I focus mainly on xc marathon, and ride gravel when the trails are wet. I come from MX and have only been racing MTB for two full seasons. I have been battling foot (nerve) pain in the bottom of my foot for a little over a year after beginning structured training. I have been able to manage the issue with stretching and time off the bike when it gets bad.
This winter I was determined to commit to a TR plan and hopefully start 2020 season much stronger. After only a couple weeks of SSB LV my foot flared up real bad so I decided to take some time off. After taking a month off the bike and symptoms not really going away I went to a family doctor. She had no explanation for my symptoms so she sent me to a physical therapist. The PT was fairly confused as well after ruling out Morton’s neuroma and (kind of) plantar fasciitis.
Symptoms: It starts as a warm/burning sensation right behind my smaller toes on my left foot. This usually begins about 20-50 miles in to a ride or an hour into a hard trainer ride. The burning will start radiating throughout my foot and intensifying slowly and eventually almost brings me to tears. (Mostly angry tears.) These symptoms are a broad description due to them being very inconsistent.
Things that help: rest, stretching the calf, massaging the bottom of my foot (by hand or lacrosse ball), icing/massaging calf
The only gains I’ve made so far are that I have an extremely tight left calf. My PT discovered some severe knots in my calf along with some bruising. He tried “dry needling” to relieve the knots on my calf. This gave me instant relief. I did Baxter on the trainer the same night as a test (per his recommendation) and it felt amazing. After that I started over SSB1 LV and went almost 4 weeks with no issues. I continued to do all I could to make sure my calf didn’t tighten up again. (Foam rolling, stretching, trigger point therapy on calf and foot, ice, heat, wearing a plantar facilities brace to bed). At about the 4 week mark the same symptoms came back.
Now I am back to where I started, taking more time off the bike. I’m getting very frustrated because I desperately want to get strong before the season starts and I feel like all the gains I make end up going right down the drain. Does anyone have any new info or advice? I am going to try moving my cleats but I have low hope that it will help.