View Full Version : Heel pain

susanne carney
07-14-2005, 09:48 AM
Anyone have any magic answers for heel pain? I am almost positive it is plantar fascitis (not sure if that is spelled right). It is killing me and slowing me down.

Steve Shafley
07-14-2005, 01:41 PM
Tough one.

Try some (or all) of these:

-freeze a soda bottle and roll out/massage the painful area several times a day.

-stretch: calf (both straight and bent knees), hamstring, glutes...this is what really helped me the most

-the PF sock: makes you sleep with your toe pulled upwards

-DMSO therapy. I had mixed results with this...sometimes it relieved pain and inflammation and sometimes it didn't.

-stop doing activities that hurt it. for me, this was running and jumping rope.

-wear a shoe with a larger heel (this takes pressure off, and is more of a quick fix for the pain, rather than a treatment)

Carl Herzog
07-14-2005, 03:36 PM
Number one solution reported by those who have conquered their PF: shoe inserts that provide meaningful arch support. Sure, it's better if your feet are strong enough so you don't need them but if you have pain you need to change something. The strengthening exercises usually offered don't seem to help many people.

Stretching is second. Try both.

William Hunter
07-15-2005, 05:43 AM
If these measures don't help enough, there are some phenomenal soft tissue techniques out there, used mainly by DC's and PT's. You can check out Active Release Technique and the Graston Instruments. I've had success with some very stubborn cases of PF and heel spurs as well. Downside- costs you money.

susanne carney
07-18-2005, 01:23 PM
I coach cross country and have had kids get this, now I understand what it feels like. I have run for over 30 years and have never had this problem, I guess I will just have to run at night, morning is a killer. I have found that if I can just get going that the pain is tolerable. I don't think anything else is going to work. I might try to get a doctor to give me a cortisone shot, I am aggrevated because my workouts are going well right now.

Robert Wolf
07-18-2005, 08:41 PM
Check out this site:

Susanne, are you doing the WOD? You can prevent detraining while you figure out this problem.

Robert Wolf
07-18-2005, 09:06 PM
These also:

Lisa Sanfilippo
07-19-2005, 07:14 AM
Hey Robb,
It's me Lisa in Oklahoma. Yes, Susanne has been doing the WOD (sometimes doing the electric fence workout) She is my only female "big dog" at CrossFit BootCamp. :o) We definitley don't have to worry about her detraining.

Thanks for the advice guys and hang in there Susanne.

susanne carney
07-19-2005, 09:44 AM
Hey Lisa.......I am going to inject my own foot, I also thought maybe if I hit it real hard on the opposite side with like a hammer that it would take my mind off the other side.......my real solution is this.....only run distance at night, once I get about a half mile it is tolerable, that is why I ran at 10:00 pm last night. Other than maybe getting mugged, it is really a pretty good time to run.

Brian Hand
07-19-2005, 11:56 AM
William, could you elaborate a little on your experience with A.R.T. and Graston technique with PF?

William Hunter
07-19-2005, 12:51 PM
Brian, I've used both techniques, but I honestly much prefer the Graston Instruments. They're much easier to use all day every day and, frankly, I think they deliver a better treatment (ART folks would shoot me on sight for that comment :-)). They are hand held steel tools that are used in gliding, fanning or strumming motions through the dysfunctional area. They are used superficially at first, then you can work deeper into the area. The tools "catch" on the fibrotic scar tissue present and begin to mobilize it. It is hypothesized that they re-initiate the inflammatory process, bringing on the "fibroblastic cascade", resulting in collagen deposition. Stretching protocols (PNF, PIR etc.) immediately following promote better collagen alignment and maturation.

The amazing thing is the amount of feel you have. You can literally find every speck of grit in someone's PF, elbow tendon etc. with these tools. I often scan adjacent areas such as the achilles, soleus/gastroc and find lurking adhesions that may be part of the problem.

I've had great success with various forms of tendonitis and tendonosis. Some have done well even if they've had the problem in excess of 10 years.

Hope that helps.

Brian Hand
07-19-2005, 01:18 PM
William, that is very helpful, thank you. Your patients are very lucky!

susanne carney
07-19-2005, 01:49 PM
Those treatments sound great, but I don't think we have anything like that in southeastern oklahoma......I guess I will learn to live with the pain, because I refuse to stop.......

William Hunter
07-19-2005, 03:21 PM
Brian, thanks for the compliment. While working on a bad PF, my patients may not feel that "lucky". Maybe I could make amends by whipping them up a frothy tuna shake? :-)

Susanne, I checked the provider directory for both ART and Graston, and it looks like the closest providers are either in Ok City or Tulsa, which look to be equally far away from McAlester. Shaf mentioned the PF sock, which I really like as well. I think your idea of running at night is the best solution right now, as PF really rears its head first thing in the morning.

Good luck from a former running junkie...

susanne carney
07-19-2005, 05:40 PM
Hey William, ......thanks for the info, Tulsa isn't that far away, so when I get to a point that I can't go at all I will check it out. I am going to make my own night time sock and try that for awhile, also, I have taped it before work outs and that has helped a bit. Yes, Running is a must for me, not so much for the physical being , but the mental ........susanne

Brian Hand
07-19-2005, 06:14 PM
William, you could even give them a tuna shake to sip during treatment, tuna shakes taste best with a side dish of pain.

Susanne, for me it was worth the trouble to drive a couple hours for ART treatment. Two treatments Friday and Monday and a shoulder that clicked for a year no matter what I did, stopped clicking.