So, last Friday I drove to meet my friend for supper, and because London is currently a hot, sticky, sweaty hell hole, I had selected flipflops as my footwear, and because I get worried about them jamming under my pedals in the car, I kicked them off and drove barefoot.
I’ve done it before, I quite like it. I like how much more sensitive I can be.
There was a fair amount of traffic, a lot of stop-start, a lot of clutch control needed. Half way to my destination, my left foot began to feel a little sore where the clutch was springing back up into the ball of my foot.
Reluctantly, I chose an opportune moment to stop and put some trainers on, continued driving and thought nothing of it.
Then three days later, I donned my beloved riding boots (Mountain Horse Mountain Riders, if you care) and stomped around in them at the yard for a bit, rode a horse for a bit, and thought “My foot sort of hurts. Oh well.”
I had a bruised sort of pain in the arch of my foot. The next day, the pain was vastly worse, and on the sole of my foot, I had a hard, hot bump where something was obviously wrong. Weight-bearing was painful. Shoes were out of the question.
I applied some of my physio training and also some Google searching, and reached the conclusion that I had managed to tear my plantar fascia whilst driving with no shoes on.
If the foot bones were a bow, the plantar fascia is the bowstring that maintains the tension in the bow that makes it strong and powerful. I had bent my bow in a strange way, and applied compression to the bowstring, and the bowstring had torn. Not fully, probably just partially, but nonetheless, it is very painful.
Plantar fascia is ligamentous, which means it doesn’t have a very rich blood supply – this is why it’s just reddened and not bruised. A torn muscle will bruise, as muscles have a rich blood supply. Muscles heal quickly, because they have a ready source of nutrients and other good things that help repair the damage. Ligaments heal slowly, because they don’t have such a good supply.
I’m looking at 4-6 weeks recovery time. The best I can do at the moment is ice, gentle stretching, and rest. It’s boring, and it’s very painful. I don’t recommend it.
Drive with shoes on, people. Unless you have an automatic.