L5 in the spine is causing this.

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As befits a blog named “Hoofin”, I feel it’s appropriate to talk about foot injuries or ailments. There is one that I’ve had for a long time—a swollen right foot.

When I lived in Japan, I just accepted it as a matter of course. I figured it was a reaction to a long-ago ankle sprain (1992), and that there was nothing I could do about it. I visited Yoyogi Hospital in 2010, and they did a lot of X-rays. They told me it was being caused by a weak muscle, and that I had to exercise the muscle.

When I returned to America just shy of 2011, the problem cured itself in a handful of weeks. I assumed it had to do with new shoes, and maybe how I was cutting a piece of the inner foam to force more support on the bone under the big toe.

When I went back to Japan in December of 2014, the swelling reappeared in a matter of about a week. And it’s still there.

I finally went to a podiatrist here in Lancaster County, who concluded that the problem has nothing to do with the foot. It has to do with the spine.

The nerves that emanate from disc L5 (lumbar 5) in the spine go through the butt, down the leg, and around the ankle to the big toe. My back has always hurt me, at least since 1981 or ’82. It was much worse when I was overweight, and that was for a good part of the last 30 years. So what I have been doing is putting a lot of weight on L5, and L5 responded by being pinched, and cutting off the signals to muscles located in the right foot. Sometime in the 2000’s decade, this manifested itself in edema on the ankle side of the right foot. I have put up with it since then.

No more, though.

I am going for an MRI this week, that will confirm what is obvious from all the other tests. My back is screwed up. It is for some reason worse when I am in Japan, and it probably has to do with having to walk at a shortened pace when I am in a city. Having to dodge, twist, and work a muscle more—even as it is “offline” from the spine and the brain.

It is time to get this chronic problem fixed.

Walking has been my salvation for over twenty years now. I feel better when I walk. Now, I am beginning to think, that my back feels better when I walk—because the pressure on the lumbar is less than sitting.

I hope they have a remedy. I will see.