[UPDATE: this taping worked great all the way to Toni's half marathon! No symptoms at all in training or during the race.
I also moved the laces on her shoes up two sets of holes so the bottom part was not laced and made the toebox looser]
Toni has been training to walk her first half marathon with me in May. She's been pushing the pace to see what it's like to go fast enough to finish under 4 hours.
Recently after a 4 mile walk she started to feel some pain in her right foot. Her assumption was that she needed some better cushioned shoes and she communicated that to me.
So, we went to a store and got some actual running shoes for her.
But she still had problems and this time she told me more...my alarm bells went off.
"Exactly where do you have pain"....answer: right foot, under the little toes. "Would a 'burning sensation' describe this pain?" ...answer "YES!".
I had already googled after the first question and it was as I suspected: Morton's Neuroma (or "MN" for short).
The internet is a wonderful thing. I learned that it's typically between the 3rd and 4th toe and caused by pinching on the nerve. The good news is that unlike almost every other type of injury it's not hurting anything....it's pressure on a nerve so the only thing that's really hurting is your brain 8)
I was able to confirm the problem by pressing on the bottom of her foot in the typical spot and yup, it hurt 8/. I read a lot of forum entries and right away realized that the shoes she has been wearing, while not super narrow, were laced up ultra tight. Jamming the toes together makes MN worse.
So we re-laced the shoes with the bottom 3 holes open..nice loose toe-box now. Next, i read that a lot of people have success by taping the toes. You tape the 4th toe to your pinky toe, and you tape together your 3rd toe with the others.
What you are doing is using the other toes as splints to form a bigger bigger gap between toes 3 and 4. You can kind of see that in the photo of Toni's foot above. I also had her put on a looser sock that wasn't jamming her toes as much.
Off we went for a 2.8 mile walk to test things. Previously she'd had pain showing up now after only a mile or two. ..on this walk, NO PAIN. Yes!
There are some other things we could try but I'm suspecting that the problem is not very pronounced and perhaps just the looser lacing and socks would do the trick. But we'll keep the taping as well for now until we are confident the problem is solved.
On to Tacoma!
My week is going well, wrap up tomorrow!