Vibram and Veggie Runner
I have been running on a daily basis for the last 8 years and I’ve never really had any problems. However, last year, I became a vegetarian and this year I began running using Vibram five fingers shoes. Recently I began to feel pain on the inside middle of my foot. I’ve also been getting frequent muscle spasms where my foot locks up. I don’t want to quit using my vibrams because I love them but I don’t know what to do (also I have flat, flat, flat feet).
The pain that you are describing could be plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis occurs when your plantar fascia (a thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of your foot) becomes irritated or inflamed. Plantar fasciitis often occurs in individuals who participate in repetitive sports, such as running, and those with flat feet. Under normal circumstances, your plantar fascia acts as a shock-absorber supporting the arch of your foot. Running creates a significant amount of pressure and tension along your plantar fascia, if you are not wearing shoes that provide sufficient support, this tension can result in small tears in your fascia.
Vibram Five Finger shoes can be a great shoe for many people—strengthening the muscles and tendons in your feet and legs and mimicking the experience of barefoot running. However, these shoes may not be providing you with sufficient support which could be contributing to your foot pain. If you would like to continue to wear the Vibrams, it is important that you give your feet adequate time to adjust to the new type of shoe. You must give the muscles in your feet time to strengthen so that they can protect themselves in the absence of support from the shoe itself. Try alternating your Vibram shoes with traditional running shoes or wearing your Vibrams on shorter runs.
As a vegetarian, it is important to take extra measures to ensure that you are obtaining adequate protein. Protein is critical to help your muscles repair and recover from an injury. Examples of foods that are rich in protein include: beans, avocados, spinach, yogurt, cheese, tofu, and eggs.
If your pain persists or you have additional questions, please call 319-335-8394 to set up an appointment with a health care provider at Student Health.