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Thought I was all alone

Posted by Pat K on 7/11/01 at 21:08 (052880)

It's great to find this website. I was training for my first marathon when the PF flared up. The running coach thought it was just the wrong shoes, so I kept going (he never mentioned that this might be a possibility). Then, one day when I was running with my daughter, I had to stop. How frustrating! So, all I have been able to do so far is a half-marathon, but my goal is still to do a full. I wonder if you think this is a possibility? Will this ever get better? I'm able to bike, blade and swim without much problem, but I'd love to get back into running. How long should I wait? Any suggestions would help. Thanks from a new reader.

Re: Thought I was all alone

Nancy N on 7/11/01 at 21:18 (052882)

Pat--

You are definitely not alone!

The first thing I would suggest you do is read the heel pain book. There are lots of ideas there for conservative treatments that may well help you. The earlier you catch PF and start to treat it, the better your chances of recovery. Don't be frightened by the fact that some of us have had PF for a very long time--you're most likely to find the chronic cases on a board like this. The vast majority of people do heal.

For right now, you should not be running at all. It will only aggravate the problem and you could end up with a chronic condition. Rest is very important, but that does not mean that you should rest completely, which may cause complications of its own. You can switch to another form of exercise for now, one that does not impact the feet much, if at all--swimming and biking are good choices. Hopefully, if you tackle the problem now, you'll be able to run again in the future.

Take a look at the book, and feel free to ask as many questions as you need to. We're all here to help.

Re: Thought I was all alone

Pat k on 7/11/01 at 21:27 (052885)

Thanks for your support. I'm hoping that I stopped in time, but it's been since January, and it still hurts when I get up in the morning. And, then, if I'm on my feet a lot during the day, it really aches at night. I can tell it's a little better, but it's already been more than six months. This is a very frustrating condition, especially if you're an active person with a goal. Thanks again...

Re: Thought I was all alone

Laurie R on 7/11/01 at 21:36 (052888)

Hi Pat and welcome to the board. Let us know if we can help you in any way . Laurie R

Re: Thought I was all alone

Julie on 7/12/01 at 03:45 (052919)

Pat, when you read the heel pain book as Nancy suggested you'll see that rest is considered the most vital treatment for pf. You do need to stay off your feet as much as possible, which means limiting recreational walking - for now - as well as eliminating running.

It concerns me that you don't mention having been to a foot doctor. You really should see a podiatrist, sports medicine doctor, or orthopaedic doctor: someone who knows about feet and ankles and can examine, evaluate, and diagnose you correctly. As you're a runner, it's possible that running is aggravating any biomechanical faults you may have, like over-pronation. An evaluation would identify these, and you would then be in a position to address the cause of your problem.

Of course it's frustrating, but, as Nancy said, you want to avoid developing a chronic painful condition, so inform yourself, get professional help, and deal with it now so that you can do your marathon one day.

Re: Thought I was all alone

Julie on 7/12/01 at 03:45 (052920)

PS - wear good shoes all the time - never go barefoot.

Re: Thought I was all alone

Pat k on 7/12/01 at 17:59 (052977)

Thanks for the suggestions. I did see my podiatrist right after the incident while running with my daughter, and was diagnosed with PF. He wrapped the foot with arch supports for over a week and told me to totally rest it as much as possible. Afterwards, I saw him four or five times for ultrasound and a little less restrictive wrapping. I guess I'm just in holding pattern now, until it heals. How much time should I wait to begin running again after it's no longer painful? I just don't want to take any chances to re-injure it again. And, the suggestion about stretching in the morning before getting out of bed really helped this morning. Thanks a million!

Re: Thought I was all alone

Julie on 7/13/01 at 01:49 (053007)

Pat, did your podiatrist evaluate your gait? If he doesn't have the equipment (a treadmill, possibly a video) for this, maybe you should see another who does. I really feel that this is especially important in your case, because if you do over-pronate or have any other biomechanical fault, it is going to be a problem forever, given the extent to which you run. Remember you are using and stressing your feet much more than the 'average' person does . Of course I don't know if over-pronation IS the cause, but it's pretty common, and if it is, it must be dealt with or the problem will recur as soon as you go back to running. I'd like you to avoid that disappointment!

Re: Thought I was all alone

hankc on 7/13/01 at 11:32 (053038)

Pat,
You will be able to run again however you must be willing to put your marathon goal
on the shelf for now and simply allow time for healing. If you start back running too
soon (I speak from experience here) you will prolong the injury and the corresponding
frustration. Swimming is an excellent alternative for the time being, At the time I
incurred my injury I was really into triathlons. I had done 7 of them one summer and
had all these grandiose plans on how I was going to improve when the injury occurred.
A couple of times I started back too early only to have the pf flare up again. I probably
cost myself a year or two by resuming running too soon. Anyway, give your body time to heal
completely (I know, it's harder NOT running than actually running). Good luck in
your recovery.
best wishes, Hank

Re: Thought I was all alone

Pat K on 7/13/01 at 18:53 (053067)

You're right. He doesn't have that equipment in his office for the evaluation. I'll look into seeing a different doc before restarting the running program. How much time do you think I should wait until I could safely slowly restart training?

Re: Thought I was all alone

Julie on 7/14/01 at 01:43 (053100)

Wait until you've been completely without pain for a while. (I can't say how long - a week, maybe? - perhaps others can input here). Then don't go back to your previous level of training: start off gently - walking at first, slow jogging, short distances -- you get the idea. If there is any pain, back off. Feel your way into it. The golden rule should be, never run through the pain. Listen to your body (yes, that old saw, but it's vital) and if you feel pain, stop. Work your way back to full training patiently.

But above all - find out what the cause of your pf is, and deal with it. Otherwise - this is just common sense - it will recur.

Re: Thought I was all alone

pat K on 7/14/01 at 23:09 (053222)

I appreciate all the support and suggestions. It hard not to run, or at least walk,but I know that eventually I will get back into it. Until then, I guess it's swimming, blading and biking for now. Thanks again.

Re: Thought I was all alone

Julie on 7/15/01 at 03:07 (053229)

Pat, do you mean roller-blading? Skating with those little wheels instead of blades? That's weight-bearing, isn't it? Better to stick to swimming and biking?

Re: Thought I was all alone

pat k on 7/15/01 at 17:06 (053284)

Actually, my doc told me that the side-to-side motion of blading (not the rolling motion of walking or running) was just fine for PF sufferers. So far, so good. My foot doesn't hurt after a session on my blades. So,I guess that, for me, it's OK as long as it doesn't cause a flare-up again. If my foot hurt afterwards, I would stop immediately.

Re: Thought I was all alone

Nancy N on 7/11/01 at 21:18 (052882)

Pat--

You are definitely not alone!

The first thing I would suggest you do is read the heel pain book. There are lots of ideas there for conservative treatments that may well help you. The earlier you catch PF and start to treat it, the better your chances of recovery. Don't be frightened by the fact that some of us have had PF for a very long time--you're most likely to find the chronic cases on a board like this. The vast majority of people do heal.

For right now, you should not be running at all. It will only aggravate the problem and you could end up with a chronic condition. Rest is very important, but that does not mean that you should rest completely, which may cause complications of its own. You can switch to another form of exercise for now, one that does not impact the feet much, if at all--swimming and biking are good choices. Hopefully, if you tackle the problem now, you'll be able to run again in the future.

Take a look at the book, and feel free to ask as many questions as you need to. We're all here to help.

Re: Thought I was all alone

Pat k on 7/11/01 at 21:27 (052885)

Thanks for your support. I'm hoping that I stopped in time, but it's been since January, and it still hurts when I get up in the morning. And, then, if I'm on my feet a lot during the day, it really aches at night. I can tell it's a little better, but it's already been more than six months. This is a very frustrating condition, especially if you're an active person with a goal. Thanks again...

Re: Thought I was all alone

Laurie R on 7/11/01 at 21:36 (052888)

Hi Pat and welcome to the board. Let us know if we can help you in any way . Laurie R

Re: Thought I was all alone

Julie on 7/12/01 at 03:45 (052919)

Pat, when you read the heel pain book as Nancy suggested you'll see that rest is considered the most vital treatment for pf. You do need to stay off your feet as much as possible, which means limiting recreational walking - for now - as well as eliminating running.

It concerns me that you don't mention having been to a foot doctor. You really should see a podiatrist, sports medicine doctor, or orthopaedic doctor: someone who knows about feet and ankles and can examine, evaluate, and diagnose you correctly. As you're a runner, it's possible that running is aggravating any biomechanical faults you may have, like over-pronation. An evaluation would identify these, and you would then be in a position to address the cause of your problem.

Of course it's frustrating, but, as Nancy said, you want to avoid developing a chronic painful condition, so inform yourself, get professional help, and deal with it now so that you can do your marathon one day.

Re: Thought I was all alone

Julie on 7/12/01 at 03:45 (052920)

PS - wear good shoes all the time - never go barefoot.

Re: Thought I was all alone

Pat k on 7/12/01 at 17:59 (052977)

Thanks for the suggestions. I did see my podiatrist right after the incident while running with my daughter, and was diagnosed with PF. He wrapped the foot with arch supports for over a week and told me to totally rest it as much as possible. Afterwards, I saw him four or five times for ultrasound and a little less restrictive wrapping. I guess I'm just in holding pattern now, until it heals. How much time should I wait to begin running again after it's no longer painful? I just don't want to take any chances to re-injure it again. And, the suggestion about stretching in the morning before getting out of bed really helped this morning. Thanks a million!

Re: Thought I was all alone

Julie on 7/13/01 at 01:49 (053007)

Pat, did your podiatrist evaluate your gait? If he doesn't have the equipment (a treadmill, possibly a video) for this, maybe you should see another who does. I really feel that this is especially important in your case, because if you do over-pronate or have any other biomechanical fault, it is going to be a problem forever, given the extent to which you run. Remember you are using and stressing your feet much more than the 'average' person does . Of course I don't know if over-pronation IS the cause, but it's pretty common, and if it is, it must be dealt with or the problem will recur as soon as you go back to running. I'd like you to avoid that disappointment!

Re: Thought I was all alone

hankc on 7/13/01 at 11:32 (053038)

Pat,
You will be able to run again however you must be willing to put your marathon goal
on the shelf for now and simply allow time for healing. If you start back running too
soon (I speak from experience here) you will prolong the injury and the corresponding
frustration. Swimming is an excellent alternative for the time being, At the time I
incurred my injury I was really into triathlons. I had done 7 of them one summer and
had all these grandiose plans on how I was going to improve when the injury occurred.
A couple of times I started back too early only to have the pf flare up again. I probably
cost myself a year or two by resuming running too soon. Anyway, give your body time to heal
completely (I know, it's harder NOT running than actually running). Good luck in
your recovery.
best wishes, Hank

Re: Thought I was all alone

Pat K on 7/13/01 at 18:53 (053067)

You're right. He doesn't have that equipment in his office for the evaluation. I'll look into seeing a different doc before restarting the running program. How much time do you think I should wait until I could safely slowly restart training?

Re: Thought I was all alone

Julie on 7/14/01 at 01:43 (053100)

Wait until you've been completely without pain for a while. (I can't say how long - a week, maybe? - perhaps others can input here). Then don't go back to your previous level of training: start off gently - walking at first, slow jogging, short distances -- you get the idea. If there is any pain, back off. Feel your way into it. The golden rule should be, never run through the pain. Listen to your body (yes, that old saw, but it's vital) and if you feel pain, stop. Work your way back to full training patiently.

But above all - find out what the cause of your pf is, and deal with it. Otherwise - this is just common sense - it will recur.

Re: Thought I was all alone

pat K on 7/14/01 at 23:09 (053222)

I appreciate all the support and suggestions. It hard not to run, or at least walk,but I know that eventually I will get back into it. Until then, I guess it's swimming, blading and biking for now. Thanks again.

Re: Thought I was all alone

Julie on 7/15/01 at 03:07 (053229)

Pat, do you mean roller-blading? Skating with those little wheels instead of blades? That's weight-bearing, isn't it? Better to stick to swimming and biking?

Re: Thought I was all alone

pat k on 7/15/01 at 17:06 (053284)

Actually, my doc told me that the side-to-side motion of blading (not the rolling motion of walking or running) was just fine for PF sufferers. So far, so good. My foot doesn't hurt after a session on my blades. So,I guess that, for me, it's OK as long as it doesn't cause a flare-up again. If my foot hurt afterwards, I would stop immediately.