Tell a runner she has nodules on the bottom of her feet at her arches and the first thing she does is FREAK-OUT! Then she tries to massage the nodules out like she does all other perceived “pressure points” in her body to end up having two more pop up. Add to the frustration that the only time they hurt are when her feet are being massaged. Ummm, yeah, it was time for me to go get some answers about what the heck was going on with my feet!
So a great friend helped me get into see a new Orthopedist in town, Dr. Frerichs with North Florida Sports Medicine and Orthopaedic Center and I had my appointment this morning.
The first thing they had me do was take a series of X-rays of my feet for the doctor to see what may be going on with my feet (I couldn’t help but to snap this super cool photo of both of my feet before they took it off the screen). This took all of about 15 minutes or less and then I was moved to a room where I met with Dr. Frerichs. A young doctor with an awesome bedside manner. He looked through my X-rays and then listed as I explained my nodule issue and then told me that I had a very common diagnosis, which is Plantar Fibroma. Normally this occurs in people who suffer from Plantar Fasciitis, he told me, but in looking at my X-rays, it appeared that I did not have any signs of that. He checked out my heels in the X-rays to make sure there were no bone spurs and then said, “great X-rays, you have the feet of an 18-year-old!” (Oh if only my body still felt like an 18-year-old!) AND he also told me that I have NO SIGNS of my Rheumatoid Arthritis in my feet, which was a HUGE relief for me because it is always in the back of my mind. RA in your lower extremities is not a good thing!
The cause, well he was uncertain of what exactly may have caused my Plantar Fibroma to form bilaterally in my feet, but most commonly it is from little tears healing themselves. I loved that he didn’t try to just give me some answer and that he listened to all the comments I was able to give him. I informed him that I noticed the first nodule after changing my foot strike during running to try to be more efficient and while he did not confirm that was the cause, he did say it could be possible especially since it did not form until I made that form change.
Treatment options for me is simple, don’t try to massage the nodules away and if they begin to grow consider coming back in for orthotics for your running shoes. If they become painful then they can be treated with steroid injections. BUT the thing I loved most about their office was the complete honesty of treatment. The “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality was awesome. I got the answers I wanted and also future treatment options for down the road if I need them.
For many runners we find ourselves afraid of going to the doctor or specialist for answers because we may be sidelined from the sport(s) we love so much, but the piece of mind I received this morning was worth every second I spent there and not the months that I did not go because I was so worried! With that said, I urge you to get yourself checked out even if you think that your issue is minor. For me, it’s something that I can attempt to get under control and stop growth with morning/evening stretches. I had an idea from looking up “knots in the arch of your foot” and seeing the images that seemed to resemble what I felt on my foot, but I could not be sure until I got it checked out.
Happy Running! Wishing you Happy Miles and Swift Feet! xo