sore heel ?

In the last few weeks i have developed a pain in my right heel. Its not painfull all the time. When i start my run i can feel it but after about a mile into my run it wears off completly. I notice after my run it is painfull to touch like a bruise but there is nothing no lump or anything. Its the same in the morning when i wake up but by the time i go to work its gone. Some members of my running club say it could be the plantar fascia , has anyone got any idea what my problem could be and remedy for it .


  • Peter, it sounds exactly like plantar fasciitis, which is a sprain or inflammation of the plantar fascia, the tough membrane that lines the sole of your foot.

    It's often associated with tight achilles tendons, so the first approach is to start, or increase, your calf and hamstring stretches. That may be sufficient, since it sounds as if you're quite mildly affected.

    Check your shoes and make sure your heel doesn't slip when you're running. That can cause a sort of repetitive strain on the heel part of your plantar fascia.

    If that doesn't work, a biomechanical assessment with a view to seeing whether you need orthotics to redistribute the stresses going through your foot would be worthwhile. If the pain becomes severe or prolonged enough to interfere with normal walking, anti-inflammatory medication such as Ibuprofen 600mg up to 3 times a day would be worthwhile.

    As a last resort, a steroid injection into the affected area may help (most GP practices have someone who can do this procedure) but it's a painful injection (and hurts for a couple of days afterwards too), it doesn't always work, and there's a risk that the steroid will weaken the plantar fascia and cause it to tear.

    The outlook is very good - given time, plantar fasciitis tends to settle down by itself. But you're a runner, you're bound to be more impatient than that!

    The most important thing - provided your symptoms aren't getting worse, it's fine to continue to run, although you may benefit from a change to non-weightbearing cross-training for some of your sessions.

    Cheers, V-rap.
  • Hi Peter.Yes I'm afraid it does sound like PF,I suffered the same 3 years ago now,and it is only recently that I have been able to run with confidence,not having to "over compensate" for the injury.I feel that the reason that it has been so prolonged,was because for the first few weeks,I was in denial,convinced that I would "run it off".Prior to this,much like yourself,I was running up to 50 miles per week,an active member of my club,and entering a race about every month.basically,running was my life.Then suddenly it was all taken away from me!My advice to you therefore is to seek advice straight away and listen!Believe me,its better to miss a months running than 3 years -as my bathroom scales will testify!
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