Running barefootRunning on the beach can be a lot of fun, at least for some. A couple of weeks ago I was in Florida on vacation with my family. My oldest daughter and I decided to go for a run on the beach. I typically run around the neighborhood in my Vibram FiveFinger shoes, so I figured a barefoot run on the beach would be perfect. We were about 1.5 miles into the run when I felt a pain on the bottom of my foot. The pain felt sharp like I was cut by something. When I looked at the bottom of my foot, I noticed a small circular cut. It resembled more of a blister than a cut, but it hurt considerably when I walked.

Over the next few days I had extreme difficulty walking in sand or in shoes. At first I thought the pain was related to the cut, but after a day I noticed the entire arch of my foot was painful. Originally I thought my gait had changed to reflect the pain from the cut, but in actuality I was feeling a tendonitis or symptoms of plantar fascitis.

Here’s where the dilemma began. I needed to perform soft tissue work on the bottom of my foot and calf. Running injuries such as these cause tightness in the bottom of the foot as well as the calf. I started my calf stretches, but could not work on the bottom of my foot until the cut healed. After a couple more days I noticed the cut starting to heal, but still too painful to massage the bottom of my foot. I used a frozen water bottle on the bottom of my foot to help decrease the inflammation and soothe the pain.

Fast forward a week and finally I was able to walk with much less pain. I then started to dig my thumb into the tendons and fascia on the bottom of my foot to increase blood flow and decrease tension. After a couple of days of self treatments, I was ready for a professional. I had a massage roughly 10 days after the initial injury. The massage focused primarily on my calves and then the bottom of my foot. I haven’t returned to running or walking just yet, but it is on my list of things to do for this week.

So here’s a recap of what running on the beach did to me:

  • Aerobic exercise and a feeling of bliss, happiness, and peace
  • Followed by sudden unexpected pain
  • Severe foot pain and tightness in my calf for several days
  • Change in gait and increased back pain
  • Two weeks of no running

If I had to go back and do it all over again, I would. Pain is only temporary and it can be healed if using the proper treatment protocol. I had chiropractic adjustments on my back, massage and soft tissue work on my foot and calf, followed by meditation to get my body into a relaxed healing state. Plus, we had a very amazing surprise as we walked back the last part of the run. Had I not got injured we would have missed this little guy:

Baby sea turtle

It is so amazing to see God’s creations doing what they were destined to do. This little baby sea turtle hatched earlier that morning and made his way to the water. It was so incredible to watch him speed toward the waves. Then to see him bravely fight the first several rows of waves trying to reach the deep blue. And to finally watch him swim away knowing he was going exactly where God had intended he go.

Dr Spencer Charlet
Chiropractic in Mooresville, NC