...My Foot Pain Story

My lifetime of foot pain

Here goes, here is my foot pain story and it starts back in the 1980’s….. It’s a long one, good luck if you manage to get to the end. - The Best Bit is at the END….


When I think about it my foot pain story starts from a very young age, I started having issues in Primary School.


I suffered with verrucas, not one or two…hundreds of the little blighters underneath my big toe, I can still feel the feeling of having them there now 30+ years later…. I had to have them frozen off… luckily that worked and they never returned.


I had a big toe injury, I was called hop along for weeks… I remember it well…  I hit my big toe on the wooden part of the vault, underneath the padded part on the top.  There was blood all over the School Hall Floor, I hadn’t realised until the others started screaming that I was bleeding.  I must have a high pain threshold because I hadn’t realised how bad it was.  I was bandaged for weeks, severely bruised and nearly lost my big toe nail.  I did damage the nail, it grows with cracks in it.


In Secondary School, I suffered with athletes foot and an in-growing toe nail - not really relevant hahaha I just thought you might like to know ;-)


Then apart from Sunday mornings sore balls (sometimes Monday too) from wearing heels on a Saturday night out, I was OK foot wise. 


Fast forward a few years and I fell pregnant in 2003 at aged 27, and had my daughter in 2004, fell pregnant again in 2004 at aged 28, and had my son in 2005 aged 29.  Yep it’s all a bit of a blurrrr - I was still teaching my aerobics classes throughout my pregnancies (I was pregnant NOT ill) I returned to teaching 6months after having my daughter and 5months after having my son.  I was self-employed and couldn’t afford to stay home with my babies, and teaching classes although physically demanding its not an 8 hour shift, it was a couple of hours each day, usually an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening.


My Feet Grew A Whole Shoe Size In Pregnancy


But I came out of pregnancies with feet a whole size bigger than when I went in… from a UK 6 to a UK 7 and the arch on my feet disappeared… I am not flat footed, just had no arch.  I didn’t think much of it, it happened to my sister too and other friends of ours - so we just assumed it was normal.


I am working on getting them back to a UK 6, and my arch is back…Yes!!!! My feet are reacting to the exercises I give them, and adapting to the conditions I am placing them in.  It works ladies - it really does.  


Since the pregnancies I have suffered with plantar fasciitis, due to all the jumping around in my classes, year in year out… I was tough on my feet, even though I had the best trainers for IMPACT.  I had to walk down the stairs sideways - like a crab most mornings… Well, thats how I imagine a crab to walk downstairs, if they chose to.


I have not had PF since I hung up my trainers and gave up teaching hi impact classes in 2015.  This was due to a car crash I had in 2014 and suffered severe whiplash and this resulted in 5 years of chronic back pain, I still get stiffness in my Sacro-Illiac joint but its nothing compared to what it was, I don’t need to take pain killers for it anymore. Click here to read How Can I Stop Plantar Fasciitis Coming Back 


I have had Achillies Tendonitis, pain down the back of your heel - tight calfs being the culprit again….


This Fitness Instructor life doesn’t come without its injuries. ( I have had more but I can tell you about that another time)


Are you still with me?


Because the best bit is yet to come… haha


How I ended up in a cast and on crutches


This is the best bit… Are you ready?


Back in 2012 I gradually started getting foot pain on the inside of my left foot just a little bit below my ankle bone, there was a lump there that wasn’t on my right foot, and it was getting more sore but I carried on.


It hurt more after teaching classes, especially Aqua on the hard poolside - there is not much give or bounce in flooring tiles - the swelling around the lump wasn’t going at all.  


So I went to A&E on a Friday afternoon, after an Aqua class because the pain was pretty acute by then, and someone said I should probably get it checked out.


So I was x-rayed…and before I knew it I was being wrapped up in a non-weight bearing cast, given crutches and told not to put any weight through my foot because it was fractured….whhhhhhooooaaaaaa - I was not expecting this.


I had my daughters 4th birthday party on the Saturday, with lots of other small children coming… this was not good timing.  - We managed, all the other mums pulled together whilst I watched.


I had a new found respect for people on crutches - it kills your arms and hands.


I had fracture clinic on the Monday - where you speak to a consultant and discuss the results of the x-ray, I also had a CT Scan to have a proper look about.  


Well, it turns out - I didn’t have a fracture (thank goodness - be gone awful crutches) 


But I am special….


…Because I have extra bones in my left foot, these extra bones attach to ‘normal’ bones and create EXTRA joints. I had damaged the tissue between this joint causing the pain.  The Term is Accessory Navicular - Meaning an additional navicular bone… 


Everyone has a Navicular bone - I have an extra one.  


There is also extra bones on the outside of my foot near my little toe too - FYI hahaha 


My right foot doesn’t display the same lump.


So the cast was taken off, I was given a space boot to wear for two weeks, no jumping around or driving (this made the pain worse too)   Slowly it improved and now it only aches a bit, nothing to complain about.


As you can see I have come through a few foot pain issues in my years, but there is light at the end of the tunnel, you will get through this.


I am now barefoot most of the time, wearing barefoot/minimalist shoes when I have to wear a shoe.  I haven’t worn a pair of heels since my wedding in February 2019.  Any positive heel on a shoe/boot causes me back pain… So I don’t bother. 


My husband is also barefoot and minimalist shoe wearing - but is transitioning to barefoot trail running - how cool is that? Why is Improving Your Foot Health So Important?


My goal - is to be able to walk on a pebbled beach barefoot, and not have any pain - and strengthen my feet back to their original shoe size.  


To find out more about why your foot health is so important

 Click Here


Well that was interesting, I’d forgotten a great deal of that. 
Your feet have been through a lot! 
Thank you! 

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Hi Mum, yes they have haven't they - no foot pain now though x

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You’ve been through a lot of pain, so with this experience you’re able to help us improve. 

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Thank you Barbara, yes it's been a long journey for sure - no foot pain now though x

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That was a fascinating read, Nicola. I hadn't realised humans can get navicular disease; I thought it was only horses - in whom it often results in permanent lameness!

Can you tell me why all the 'expert' and highly qualified podiatrists etc, prescribe supportive insoles and padded trainers? Are they simply misguided, and if so why are treatments that are not beneficial supported by the NHS? Or is it an evil conspiracy with manufacturers to sell more Product? 

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Hi Miranda

Yes humans can have Accessory Navicular Syndrome - I had it. 

I answer to your other questions about the other 'experts' in my opinion they are treating the symptoms and not addressing  the cause.  Their treatments relieve the immediate pain, and you get sent on your way, until you need them again.  I suppose it's more of a reactive approach to pain, whereas I address the cause,  reducing the immediate pain because the symptoms are minimised straight away.  

Most foot pain whatever the diagnosis has a cause - identify the cause and the foot pain goes away, keep improving your foot health and that keeps foot pain away, no need for return trips to the experts. Proactive approach to foot pain relief.

Yes I feel there is a financial aspect to the prescription of orthotics and specific shoes, maybe more in other counties than the UK.  

Our bodies are amazing and are designed to work perfectly without external support, our feet are no exception to this.  For thousands of years they have worked perfectly for millions of people, without shoes.

The invention of shoes, with cushioning, support, arch support, thick soles, stiff soles, a heel lift and narrow toe boxes - have destroyed the natural function of our feet making them stiff, weak and squished (technical term there haha)

So treating foot pain with additional heel lift, cushioning and restricting movement only helps the symptoms - it doesn't strengthen the feet, or make them more flexible, give the joints room to move - and every joint in our body is designed to move, muscles have to be long, strong and taut to be functioning at their optimum efficiency.

I hope this helps you understand what I do thats different from other experts.  I specialise in Foot Health and don't claim to be an expert, I have a long career in health, movement, biomechanics & fitness and every body part will work better, if all the moving parts can work as they are designed.  Foot health impacts everything thats going on above, and has been the missing link in the industry... Until now :-) 

Thank you for you comment, thank you for joining ...from the feet up it's great to have you in the group.

Take Care

Nikki x

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