Minimal shoe issues
I think I'm having problems with minimal shoe wearing but I'm not sure.
I started wearing very lightly padded beach shoes a year ago. I have some foot problems and they go away as long as I'm wearing minimal shoes or barefoot. I am sold on that aspect!
So almost a year of wearing these shoes (not the same pair, but the same style) and a few months ago I started having problems.
First I hurt my tailbone. I didn't have a traumatic injury, just one day it hurt a lot, especially after sitting in the car. It's been getting better but slowly.
Shortly afterward my left hip started hurting, mostly when I'm lying on my side to sleep, so I don't lie on my left. I'm assuming this is related to the tailbone (either triggered by it or it's the same injury).
A few weeks ago my right achilles tendon started giving me problems. I wake up in the morning and it's horribly stiff and takes some walking to loosen up. If I sit too long during the day it also stiffens up.
This week I converted to a standing desk and now my heels are killing me.
It finally occurred to me that all of these *might* be related to minimal shoe wearing. Well, the heel pain of course, but the other things too.
I'm working on finding a better padding for the standing desk. The one I have right now I think isn't working, given how much my heels hurt. (I'm barefoot at the desk standing on a kid's foam mat covered by a plush rug, all of that over a wood floor. I really don't understand why that's not enough. I'm thinking maybe finding a gel mat or something?).
About me - I go back and forth on paleo. Sugar is my nemesis and that's my biggest block, and I go back and forth on dairy, but I haven't eaten grains (on purpose) for two years now.
Right now I'm two weeks into another Whole30 and other than all these aches and pains, I feel awesome and energetic and healthy :D
I'm also overweight, in my 40's and not very active other than walking (just giving all the info). And yes, all of the walking I do in my minimal shoes is on sidewalks, not grass.
If all things were equal I'd just go back to sneakers and see if these issues all cleared up but like I said, I have other foot problems that go away when I go minimal. I wore my sneakers for one day and at the end of that day my feet were killing me.
So any advice or suggestions anyone can give me will be appreciated. Exercises, stretches, diet, more padding? Anyone else have these issues?
For the hips: see a chiropractor. For the heels, you definitely need to move around and give your heels a break periodically. It can take some time before the body can become adjusted to standing without padding for that long. Make sure you can get off your feet for a little while during the day and maybe work up to standing all day in increments.
For the standing desk: You weren't meant to stand in one spot all day any more than you were meant to sit all day. Take more breaks from standing- sitting, laying, walking, kneeling. Anything but standing. Frankly, my analysis of the literature is that standing has little to nothing going for it over sitting, and if it is specifically damaging you... don't do it.
With something like a tailbone injury, it may temporarily make you walk differently to compensate, which can in turn place stress on other areas. Best to go easy till its healed.
I'm not a health professional, but it sounds to me like you have some sort of imbalance. I agree with nameless wonder that a trip to a chiropractor or physical therapist could help.
For your heel pain, it could be plantar fasciitis, which may be helped by working the trigger points in your calves, like this:
[url=http://sock-doc.com/2011/03/205/]Plantar Fasciitis: Heel Pain | Foot Pain | Running Injury[/url]
Thanks! I think a chiropractor would be a good idea. I can't believe I didn't even think of that. This all started with the tailbone. And I literally woke up and it hurt, I didn't fall or anything so I still don't know what caused it. But I bet that's it.
Regarding the standing desk, I'm doing it right :) Not exactly standing still all day long, more like fidgeting, standing on one foot, doing squats, dancing when a good song comes on :D Plus I don't stand here all day. I'm a stay at home mom with kids and while I do spend time on the computer it's already interrupted a lot (in between writing the first post and this one I put in the laundry, did some dishes, went to the store, made my son a snack, then got back on here. That's typical computer use for me). I am definitely moving more with the standing desk. The fidgeting alone is awesome, lol! When I do sit now (at night when I'm tired I convert back to sitting) I have noticed how completely still I am other than my hands. Huge difference.
For today (we have a street fair to go to - lots of walking) I got some gel inserts for the shoes and we'll see if that helps.
Thanks for the ideas.
Sometimes an imbalance needs a more systematic "across the board" stretching. I also wear minimal shoes and found that doing Yoga regularly helped to organize my muscles so that I could stand and walk more naturally. I had very shortened tendons in legs and hips, extremely tight back and neck muscles which were more problematic for me when I went minimal in shoes. The yoga was invaluable in helping correct all of the above. They have great DVDS now for all levels so not expensive either.
When I stand on a pad of some sort my feet will start to hurt, especially my heels. I would try just the rug with no pad, and see how that works. When I used to wear normal shoes I liked those mats, but I think barefoot, or in minimalist if shoes those mats at least for me do a lot more harm than good.
I think it has something to do with your feet staying flexed to keep balanced on a soft surface.
I am working on my fascia. i have Archilles tendon pain and shin splints that are about 20 years old. I had a good conversation with the guy who owns the gym who showed me how to do it,
Get a foam roller and roll the hell out of everything... I don't know the answer to your minimalist shoe question though...
I found the best thing for my archilles pain is this. After so many mornings waking up stiff - this is a godsend... I can't find the link cos I'm at work at the moment but stand on a step with your heel out over the side of the step. Stretch your heel down and hold it, but DO NOT use that same leg to lift your heel back up. Use the other leg to take your weight and return to neutral.
So you are just stretching down with your heel, and back up using the other leg. Apparently this smooths out the little knots or damage in your ligament. I seriously notice improvement the next day after doing this. If you search the forum you will find the link - as I saw it here first...
I started rolling with a rolling pin (that's what I had) after Hurache gal linked me to sock doc and what do you know, it works! It already feels a lot better.
And I also thought that maybe there was too much padding. I did have pain on the bare wood floor which is why I started adding stuff but I think I added too much. I got rid of it all and now am back to bare hardwood and yeah, it's a lot better. I'm still converting back to sitting in the evenings (like now) because of foot pain, but overall I am quite happy with everything :D
Still working on finding a chiropractor.
Thanks for all the advice everyone :)