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Arch/heel pain - is it PF?

Posted by Julie S on 3/06/01 at 16:43 (040630)

I am a long distance runner (training for my second marathon) with moderate foot pain - in one foot only. It does not prevent me from running, or hurt much when I run. After a PT said it was probably PF, I begaun stretching my calves and PF more, got custom orthotics, etc., but the pain remains. I did not have it during training for my first marthon - I've had it for about 5 months. I don't have the trademark morning pain, nor does it feel like a heel spur or is it localized in one spot. Rather, the pain is sort of betwen my heel and arch on the inside of my foot, closer to the heel than arch. It hurts most after a run and after walking for long periods. It's not a sharp pain but more of a dull ache. Also, the pain is in my left foot. My left leg has always given me more discomfort than my right, and one year ago I had piriformis /gluteus medius syndrome in my left side. I wonder if there could be some issues there. Does this sound like PF? Thank you!

Re: Arch/heel pain - is it PF?

Julie F on 3/06/01 at 17:00 (040633)

Hi Julie

Do be careful! You'll find that lots of people who have 'run (or walked) through the pain' have ended up with chronic PF. The longer you wait to deal with it, the longer it will take to heal.

If it is PF - and you really need a full evaluation and diagnosis by a foot and ankle specialist - a podiatrist or sports medicine doctor, you will need to rest. Bad news for a long distance runner, I know, but true.

So find yourself a foot doctor, and also please read the PF Book (link on the home page). It's a full and detailed source of information about PF and some related foot conditions, with lots of ideas for dealing with it.

Good luck,

Julie

Re: Arch/heel pain - is it PF?

Laura D on 3/10/01 at 17:29 (040965)

I am also a runner and for the past two months have suffered pain in my
arch only. I do not have the morning pain either. I just notice the pain
a day after I try and run and after I walk for long period of time. I am taking anit-inflammatories prescribed by my doctor. My question is what kind of physical activites can I do if I can not run. I have been doing the stair stepper and the elipitical machines at the gym. I have a hard time not doing any physical activity. Should I stop all physical activity until the pain stops? Or will arch supports help? It is very frustrating
when you want to run and you can't. Will this ever go away?

Re: Arch/heel pain - is it PF?

Kay S on 3/10/01 at 17:39 (040968)

Hi Laura, and welcome to the board.
While I am not a runner, I have read enough of this board's messages to know that non-weightbearing exercise is the most recommended for those with foot woes. Lots of people can still ride a bike (I can do this, even at my gimpiest!) and even more swim and say that it is a very good exercise for both their feet and their bodies.
What is your diagnosis? Have you been to the podiatrist, orthopedic doc, or your family physician? What tests have you had, if any?
Almost everyone who has posted here will agree that exercising through their pain has caused them much more grief than it was worth.
Good luck.
Kay

Re: Arch/heel pain - is it PF?

Julie F on 3/11/01 at 01:41 (041004)

Laura, in all probability whatever is wrong with you will go away, as long as you're sensible about it.

I think runners must have the most difficult time with heel/foot pain: they just don't want to accept it and lots carry on running regardless, ending up with chronic, long-lasting pain that may never go away. Walkers too: I know, because I had to stop walking for several months, and I hated it. Not running/walking IS frustrating, but truly, you must stop and give whatever is wrong with your foot the chance to heal.

Your doctor, if, as I assume, he is a general practitioner, probably doesn't know a great deal about feet. No criticism there - GPs know a little bit about a lot of things, and you need to see a podiatrist or a sports med doctor to get a full evaluation and diagnosis so that you can get a solid treatment plan underway.

If you take anti-inflammatories, remember that in addition to reducing inflammation, they mask pain - a potentially dangerous situation, particularly for people with a mind-set that wants the pain to go away so they can run. You don't feel pain, so you think you're ok, and you do too much, and you re-injure yourself.

Running isn't the only physical activity (though it may seem like it to you!) Swimming is probably the best non-weight-bearing exercise. Do you have a pool near you? Several posters here swear by the recumbent bike - I haven't tried it myself.

Be careful with any weight-bearing exercise until you know exactly what's wrong and what to do about it.

Good luck and all the best

Julie

Re: Arch/heel pain - is it PF?

Julie F on 3/06/01 at 17:00 (040633)

Hi Julie

Do be careful! You'll find that lots of people who have 'run (or walked) through the pain' have ended up with chronic PF. The longer you wait to deal with it, the longer it will take to heal.

If it is PF - and you really need a full evaluation and diagnosis by a foot and ankle specialist - a podiatrist or sports medicine doctor, you will need to rest. Bad news for a long distance runner, I know, but true.

So find yourself a foot doctor, and also please read the PF Book (link on the home page). It's a full and detailed source of information about PF and some related foot conditions, with lots of ideas for dealing with it.

Good luck,

Julie

Re: Arch/heel pain - is it PF?

Laura D on 3/10/01 at 17:29 (040965)

I am also a runner and for the past two months have suffered pain in my
arch only. I do not have the morning pain either. I just notice the pain
a day after I try and run and after I walk for long period of time. I am taking anit-inflammatories prescribed by my doctor. My question is what kind of physical activites can I do if I can not run. I have been doing the stair stepper and the elipitical machines at the gym. I have a hard time not doing any physical activity. Should I stop all physical activity until the pain stops? Or will arch supports help? It is very frustrating
when you want to run and you can't. Will this ever go away?

Re: Arch/heel pain - is it PF?

Kay S on 3/10/01 at 17:39 (040968)

Hi Laura, and welcome to the board.
While I am not a runner, I have read enough of this board's messages to know that non-weightbearing exercise is the most recommended for those with foot woes. Lots of people can still ride a bike (I can do this, even at my gimpiest!) and even more swim and say that it is a very good exercise for both their feet and their bodies.
What is your diagnosis? Have you been to the podiatrist, orthopedic doc, or your family physician? What tests have you had, if any?
Almost everyone who has posted here will agree that exercising through their pain has caused them much more grief than it was worth.
Good luck.
Kay

Re: Arch/heel pain - is it PF?

Julie F on 3/11/01 at 01:41 (041004)

Laura, in all probability whatever is wrong with you will go away, as long as you're sensible about it.

I think runners must have the most difficult time with heel/foot pain: they just don't want to accept it and lots carry on running regardless, ending up with chronic, long-lasting pain that may never go away. Walkers too: I know, because I had to stop walking for several months, and I hated it. Not running/walking IS frustrating, but truly, you must stop and give whatever is wrong with your foot the chance to heal.

Your doctor, if, as I assume, he is a general practitioner, probably doesn't know a great deal about feet. No criticism there - GPs know a little bit about a lot of things, and you need to see a podiatrist or a sports med doctor to get a full evaluation and diagnosis so that you can get a solid treatment plan underway.

If you take anti-inflammatories, remember that in addition to reducing inflammation, they mask pain - a potentially dangerous situation, particularly for people with a mind-set that wants the pain to go away so they can run. You don't feel pain, so you think you're ok, and you do too much, and you re-injure yourself.

Running isn't the only physical activity (though it may seem like it to you!) Swimming is probably the best non-weight-bearing exercise. Do you have a pool near you? Several posters here swear by the recumbent bike - I haven't tried it myself.

Be careful with any weight-bearing exercise until you know exactly what's wrong and what to do about it.

Good luck and all the best

Julie