As you may know I have had a pain in my left heel for some weeks. After coming back from Iran, I started to feel a slight pain but I thought that I hit a stone while running in the mountains of Tochal. One day it was painful, another it wasn’t. At the end of June I participated to the Kackar Ultra Trail race in the Black Sea region. I ran the 45 km of the course but I didn’t run as expected. Generally speaking I was feeling tired and with every step I was feeling some pain in my heel. After the race, I made a 6-day trekking in the Kackar mountains. While hiking, my heel was not so bad. After the trekking, I thought that the pain will disappear by itself. But suddenly the pain became so strong that I could only run very rarely. I made some research on internet and found some stretching exercises in order to reduce the pain. But unfortunately it didn’t make any relevant difference.
Last week, I had to accept that the pain won’t disappear without any medical treatment and I started to look for a doctor. I left a message on Facebook and sent an e-mail to the Adim Adim charity runners group mailing list asking for some doctor recommendations. I got at least 30 answers. It is really wonderful to have such a solidarity among runners : ) My attention was drawn by some doctors names and I made some research about them. Two people recommended to me Dr. Selim Mugrabi. I got an appointment on Monday and went to him on Tuesday.
Believe me, on the same time I really wanted to go to the doctor, but on the same time I really didn’t want to go. As you may know, I will participate in the Lycian Way Ultra Marathon at the end of September and the last thing I wanted to hear was something like “running is forbidden, you can only swim”. Dr. Selim Mugrabi’s practice is located on the European side of Istanbul in the neighborhood of Fulya and is called “Fulya Foot surgery” (Fulya Ayak Cerrahisi).
Mr. Mugrabi pressed the sole of my foot and made some flexion and extension movements with it and told me that the band of connective tissue that originates from the tiptoes and going to the heel bone (Plantar fascia) became very thick. He checked also immediately the flexibility of my back legs and diagnosed that my hamstrings were too short. I do always think and try to give the idea around me that actually it is like we would only have a single muscle in our bodies because all the muscles are connected to each other’s. So hearing this made me happy. Yes, I have pain in my foot but the source of the problem is somewhere else.
Mr. Mugrabi told me that there are two ways to make the pain disappear: special sole and specific exercises. Since my Plantar fascia is too thick, at the moment it is not able to make its job correctly and the special sole will help out until it heels. Additionally I will have to do every days the special stretching exercises he gave to me.
Two machines are used to take the measurements of the sole: baropedography force plate and treadmill. During two minutes I walked barefoot on the treadmill. Both devices delivered a lot of graphics and pictures (where I step on the floor, how I step on the floor, etc.) The important points for me are that because my right foot was often injured (Achilles tendinitis, 3 times ligament tears while playing volleyball), I put now more strain on my left foot without noticing it. For this reason three years ago I had a stress fracture in my left foot and now I have plantar fasciitis. Human body is amazing. To protect itself, the body is even able to make change in the gait style! Furthermore my “swing phase” considering that I am a runner is too short. It means that I don’t want to stay to long on a single foot because of the pain. Gait analysis is a treasure of information!
Next Tuesday I will pick up my sole. Until then no running but I will continue my normal strength training and no need to say that I will do the stretching exercises given by Dr. Selim Mugrabi. After that I will continue my training for the Lycian Way Ultra Marathon. In 4 weeks, I will again make the gait analysis. Mr. Mugrabi will follow me for some months because recovering from this kind of injury requires a collective action by the athlete and the doctor.
Knock on wood, this is my first running injury in the last three years.