Can You Still Run With Ball of Foot Pain or Morton’s neuroma?

Continuing our theme of superhuman feats, and feets, that we started on Superbowl Sunday, let’s talk about the ultramarathoners.  And specifically the achievements of one ultramarathoner in particular who happens to be a patient of mine, although he may just occupy another universe, after running 100 miles in one race.  It’s the story of a man – let’s call him Kevin, because that’s his name.  And this is his story.

A few years ago Kevin came to see me for pain in the ball of the foot (or a Morton’s neuroma) which had been preventing him from running and was, IMHO, undertreated.  Prior treatments consisted of over-the-counter orthotics and padding which are all good, but may not be enough to effectively treat a Morton’s neuroma in an active young runner.  After a few corticosteroid injections and custom orthotics, and a little time, Kevin was back on the road.  And after resuming training, he eventually ran a 100-mile ultra-marathon in just under 24 hours, and was seen in the office last week after the race with remarkably few effects of the race – just some bruised toenails and mild tendonitis.

Frankly, the treatment he received prior to the race is not miraculous – it’s a common condition and the treatment was very standard.  However, the determination, drive, and guts required to complete a race like that is somewhat miraculous to me, but not to Kevin.  According to Kevin, it’s mostly mental.  Like we discussed after the Superbowl, there are some amazing people out there doing amazing things.  I don’t think I will ever complete a 100 mile race, but who knows?  At one point 1 mile was a great run for me, and now a half marathon is a distance I can handle on any day.  For me a full marathon is real work, for Kevin it’s a small training run.  That’s more than just physical, it’s about attitude, and can be applied not only to the road, but to any other area of life.  What was a great achievement yesterday is just a springboard to the next major accomplishment tomorrow.

So kids, it’s still early in the year, and we have seen some amazing feats (and feets).  Stay positive, keep moving and always look to be a little bit better on your next race and your next tomorrow.  Ok it’s a little parental.  It wouldn’t hurt you to call once in a while either.

See you in the office.

Ernest Isaacson