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running with heel pain

Posted by Molly F. on 4/15/03 at 23:00 (116249)

I have been training for a marathong that is to take place in two weeks. Although I have had moderate discomfort in my heel during the months of training, in the past week and a half I have had serious pain in my heel. I have been applying ice at least 3 times per day, taking IBprofin 3 times per day, and massaging the sore area. I have refrained from running for four days after my last run ended short, as I was in so much pain I could not finish the desired distance. Although I have not run I have been doing less impact activities such as biking and using the eliptical machine in the gym. I want to finish this marathon. What else can I do to speed recovery and minimize pain? How long should I refrain from running?
Thank you

Re: is like running with a broken leg, in some respects...

Carole C in NOLA on 4/16/03 at 13:09 (116306)

Running with heel pain due to PF is like running with a broken leg, in some respects, because you are further damaging already damaged tissues.

I am not a doctor, and I highly recommend that you see a doctor or podiatrist and get your heel pain diagnosed. The most common cause of heel pain seems to be plantar fasciitis (PF), but you need to know for sure.

Running with PF is self destructive. I would strongly urge you not to do it until your PF is healed. This generally takes weeks to months, but those who keep running often have it for years. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I'm afraid you may have to postpone this marathon (but check with your doctor to make sure, since you might not have PF). The sooner you treat PF, the faster it will heal.

First, see a doctor or podiatrist. Meanwhile, I'd suggest that you read the heel pain book which you can read on this website for free. Conservative treatments that you can do on your own, seem to work quite well for most people. These include gentle stretching (like Julie's Yoga stretches; click on the word Yoga), icing, resting your feet, and never going barefoot, not even in a shower. Some of us have found custom orthotics to be very helpful. Finally, please keep reading the message board and asking questions.

Carole C