Home The Book Dr Articles Products Message Boards Journal Articles Search Our Surveys Surgery ESWT Dr Messages Find Good Drs video

Running And Foot Pain

Posted by Anna on 12/10/02 at 10:33 (102546)

I am very upset and discouraged right now. I have been running 3 to 4 times a week (about 45 minutes per run) for the past 7 mths constantly. I also was doing a distance run of around 5.20 miles once a week and increasing by .10 every week (For the year before starting this, I would run only short bursts of 20 minutes 2 to 3 times a week)
Recently i have experienced foot pain that has gotten progressively worse. I am prone to ligament and tendon probs for some reason. I have wrist pain and rotator cuff probs since I was 20. I am a 27 year old female.I used to run right through the foot pain, and just grin and bear it. But now it has gotten to the point where I can't run anymore. I just realized that sad fact yesterday. I set out to go for 45 minutes on the treadmill and couldnt get past 5 minutes of running. I bought some arch support inserts for my sneakers and wore them, and it almost seems like it makes my foot pain worse when I run! I dont have any medical insurance, so I cant see a dr. I am trying self care. Is taking 5 days off from running enough to heal this problem? Or am I going to be down and out for awhile? This week I have decided not to do any type of cardio activity at all, to rest my feet.I have found that the recumbent bike hurts my feet, and so does the stairmaster. I will just lift weights at the gym. I am nervous about being out of running for long, b/c I dont want to lose my endurance. And I really dont want to gain weight. I use running as a way to control my weight, since i have a bad sweet tooth. How many times per day should I ice? Oh and one more question- does this mean I should stop wearing my platform boots? I love the fashionable shoes and boots, but my feet and ankles hurt when I wear them lately.
Thank you
Anna

Re: Running And Foot Pain

dave r on 12/10/02 at 10:43 (102548)

Anna, anna, anna. Stop running period! Put your platform boots in the basement and see a podiatrist. Read the heel pain book that is posted on this site. Most people will recover from this within a year. Sometimes a simple shoe change will solve your problems. You need to rest your feet, ice a few times a day.

Re: Running And Foot Pain

Annette on 12/10/02 at 11:08 (102555)

yes Anna,
you should stop running, I did the foolish thing and tried to run through it and even ran a marathon with the foot pain! Now it has been three years and I am still unable to run with out pain. But please dont get discouraged, I think my foot is extra stubborn, more than the norm. I think if you can try to stay off of your feet for a while(and I mean months and months, not weeks), and treat your feet accordingly, you will heal, otherwise you will only make your feet worse, and you'll be in my position. Dave is right, see a Dr. even if you don't have insurance, and read the heel pain book, it will help. To keep my sanity I have been weight training and water running mostly, water running is boring but it is great for burning calories and it keeps the muscle tone in your legs the same as if you were running so you wont loose everything. I also bike ride and x-country ski, but lately I have been mostly water running for my cardio. Good luck and keep working on your feet so that you can run again some day soon!
Annette

Re: Running And Foot Pain

Julie on 12/10/02 at 17:11 (102598)

Anna, Dave is right.

See a podiatrist as soon as possible for a full evaluation of your biomechanics. Running and other impact sports can contribute to PF even if a person's biomechanics are perfect. If they're faulty, running will bring it on faster, and they need to be addressedm usually with custom orthotics.
Read the heel pain book.
Read the message boards for information about others' experience, and for support.
Rest your feet as much as you your life and work allow.
Reconsider your footgear. No platform boots or fashions shoes.
Look into Birkenstocks, which have helped many of us.
If anything hurts you are re-injuring yourself. Stop doing what hurts.
Never go barefoot.
Ice to reduce inflammation, taping to support the arch. You'll find information about all this in the heel pain book.

Above all - stop running - for as long as it takes your feet to heal completely.You are re-injuring yourself with every step. Stop for as long as it takes - and it will take longer than five days. PF can be slow to heal, but if you take care of it it will heal. Your youth is on your side, and if you get a treatment plan in place quickly, you will get better.

Re: Running And Foot Pain

Anna on 12/10/02 at 19:30 (102631)

To Annette, Dave, and Julie:
I can't help but feel really sorry for myself after reading your responses.I dont want to act like a baby about this, but I guess I am in a bit of shock that I am going to have to stop running for the next few months at least.It took a lot of discipline and patience to get up to the physical shape I was in. I was using running as weight control b/c I have a very bad sweet tooth and a big junk food appetite. I also tend to eat out of boredom and for emotional stresses. I am wondering if this condition will allow me to do some walking for about 50 minutes a day after a weeks rest of my feet?
I know what you mean about having to see the podiatrist. Guess I am going to start saving some money to see the doctor.
Can being seronegative rheumatoid arthritis have caused this problem to come on? I was told about 3 years ago that I might be seronegative ra.
One more question: How do I tape my foot? Why should I do it?
Anna

Re: Running And Foot Pain

Jim C. on 12/10/02 at 22:36 (102656)

Hi Anna,

I know what your going through with having to stop running. I had to stop myself after I tried to run through this to no avail. That was 6 months ago and I'm much healed but not back to running form yet, But I'm sure your recovery will be much shorter as I worked very hard to get myself into as bad as shape as I was, it sounds as if you caught this fairly early.

Taping is very very helpful and it is somewhat of an art to apply it.

First, when the heel lifts off the ground during your gait there is great stress/stretching of the planter fascia, taping provides support during this motion. Very helpful, you should feel the difference as soon as you take your first step.

The less tape the better as it can cause alot of irritation. I use scotts model in the heal pain book, but I only use two peices in a X fashion. the art comes in getting the tension just right. First try applying it with your foot in a neutral position (the position your foot is in when your standing)Dorsiflexed is when your toes are pointing down, obviously when you apply tape in this position you will stretch the tape when you straighten your foot back to neutral(adding tension) Planter flexed is when your toes are pointing up with the ankle bent as you were trying to touch your toes, this will reduce tension when you move back to the neutral position. The tension should be such where when your heel lifts off the ground (when your walking) the tape will pull away from the arch briefly and then relax back into your arch when your foot strikes the ground. Play around until you get it just right, if you have it to tight it will problably be to painful to walk very long. If it's to loose you just won't feel the tension on heel lift off.
I may have made it sound very complicated but just play around with it and trust the way it feels, it's really not that complicated.
Remember, don't run or walk, do stretch daily, tape, wear good shoes, rest and I would highly recommend a night splint.

Good luck,

Jim

Re: Running And Foot Pain

Julie on 12/11/02 at 04:46 (102670)

Anna, of course you feel sorry for yourself, and who could blame you!? Your story is a painfully familiar one to many people here - everyone who has to stop running is devastated by it at first (and some for a long time afterwards). Give yourself time to accept it: you will, because you are sensible and know that you have only one pair of feet that has to last you a lifetime.

There is much you can do to keep in shape. Swimming is the best all-round exercise, both cardiovascularly and stretch-wise.

Don't wait until you've saved money - borrow it if you must, but see a foot doctor soon.

Tape gives your arches the support that the injured fascia can no longer give. It can relieve the pain, but by 'resting' the fascia (taking the strain off it) it gives the injury a chance to heal. It helped me enormously. See the instructions in the heel pain book - and good luck.

Your feelings remind me very much of Carmen's when she first arrived here a year and a half or so ago. She has coped tremendously well with the challenge, and has learned a great deal from the experience. I hope she will see this and offer you her perspective.

Re: Running And Foot Pain - ***ATTENTION CARMEN***

Julie on 12/11/02 at 07:48 (102676)

Carmen, if you're around right now, please read this thread and see if you can give Annette the fruits of your experience.

How are you?

Re: Running And Foot Pain

nancy s. on 12/11/02 at 08:34 (102688)

anna, just to add another voice to the others already here: i know firsthand how hard it is to give up even temporarily something you love and that has been benefiting you so much, but i urge you to do it and replace it with something else, like swimming, as julie suggested. i'm an antiquer, which requires a lot of running around, and i persisted in doing it for many months into my heel pain, even after getting the official diagnosis. i did it until my feet became so disabled that i had absolutely no choice but to stop it. by that time i'd done a lot more damage, and i had to stop working for two years, which was a real heartbreak for me. i hope you'll save yourself from this mistake, because if you take care of your feet now, the likelihood that you'll heal sooner and better is much higher.

do read the heel pain book, do get to a foot doctor, and do rest your injured feet. if you continue to stretch (a good idea), do only nonweightbearing stretching.

i know it's a shock and hard to accept. please stay with this site and let people here help you deal with it -- we've all been there, and many are still.

nancy
.

Re: Hi Anna

carmen h on 12/11/02 at 09:31 (102696)

wow...You sure do bring back some memories of my first few months of this mess.
Julie was right...I did experience some of what you are going through...and MORE. I didn't read through each post to you as I have very little time anymore (life is busy!) but wanted to reply to you. First things first. YES...this can have something to do with RA. You definitely need to get to a doctor FIRST thing. That is number one. I understand that with RA it's not good to ice the feet...so with this problem you need to get to the underlying cause of the pain first so you don't do further damage. Second...no more running, biking or weight bearing exercise. Not until you figure this out. Even lifting weights right now can damage your wrists and elbows, back and hips. If you are prone to these soft tissue 'issues' and tendon problems..the best thing is to swim just like Julie said. Third....start reading on how to control the 'sweet tooth'. Get to the bottom of the emotional eating as well...and since you understand that you have a problem with it you are already ahead of the game.
If it makes you feel better...I was panicked...and I do mean panicked when I heard I had to stop running, lifting and working out. I immediately thought about the weight...NOW....18 months later? I rarely think about it. While exercise and staying fit ARE important...sometimes other things are more important. Like living pain free again. I am 80% better than I was in June of 2001...but I am STILL not 100%. I have not worked out since June of 2001...but I have lost 8 pounds since this happened. So it IS possible to not gain weight with a disability such as PF or RA.
You are going to go through some SUPER tough times coming up....I know how hard it is to quit exercise...I had some severe down times...but it is absolutely imperative you quit until you find out what is going on.
Please get to a doctor...find one that will work with you in payment terms.
I know this probably hasn't done much to make you feel better...physically. But understand you are not alone...this has happened to many of us.
And..about those boots? You're talking to the platform queen...LOVED those shoes and boots at one point...but toss them faster than you go to the doctor. They are ruining your feet.
Hang in there....
p.s. read up on RA o nthe internet and get some facts about your symptoms as well.

Re: Running And Foot Pain - ***ATTENTION CARMEN***

carmen h on 12/11/02 at 09:32 (102697)

I don't know how much I helped since she has Sero. RA but I hope she knows she is not alone....
Thanks Julie!
I am fine by the way....staying sooo busy with Humane Society fundraising, adoption coordinating, volunteer coordinating, Board projects and working.
Whew!
:o)
I love it though!

Re: Running And Foot Pain

JudyS on 12/11/02 at 10:48 (102709)

Anna - I know it's easy to say, but, hang in there. I think I mentioned before that my own experience pretty much parallels yours. If you can stop running for awhile you absolutely should. I went through so much self-pity at one time that I stopped doing all exercise. It was a silly 'running or nothing' attitude on my part. I'm a sweet-aholic too so you can imagine what happened after twenty-some years of running, etc. Because I did keep running and playing ball for the first year of my foot problem, I made it far, far worse than it had to be. It became chronic and now, four years and much, much treatment later, I'm at the point where I'm going to try to start running again. Please, take care of things for yourself now so that you don't have to wait four years to do the activity(s) you're passionate about.

Re: Running And Foot Pain - ***ATTENTION CARMEN***

Julie on 12/11/02 at 11:24 (102716)

Hi Carmen

You sound fantastic. And I'm glad you saw my alert. I'm sure you'll be able to give Anna a lot of help, because you've been there. I know we've all been there as far as foot pain is concerned, but you in particular stand out because you went through the same passionate emotions at first as I can hear in her voice, and you came through. Wonderfully.

Nice to talk. Keep well. :)

Re: Running And Foot Pain

Rebecca S on 12/11/02 at 13:52 (102732)

Anna - I had the same problem you have, except I've had it now for 5 years. I dance competitevely with my husband. I have spent over $2500 on orthoses, Dr. visits and physical therapy. I finally have 2 pair of orthotics that work. One for my dance shoes & one for my tennis shoes.
The ONLY shoes I can wear without orthotics are called DANSKO's. They are amazing. They are clogs & are not particulary attractive, plus they are $105 / pair, but the worked miracles on my feet. I am now able to stand while working 8 hours a day, then dance a few hours at night.

When I dance, I always TAPE my feet.

Has anyone heard of a treatment for soft tissue repair called ESWT 'Extra-corporeal Shock Wave Therapy'?
Thanks,
Rebecca

Re: Running And Foot Pain

carmen h on 12/11/02 at 19:01 (102770)

Rebecca be very careful on your feet. Dancing would be the last thing I would do after all that trouble. :o(
Also...there is an entire section of this message board on ESWT....take a peek at the home page.

Re: Re; Danskos

JudyS on 12/12/02 at 10:56 (102817)

I was able to get 'hold of a Dansko catalog and actually found a number of very attractive and cute shoes and clogs. Maybe their website will show some. Another brand of pretty attractive clogs, etc. is Josef Seibel.

Re: Running And Foot Pain

dave r on 12/10/02 at 10:43 (102548)

Anna, anna, anna. Stop running period! Put your platform boots in the basement and see a podiatrist. Read the heel pain book that is posted on this site. Most people will recover from this within a year. Sometimes a simple shoe change will solve your problems. You need to rest your feet, ice a few times a day.

Re: Running And Foot Pain

Annette on 12/10/02 at 11:08 (102555)

yes Anna,
you should stop running, I did the foolish thing and tried to run through it and even ran a marathon with the foot pain! Now it has been three years and I am still unable to run with out pain. But please dont get discouraged, I think my foot is extra stubborn, more than the norm. I think if you can try to stay off of your feet for a while(and I mean months and months, not weeks), and treat your feet accordingly, you will heal, otherwise you will only make your feet worse, and you'll be in my position. Dave is right, see a Dr. even if you don't have insurance, and read the heel pain book, it will help. To keep my sanity I have been weight training and water running mostly, water running is boring but it is great for burning calories and it keeps the muscle tone in your legs the same as if you were running so you wont loose everything. I also bike ride and x-country ski, but lately I have been mostly water running for my cardio. Good luck and keep working on your feet so that you can run again some day soon!
Annette

Re: Running And Foot Pain

Julie on 12/10/02 at 17:11 (102598)

Anna, Dave is right.

See a podiatrist as soon as possible for a full evaluation of your biomechanics. Running and other impact sports can contribute to PF even if a person's biomechanics are perfect. If they're faulty, running will bring it on faster, and they need to be addressedm usually with custom orthotics.
Read the heel pain book.
Read the message boards for information about others' experience, and for support.
Rest your feet as much as you your life and work allow.
Reconsider your footgear. No platform boots or fashions shoes.
Look into Birkenstocks, which have helped many of us.
If anything hurts you are re-injuring yourself. Stop doing what hurts.
Never go barefoot.
Ice to reduce inflammation, taping to support the arch. You'll find information about all this in the heel pain book.

Above all - stop running - for as long as it takes your feet to heal completely.You are re-injuring yourself with every step. Stop for as long as it takes - and it will take longer than five days. PF can be slow to heal, but if you take care of it it will heal. Your youth is on your side, and if you get a treatment plan in place quickly, you will get better.

Re: Running And Foot Pain

Anna on 12/10/02 at 19:30 (102631)

To Annette, Dave, and Julie:
I can't help but feel really sorry for myself after reading your responses.I dont want to act like a baby about this, but I guess I am in a bit of shock that I am going to have to stop running for the next few months at least.It took a lot of discipline and patience to get up to the physical shape I was in. I was using running as weight control b/c I have a very bad sweet tooth and a big junk food appetite. I also tend to eat out of boredom and for emotional stresses. I am wondering if this condition will allow me to do some walking for about 50 minutes a day after a weeks rest of my feet?
I know what you mean about having to see the podiatrist. Guess I am going to start saving some money to see the doctor.
Can being seronegative rheumatoid arthritis have caused this problem to come on? I was told about 3 years ago that I might be seronegative ra.
One more question: How do I tape my foot? Why should I do it?
Anna

Re: Running And Foot Pain

Jim C. on 12/10/02 at 22:36 (102656)

Hi Anna,

I know what your going through with having to stop running. I had to stop myself after I tried to run through this to no avail. That was 6 months ago and I'm much healed but not back to running form yet, But I'm sure your recovery will be much shorter as I worked very hard to get myself into as bad as shape as I was, it sounds as if you caught this fairly early.

Taping is very very helpful and it is somewhat of an art to apply it.

First, when the heel lifts off the ground during your gait there is great stress/stretching of the planter fascia, taping provides support during this motion. Very helpful, you should feel the difference as soon as you take your first step.

The less tape the better as it can cause alot of irritation. I use scotts model in the heal pain book, but I only use two peices in a X fashion. the art comes in getting the tension just right. First try applying it with your foot in a neutral position (the position your foot is in when your standing)Dorsiflexed is when your toes are pointing down, obviously when you apply tape in this position you will stretch the tape when you straighten your foot back to neutral(adding tension) Planter flexed is when your toes are pointing up with the ankle bent as you were trying to touch your toes, this will reduce tension when you move back to the neutral position. The tension should be such where when your heel lifts off the ground (when your walking) the tape will pull away from the arch briefly and then relax back into your arch when your foot strikes the ground. Play around until you get it just right, if you have it to tight it will problably be to painful to walk very long. If it's to loose you just won't feel the tension on heel lift off.
I may have made it sound very complicated but just play around with it and trust the way it feels, it's really not that complicated.
Remember, don't run or walk, do stretch daily, tape, wear good shoes, rest and I would highly recommend a night splint.

Good luck,

Jim

Re: Running And Foot Pain

Julie on 12/11/02 at 04:46 (102670)

Anna, of course you feel sorry for yourself, and who could blame you!? Your story is a painfully familiar one to many people here - everyone who has to stop running is devastated by it at first (and some for a long time afterwards). Give yourself time to accept it: you will, because you are sensible and know that you have only one pair of feet that has to last you a lifetime.

There is much you can do to keep in shape. Swimming is the best all-round exercise, both cardiovascularly and stretch-wise.

Don't wait until you've saved money - borrow it if you must, but see a foot doctor soon.

Tape gives your arches the support that the injured fascia can no longer give. It can relieve the pain, but by 'resting' the fascia (taking the strain off it) it gives the injury a chance to heal. It helped me enormously. See the instructions in the heel pain book - and good luck.

Your feelings remind me very much of Carmen's when she first arrived here a year and a half or so ago. She has coped tremendously well with the challenge, and has learned a great deal from the experience. I hope she will see this and offer you her perspective.

Re: Running And Foot Pain - ***ATTENTION CARMEN***

Julie on 12/11/02 at 07:48 (102676)

Carmen, if you're around right now, please read this thread and see if you can give Annette the fruits of your experience.

How are you?

Re: Running And Foot Pain

nancy s. on 12/11/02 at 08:34 (102688)

anna, just to add another voice to the others already here: i know firsthand how hard it is to give up even temporarily something you love and that has been benefiting you so much, but i urge you to do it and replace it with something else, like swimming, as julie suggested. i'm an antiquer, which requires a lot of running around, and i persisted in doing it for many months into my heel pain, even after getting the official diagnosis. i did it until my feet became so disabled that i had absolutely no choice but to stop it. by that time i'd done a lot more damage, and i had to stop working for two years, which was a real heartbreak for me. i hope you'll save yourself from this mistake, because if you take care of your feet now, the likelihood that you'll heal sooner and better is much higher.

do read the heel pain book, do get to a foot doctor, and do rest your injured feet. if you continue to stretch (a good idea), do only nonweightbearing stretching.

i know it's a shock and hard to accept. please stay with this site and let people here help you deal with it -- we've all been there, and many are still.

nancy
.

Re: Hi Anna

carmen h on 12/11/02 at 09:31 (102696)

wow...You sure do bring back some memories of my first few months of this mess.
Julie was right...I did experience some of what you are going through...and MORE. I didn't read through each post to you as I have very little time anymore (life is busy!) but wanted to reply to you. First things first. YES...this can have something to do with RA. You definitely need to get to a doctor FIRST thing. That is number one. I understand that with RA it's not good to ice the feet...so with this problem you need to get to the underlying cause of the pain first so you don't do further damage. Second...no more running, biking or weight bearing exercise. Not until you figure this out. Even lifting weights right now can damage your wrists and elbows, back and hips. If you are prone to these soft tissue 'issues' and tendon problems..the best thing is to swim just like Julie said. Third....start reading on how to control the 'sweet tooth'. Get to the bottom of the emotional eating as well...and since you understand that you have a problem with it you are already ahead of the game.
If it makes you feel better...I was panicked...and I do mean panicked when I heard I had to stop running, lifting and working out. I immediately thought about the weight...NOW....18 months later? I rarely think about it. While exercise and staying fit ARE important...sometimes other things are more important. Like living pain free again. I am 80% better than I was in June of 2001...but I am STILL not 100%. I have not worked out since June of 2001...but I have lost 8 pounds since this happened. So it IS possible to not gain weight with a disability such as PF or RA.
You are going to go through some SUPER tough times coming up....I know how hard it is to quit exercise...I had some severe down times...but it is absolutely imperative you quit until you find out what is going on.
Please get to a doctor...find one that will work with you in payment terms.
I know this probably hasn't done much to make you feel better...physically. But understand you are not alone...this has happened to many of us.
And..about those boots? You're talking to the platform queen...LOVED those shoes and boots at one point...but toss them faster than you go to the doctor. They are ruining your feet.
Hang in there....
p.s. read up on RA o nthe internet and get some facts about your symptoms as well.

Re: Running And Foot Pain - ***ATTENTION CARMEN***

carmen h on 12/11/02 at 09:32 (102697)

I don't know how much I helped since she has Sero. RA but I hope she knows she is not alone....
Thanks Julie!
I am fine by the way....staying sooo busy with Humane Society fundraising, adoption coordinating, volunteer coordinating, Board projects and working.
Whew!
:o)
I love it though!

Re: Running And Foot Pain

JudyS on 12/11/02 at 10:48 (102709)

Anna - I know it's easy to say, but, hang in there. I think I mentioned before that my own experience pretty much parallels yours. If you can stop running for awhile you absolutely should. I went through so much self-pity at one time that I stopped doing all exercise. It was a silly 'running or nothing' attitude on my part. I'm a sweet-aholic too so you can imagine what happened after twenty-some years of running, etc. Because I did keep running and playing ball for the first year of my foot problem, I made it far, far worse than it had to be. It became chronic and now, four years and much, much treatment later, I'm at the point where I'm going to try to start running again. Please, take care of things for yourself now so that you don't have to wait four years to do the activity(s) you're passionate about.

Re: Running And Foot Pain - ***ATTENTION CARMEN***

Julie on 12/11/02 at 11:24 (102716)

Hi Carmen

You sound fantastic. And I'm glad you saw my alert. I'm sure you'll be able to give Anna a lot of help, because you've been there. I know we've all been there as far as foot pain is concerned, but you in particular stand out because you went through the same passionate emotions at first as I can hear in her voice, and you came through. Wonderfully.

Nice to talk. Keep well. :)

Re: Running And Foot Pain

Rebecca S on 12/11/02 at 13:52 (102732)

Anna - I had the same problem you have, except I've had it now for 5 years. I dance competitevely with my husband. I have spent over $2500 on orthoses, Dr. visits and physical therapy. I finally have 2 pair of orthotics that work. One for my dance shoes & one for my tennis shoes.
The ONLY shoes I can wear without orthotics are called DANSKO's. They are amazing. They are clogs & are not particulary attractive, plus they are $105 / pair, but the worked miracles on my feet. I am now able to stand while working 8 hours a day, then dance a few hours at night.

When I dance, I always TAPE my feet.

Has anyone heard of a treatment for soft tissue repair called ESWT 'Extra-corporeal Shock Wave Therapy'?
Thanks,
Rebecca

Re: Running And Foot Pain

carmen h on 12/11/02 at 19:01 (102770)

Rebecca be very careful on your feet. Dancing would be the last thing I would do after all that trouble. :o(
Also...there is an entire section of this message board on ESWT....take a peek at the home page.

Re: Re; Danskos

JudyS on 12/12/02 at 10:56 (102817)

I was able to get 'hold of a Dansko catalog and actually found a number of very attractive and cute shoes and clogs. Maybe their website will show some. Another brand of pretty attractive clogs, etc. is Josef Seibel.