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Old 02-17-2013, 08:57 PM   #1
Katrina Fox
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Heel spur (suspected), plantar fasciitis and minimal shoes

Hey all- I transitioned to Merrill minimalist shoes about 4-5 months ago and love them. Didn't have any soreness issues at all during the transition and no issues since. Last week, we did a tough running WOD (I suck at running) and I came away with some heel pain. Didn't think much of it, and it would improve after walking on it, so I assumed I had a strained muscle and just took it kind of easy. The WODs we had done in the meantime were mostly lifting, and even doing a 1RM front squat with lots of weight in my heels didn't seem to aggravate it. I mentioned it to my trainer on Friday to see if he had any other suggestions as the pain wasn't going away as easily and I was also having some tightness/muscle pain in that calf and he brought up PF (don't know why I didn't think of it before- too busy I guess). Looked it up online, sounded pretty consistent with what I was dealing with. Started rolling it on a lacrosse ball and did the same with my calf. It felt better after rolling it out, but still had some pain.

Saw my PA today (my dad) and after exam, he's pretty certain I have a heel spur, plantar fasciitis as well as a strain/sprain in my calf. We discussed the typical recommendations and I asked about my minimalist shoes when he suggested some heel cups for awhile. We talked about why I bought the shoes and the concept of barefoot running and he kinda rolled his eyes and said I need to wear shoes with more support from here on out whenever I run.

I did a search on here, but no one really mentions the shoes when discussing heel spurs. For now, my plan is to do the stretches, rolling with a frozen water bottle, wearing shoes with more cushioning (+/- heel cups) and resting from running. Any thoughts on whether I can transition back to the minimalist shoes when I get the pain under control? I'm aware this can be a long term issue and won't be an easy fix, and I can live with some pain as long as I'm not causing permanent damage to my foot. Thoughts? (And if the pain doesn't improve in the next few weeks I'll likely go see my doctor for x-rays to get an actual diagnosis)
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Old 02-18-2013, 01:50 PM   #2
Chris Ryll
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Re: Heel spur (suspected), plantar fasciitis and minimal shoes

I did the minimalist running thing as well and I'm still into it actually. I went through a similar injury involving plantar fasciitis. My doc gave me a boot to wear at night with a sock shoved under the ball of my foot for when it acts up and said to do the frozen water bottle / medicine ball exercises when I watch tv or whatever. A few weeks of that and I was good to go.

I still wear minimalist shoes but with slightly more cushion. I wear Inov-8 shoes and I've found that the two arrow version of them are great for me. I think its hard for your body when you've been wearing the super soled shoes your entire life and you transition to minimalist running.

Take a couple of weeks off, do the exercises, and ease back into it. I recommend those shoes as well. I run marathons and half marathons in them and my feet feel fine afterwards. Good luck.
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Old 02-18-2013, 01:55 PM   #3
Jose M. Perez
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Re: Heel spur (suspected), plantar fasciitis and minimal shoes

I've had problems with PF from time to time. What works best for me is stretching the calf muscles. Take a look at MobilityWOD's video on self-treatment: http://www.mobilitywod.com/2010/11/e...fasciitis.html (wfs)
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Old 02-19-2013, 07:24 AM   #4
Steve Agocs
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Re: Heel spur (suspected), plantar fasciitis and minimal shoes

When doctors and therapists are talking about spurs, plantar fasciitis, etc interchangeably you KNOW (yes, even if they are podiatrists) that they are running on outdated information. Tom Michaud is a chiropractor who is one of the world's leading experts in lower extremity biomechanics and this article represents the state of the art on functional heel pain. For info only, doesn't replace an exam or doctor's opinion, of course.

http://www.dynamicchiropractic.com/m...e.php?id=56314

The thought process that pain comes from spurs and spurs come from over-tight plantar fascia is old school thinking and it misses the mark for where the problem is coming from and what to do about it. The above article is pretty advanced, but print it and give it to your podiatrist or anyone else who is dealing with your feet and help get them caught up to speed on what the research is showing...
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Old 02-19-2013, 10:42 AM   #5
Megan Zetter
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Re: Heel spur (suspected), plantar fasciitis and minimal shoes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Agocs View Post
When doctors and therapists are talking about spurs, plantar fasciitis, etc interchangeably you KNOW (yes, even if they are podiatrists) that they are running on outdated information. Tom Michaud is a chiropractor who is one of the world's leading experts in lower extremity biomechanics and this article represents the state of the art on functional heel pain. For info only, doesn't replace an exam or doctor's opinion, of course.

http://www.dynamicchiropractic.com/m...e.php?id=56314

The thought process that pain comes from spurs and spurs come from over-tight plantar fascia is old school thinking and it misses the mark for where the problem is coming from and what to do about it. The above article is pretty advanced, but print it and give it to your podiatrist or anyone else who is dealing with your feet and help get them caught up to speed on what the research is showing...
I love Michauds work!! For more excellent, up to date information on foot and lower extremity dysfunction, I cannot recommend his book any more highly: Human Locomotion

He recently published an updated version. I suggest going with the newest edition. I have both and while there are a lot of overlaps and repeated information, the new book is full of wonderful and updated information.
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Old 02-25-2013, 08:14 AM   #6
Daniel Pope
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Re: Heel spur (suspected), plantar fasciitis and minimal shoes

Really not familiar with Michaud's work but I am familiar with the literature he cites about orthotics and low-dye taping. Both of these techniques support the medial arch of your foot and can decrease excessive pronation (flattening of your foot) with movement.

I like barefoot running but the transition can end up causing more harm then good. If you don't have the ability to control the medial arch of the foot (causing excessive pronation) with movement then over time you can develop a heel spur.

Research supports NSAIDs, Orthotics, night splints and corticosteroids. From a physical therapy perspective I would focus on strengthening the hip, core and foot as well as focus on ankle mobility to fix the problem. I've written extensively about how to do this on my site

I wouldn't be afraid of wearing shoes though. Just because our ancestors didn't wear shoes doesn't me that we shouldn't either, and this comes from someone who supports barefoot running. My co-host is a physical therapist and we discuss shoes in a podcast episode (how to pick the right shoe for you based on your foot type) that you might find helpful. You can find it here.

I know this is a lot but I hope it helps,
Dan Pope
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