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Wednesday, July 15, 2015
X is for X-Ray
This post was published in a slightly different format on my Writing Space blog as X is for X-Ray. The information in X is for X-Ray pertains to my bicycling life so I am posting it here at Idyllwild as well.
Yeah, I know that writing about X-Rays for day “X” of an A to Z Blogging challenge is predictable because “x-ray” is the first thing people think of when they think of a word starting with X. Thing is, I really do have a reason to write about x-rays because I had two of them taken today. So, even though I was hoping to come up with something really swell for my “X” day it makes more sense for me to write about what is on my mind – and today that’s x-rays of my left heel.
Here’s the deal – I’ve been struggling with ankle and heel pain on and off for, well, about a year now. I haven’t been too worried about it because the pain hasn’t been consistent or that bad. It started out with some muscle discomfort in my left ankle and I found that ankle to be less mobile than the right one. When I first had the pain I figured I hurt it somehow – maybe even from repeatedly clipping out of my left pedal on my bike (I clip out of my left pedal more often than my right because that’s the foot I put down at stop signs and the like). Chiropractic care and stretching/strengthening the ankle helped it somewhat and sometimes I pretty much forgot about the pain.
In the past months, however, the pain has moved from my ankle more into my heel making it hurt to walk. Still, I haven’t thought much about it figuring the pain would go away with time. But it kept getting worse and I found myself limping around quite a bit and in pain more often than not. I’d get sharp stabs of pain in my heel and also had a constant ache. This past weekend I was in so much pain I was even crying.
I don’t like limping and crying and certainly don’t like moving around slower than full speed. I figured I’d better get into the doctor to see if there was something structurally wrong with my foot that was causing the pain so I got myself in to the doctor.
Guess what? There is something wrong. I have a fairly large bone spur on the bottom of my left heel and a smaller one on the back of my heel.
Here's the x-ray of my left heel as well as some helpful red arrows pointing out details
Heel spurs (according to WebMD) are “caused by strains on foot muscles and ligaments, stretching of the plantar fascia, and repeated tearing of the membrane that covers the heel bone.” My theory is that my spurs may have grown because I’ve been doing more aerobic exercise in the past several months and because I’ve been riding my Vaya a lot. My Vaya’s pedals are really hard to clip out of and doing so has been putting a lot of strain on my foot. I didn’t realize how hard it was to clip out of them until I rode my road bike last week. I can clip out of those pedals easily with almost no strain to my ankle (time to make an adjustment to the Vaya’s pedals!) whereas clipping out of the Vaya is always hard.
I’m guessing that the repeated strain on my left ankle and increased impact on the bottom of the foot from aerobic exercise have aggravated things to the heel spur level of ailments. That’s my theory, anyway. I’m no expert. I just know that it’s difficult to walk and I’m in almost constant pain and I’m tired of being in pain. It’s good to know that there’s a reason for the pain, at least, and that the x-rays show no signs of arthritis. In fact, I think my foot bones look pretty nice!
As for what’s next, I’m going to see a podiatrist to see what he has to say.