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642 Views 1 Reply Latest reply: May 1, 2013 11:16 AM by JamesJohnsonLMT
MeganOG Rookie 6 posts since
May 2, 2009
Currently Being Moderated

Apr 29, 2013 5:01 PM

medial/front ankle pain, now strange feeling in toes

Hey all, I'm dealing with an ankle/foot/toe injury that is driving me crazy!  I can't help but think the worst...


I'm a healthy normal weight 29-year-old female, who normally runs 15 miles a week, strength trains, ellipticals, and also started yoga in past few months. After hurting my knee in late Dec and rehabbing on the treadmill and then moving outside (it is possible I overdid it based on my current mileage), I started having some ankle pain in right ankle in early March, right after finishing a 5K.  Went away after a bit so I didnt think much of it, then it came back after another run - kinda felt like shin splints.  At this point, not experiencing pain at rest or other activities.  Went for a run, and front of ankle reallly started hurting and had to stop and walk.  Rested for a week.  Ran a bit, no pain during run, but afterwards.


Its a dull pain on the medial side of ankle (near ankle bone) and sometimes in the front of my ankle.

Most recently, the top of my foot/toes feel weird, cant really describe the feeling.


Pain was near constant, so went to doctor.  Xray on ankle came back clear, and she said the MRI didnt show any issues either.  At doctor's orders, no cardio except for light swimming for past three weeks and I'm in an ankle boot (I do a lot of walking). 


I dont have a diagnosis yet and I'm losing my mind!  Has anyone had ankle pain that later moved into their toes?  It may be worse when pointing and flexing foot.


Thank you!

  • JamesJohnsonLMT Legend 1,291 posts since
    Aug 23, 2009

    I had a weird ankle issue a couple days ago that did not disappear during rest, and it even made ME worry. I decided to face it head on and strode fearlessly throughout the rest of the day, and it disappeared. Weird pains cannot always be solved by plunging through the looking glass, but sometimes they are due to seemingly insignificant things like crouching on the ground for too long, or folding the feet under to kneel to work with objects on the floor, as I had done earlier. In your case, there may have been an extended yoga session that contributed, but your running activity is probably at the heart of some general dysfunction in your lower limb, perhaps in another part of your power train that seems to be distantly related.


    Weird pains that do not correspond to visual data from scans, and sometimes move around, are often "referred" pains coming from the many muscles involved in your movement. Referred pains displace symptoms, the way a ventriloquist "throws" his/her voice. Diagnoses for such pains are sometimes square pegs pounded into a round hole, when nothing else fits, and symptoms alone are used to associate the pain syndrome with an injury that may not actually be present. For example, a "muscle strain" does not have to exist to have muscle pain. Pain from a tendonous attachment described as "tendinitis" is understandable when a tight muscle is pulling on a tendon and won't release 24 hours a day. You don't have to wait for a consolation diagnosis to develop a realistic plan to address the tightness and pain you already have.


    Start by examining the muscles involved in your movements, with respect to their locations, attachments, and actions. Pain may occur when a muscle is flexed, or when it is stretched, either by hand, or by flexion of the muscle on the other side of the joint (a preferred method).


    Use this tool as your guide to location and function:


    When you have figured out which muscles are involved in painful movements, it helps to narrow down where to look for injury or spasm in the muscle. Some times small knots (that can barely be felt) will affect the entire muscle, radiate pain elsewhere, and inhibit the complete function of that and neighboring muscles in the group. Locating these spots and applying targeted pressure can temporarily relieve pain by relaxing the problem tissue. It's always worth a try, because chasing symptoms without hands-on treatment wastes a lot of time and accomplishes little.


    Give it a try, and good luck with your training.

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