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Active Expert: Gale Bernhardt

2 Posts tagged with the medial_malleolus_pain tag

In previous blog, I wrote about my prominent medial malleous bone. I thought I’d give you an update and post a photo so it is easier to actually see the issue. The first photo is my left foot in a normal position. You will notice that the ankle bone on the right side of the photograph sticks beyond the rest of the foot.




What happens when my I am trying to apply pressure to edge my ski, that ankle bone takes a good deal of pressure because it sticks out so far.


On deck at masters swimming, I began to look at other people’s feet. In a very limited survey, I didn’t see any other medial malleous bones that protrude as far as mine do. I also noticed that the other wet footprints on the pool deck had arch marks.


My feet are flat. Flat as flat can be. They’ve been this way my entire life and luckily I’ve never had any problems running.


Below is a photo of what my medial malleous bone would look like if I arch my foot, where an arch would be if I had one. Notice how an arch pulls that ankle bone in and makes it less prominent.




In the comment section of the previous blog, I was advised to put my Nordic boot in boiling water and insert an object into the boot to hold it open while the plastic boot shell cooled. I went skate skiing last weekend and this change did take some of the pressure off of that bone. 


It was also recommended that I try Super Feet, an over-the-counter arch support. The intention was for the arch support to make it easier for me to edge the ski and to make that ankle bone less prominent. Though I do use Super Feet in the shoes I wear for strength training and my around-the-house shoes, they did not work in my Nordic boots. After about five minutes of skiing my arch, or would-be arch, was in a lot of pain. I think there is just too much arch for the amount of action that my foot sees in skiing.


I think I’m close to a pain-free solution, or combination of solutions. As my progress continues, I’ll keep you posted.

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Some of you might be thinking that a good frosted donut can solve many pain issues.


Others might be thinking about the pink, frosted kind of ankle donuts – like the ones offered by SockGuy…


Ankle donut.jpg



No, I was searching for a donut-shaped piece of foam to protect my prominent medial malleolus bone (the ankle bone that is just above the arch of your foot) during Nordic skiing.


I used to get medial malleolus pain after downhill skiing, but I hadn’t really noticed it during Nordic skiing until recently. Those of you that have had pain in this area know it makes proper skiing form impossible.


In an effort to protect the bone from pressure and friction from my boot, I went looking for ankle donuts. There is one company out of Steamboat Springs, Colorado (Ski Trends) that makes ankle donuts so I picked up a pair at the local ski shop.


It turns out that the donuts didn’t solve my particular problem.


After taking a break from skiing, I decided to try solving the problem with a combination of fixes I’ve learned through working with ultra-runners. The first thing I tried was to cover both medial malleolus bones with moleskin. That solution bought me a little more time skiing, but didn’t completely resolve the problem.


The second fix I tried was to put moleskin over both medial malleolus bones, then wear a knee-high nylon, followed by my ski sock. This solution offered padding for the bone and helped dissipate some of the friction. This solution did allow me to ski about twice as long without pain; but I still had noticeable ankle pain after skiing.


I’m still in search of a solution that completely solves the problem. When I find it, I’ll let you know.


In the mean time, I may have to test the theory that a good frosted donut can solve many pain issues...

3,014 Views 4 Comments Permalink Tags: nordic_skiing, medial_malleolus_pain