Palmerton (about 100 miles later) and it flared up again. I spent another 5 days "rice-ing" it in Palmerton then proceeded on, dropping my speed and mileage. After this I kept it wrapped in an ace bandage all the way to Katahdin. Luckily for me I had the good fortune of having a physical therapist hiking in my bubble so I constantly bombarded her with questions about what I should and shouldn't do. Her best explanation was tendonitis, I considered it low ankle/high foot if that makes any sense, but really ice and rest are your best friend at this point, after that it just comes down to getting used to "walking injured" which is something you see a lot of out there especially towards the end.

One thing I will ask you is do you wear low cut socks? I noticed was that sometimes I could greatly reduce the discomfort depending on how I wrapped my ankles, considering factors such as, how tight, how low you start the wrap, and weather it was wrapped neatly or did it bunch up over the injury. Of course it took hundreds of miles before I started connecting the dots, and in fact after I finished I started suspecting my liner socks as back home I noticed that different types of socks would coincide with flare ups. Maybe switching up shoe types might help, if you were wearing high top boots try running shoes or vice versa. Hopefully you can get it worked out, keep asking questions everywhere you can and get that ankle back to where it belongs!

06-03-2015, 22:18
what Hangfire said is good advice. I've had this identical problem hit me on two separate section hikes, and in both cases it was described as anterior tibialis tendonitis. Described as an "overuse" injury. Pain starts out as typical shin splints in nature, then becomes more localized where top of the arch meets the lower tibia. On a hike last October, it progressed to where it was a stabbing pain all the way into my arch on every step. I taped it up to finish the hike. Ended up doing 4-6 weeks of physical therapy, with ice, TENS, stretching and strengthening exercises. Best advice is once you get over the pain, work on stretching your calves, both lower and upper calf, do the recommended strengthening exercises for your feet too, wear good supportive footwear.

I'm changing my footwear after this tendonitis, and achilles tendonitis have knocked me off the trail on 3 successive section hikes. RICE, and do the calf stretches. good luck

06-05-2015, 11:21
Thanks for the advice all. I didn't get the shin splits it appears some of you got, but otherwise the pain sounds virtually identical. On good news, about 2 weeks post hike, the pain appears to be completely gone. Maybe some residual, but nothing worth even worrying about. Of course I haven't tested it on the trail yet, but at least for every day activity it is fine and I have now complete range of motion without pain.

I have looked into stretching exercises and I will had that to my routine. I appreciate all the help guys.

I am also going to mess with how I tie my boots before I give up on them. I really, really like the fit otherwise.

Just Bill
06-05-2015, 14:00
Give a pair of Altra's a try, it may help some.
I occasionally have the same thing happen. Typically it comes when I tie my laces a bit too tight or wear a pair with a slightly too thin tongue (in terms of padding).
The laces tend to be the trigger for me and I've mostly weeded out the shoe models that cause the pinch.
As an alternative if you love the shoe or get stuck on trail with a pair giving you issues- https://www.altrarunning.com/run-better#TheFit

You'll see two different tricks if you scroll down-
One opens up your forefoot a bit, the other is a lace-lock.
I use a lace lock on almost all my shoes as it allows me to wear a half size bigger than I perhaps should but not get heel slip as a result. I try to keep as much room in my forefoot as possible.
As a result though it can cause the issue you describe, more on my right foot which I think has more to do with being right handed and tending to lead tricky sections with my right foot. Especially in hilly areas as I get a little foot slip and suspect that this upper lace is putting more pressure on my ankle as the shoe slips.

Anywho- point being- when the tounge is too thin or the laces positioned to cause this pain I move the lace lock down one eyelet. (closer to toe)
This tends to relieve the pressure on the top of my foot and reduce the issue if not completely eliminate it.

I mostly use Altras and Merrells now- but each revision, size change and model require a bit different lace up depending on where the eyelets land on my feet. So if you found your almost dream shoe try playing with the laces (or even using different laces entirely) before you give up.