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heel pain after exercising arch muscle

Posted by Allison S. on 2/16/02 at 12:24 (073892)

Recently a coworker shared info that she received while going to a physical therapist. The PT told her that with age everyone's arch muscle 'gives out' or loses strength and shape (flattens out). The PT gave her a few exercises to do that would build and strengthen the arch. I was diagnosed with plantar fascitis last year and was told that wearing arch supporting devices and higher arched shoes would help, and it has. I have had no heel pain in several months. I started doing the arch building exercises thinking it would improve the whole problem. Since starting the exercises (which are really just isometric-isolating and tightening the arch) I have experienced slight heel pain. Could the exercises be hurting the plantar facia, or could it be that in strengthening the arch I am hruting the plantar facia? Could it be that it's the saying ' no gain with no pain. I hope someone can help, as I don't know if I'm helping or hurting myself worse. Thanks so much.

Re: heel pain after exercising arch muscle

Julie on 2/16/02 at 12:36 (073893)

Hello Allison

While you're awaiting a response from one of the doctors, I'll step in and tell you to forget 'no pain, no gain'. That old chestnut (I remember it so well from the 70s aerobics days) has long since been discredited, and as a teacher of yoga for many years I know that the first rule of exercise is 'pain is a message from your body that whatever you're doing isn't good for it, so - stop'.

I don't know whether the arch strengthening exercises you have been doing have irritated your plantar fascia. That's possible, but there are too many variables. Among them may be that you are overdoing the exercises, or not doing them correctly. It could, of course be a coincidence: no cause and effect relationship. But one way of determining whether there is a cause and effect relationship is to stop the exercises for a few days or weeks, and see if that makes a difference. If the pain goes, you can probably conclude that the exercises did have something to do with it. If it doesn't go, or if it gets worse, the chances are something else is going on and you should see a podiatrist about it.

I hope this makes sense, and helps - and that your pain goes.

Re: heel pain after exercising arch muscle

Julie on 2/16/02 at 12:36 (073893)

Hello Allison

While you're awaiting a response from one of the doctors, I'll step in and tell you to forget 'no pain, no gain'. That old chestnut (I remember it so well from the 70s aerobics days) has long since been discredited, and as a teacher of yoga for many years I know that the first rule of exercise is 'pain is a message from your body that whatever you're doing isn't good for it, so - stop'.

I don't know whether the arch strengthening exercises you have been doing have irritated your plantar fascia. That's possible, but there are too many variables. Among them may be that you are overdoing the exercises, or not doing them correctly. It could, of course be a coincidence: no cause and effect relationship. But one way of determining whether there is a cause and effect relationship is to stop the exercises for a few days or weeks, and see if that makes a difference. If the pain goes, you can probably conclude that the exercises did have something to do with it. If it doesn't go, or if it gets worse, the chances are something else is going on and you should see a podiatrist about it.

I hope this makes sense, and helps - and that your pain goes.