Experiencing a strange problem with my feet that has kept me from running/hiking for a couple weeks now and is getting worse, not better. Looking for anyone who has had similar issues, or possible treatment options. I realize the first and most logical option would be to see a doctor, however I'm a student without insurance, and won't be able to afford that trip until I pass my boards and start working again. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Background- I have been backpacking and hiking in trail runners for several years. I started trail running about a year ago to stay in shape during school. I work in an emergency room and routinely spend 12 hours on my feet. I usually just wear my trail runners at work as well, and I have never had foot issues hiking, running, or working until about 3 months ago.
At that time, I noticed a feeling on the lateral side of my left foot, where the fifth metatarsal meets the cuboid. Not pain, but a feeling like there was a "lump" under that area. At first it would come and go, then got to the point where it was constant whenever I wore the shoes. I couldn't find any structural problem with the shoe. It started to cause me pain, at which point I replaced the shoes (which were Sportiva Wildcats) with a very comfortable pair of Brooks Cascadia 7s. Problem solved!... or so I thought.
I wore the brooks running, hiking, working, for 3 months with no pain, no lump feeling. Then, randomly, at work, the feeling came back. I didn't roll or injure the foot (as far as I know). It got worse, fast. The feeling of having a golf ball in my shoe then started to additionally appear under the ball of my foot, behind the second toe. I tried the insoles from my climbing boots, felt worse. Oddly enough, in an attempt to make it through a shift at work, I removed the insoles all together... which helped! (?). Now I am wearing the cascadias with no insoles, and while the feeling is improved (from painful hobbling to just kind of annoying) I can feel it getting worse. The casual shoes that I have owned for years and are always comfortable are now painful to wear. The only thing I can wear without pain is a cheap pair or thin flip flops, or just bare feet....
It doesn't seem like what I can find about plantar fasciitis, because the pain is not constant, rather now every shoe I try on feels like it is full of river rocks. The pain only crops up when I'm on my feet in the shoes for 30 mins to an hour. I can walk in bare feet just fine, or the flip flops, but in a matter of months every shoe I had that was once comfortable feels horrible. I spent a week laid up, icing, etc, but my feet feel fine until I try to put them in shoes.
There are no bruises, tender spots, or blisters on my feet when I examine them.
I have some superfeet ordered, but honestly I'm doubting the "magic" of pricey insoles to cure this weird issue. I'm thinking I'm just going to get some super thin minimalist shoes for running, as I'm still OK in bare feet, but I'm not sure I can work a 12 hour shift in the ER in minimalist shoes.
Any ideas? I couldn't find anything in search (help me Anna!) that seemed to mirror the weird fit issues, and I would love to go to a podiatrist, but I can't afford it right now. Thanks for taking a look.