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a jogger-when stretching feels like tearing at heel

Posted by james e on 4/15/03 at 00:29 (116151)

a jogger(not runner)-15 yrs,3 miles,10 mim.miles,4 times a week.am 45yrs old.have never had any leg-foot problems.had shin splits kinda bad for 2days-ran through them like a dummy.when i stretch by 'pushing' against a wall, my right heel at the very back-bottom feels like something is ripping or tearing,but all is fine when i let up.no pain in walking.even when jogging i don't notice it.the only time it occurs is if i am pushing something heavy(the pushing the car example).have decided not to jog for awhile. don't know if this is something that needs to be looked at.any/all info would be great. thanks, mike

Re: a jogger-when stretching feels like tearing at heel

Carole C in NOLA on 4/16/03 at 12:56 (116304)

Mike,

First, to be clear, I am not a doctor but someone who has plantar fasciitis (PF). However, I noticed that nobody answered so I thought I'd contribute my two cents.

Pushing against a wall like that is very hard on the plantar fascia. You might be experiencing the first symptoms of PF. Believe me, PF is not something you want to mess around with because it can take a very long time to recover from it, and it can become disabling. You need to stop doing anything that causes that ripping or tearing sensation for at least a couple of months. Then if there is any damage, it will have a chance to heal over those two months.

The question is, how can you stretch adequately for your jogging? Maybe you can do some sort of more gentle stretching for a longer period of time before and after jogging, and get the same stretching results that you are now getting from wall stretching. Julie's Yoga stretching exercises are very gentle and seem to help most PF sufferers. Click on the word Yoga to read about them. I don't know if they would provide sufficient stretching for your purposes, but they might, especially if you do them for a longer period of time than your wall stretches.

Carole C

Re: a jogger-when stretching feels like tearing at heel

Ellen J. on 4/17/03 at 18:13 (116447)

Hi James,
I'm not a doctor either, but Carol's note was right on. I was a runner at one time before I got Plantar Fasciitis. You could have that or you might have achilles tendonitis. As a runner (or jogger) you might likely suffer from very tight muscles in the back of your legs, such as tight calf muscles or hamstrings. This can cause alot of pull on the achilles which can hurt that tendon or possibly the plantar fasciia under the heel and bottom of the foot. However, stretching a newly injured area can make it worse, so you might want to stop jogging and wait until the area has healed some. Then start slowly and carefully stretching and only begin jogging again once your calves and hamstrings are nice and limber. If you feel any tugging or pain in the injured area as you stretch, you might be reinjuring it. You would know if you are stretching too much if the pain comes back (or gets worse) then following day.
Again, take my note with a grain of salt and hopefully the docs can give you some professional advice. If you take the time to heal up now, you will be back on the road again sooner than if you try to run through it, in my opinion. Hard to do, I know--I used to love running!
Ellen J.