Sudden Heal Pain ????

Hi Guy's
The day after doing a PB at my local parkrun last weekend I have had a severe pain in my heel and I can barely walk never mind run!

The pain is at the front of my right heel near the arch of my foot and is all the way across my foot. The best way to describe the pain is if you imagine standing on a marker pen with it placed at the front of the heel!
Iv'e never had any problems like this before and had no pain or discomfort during running.
The only thing that was different was that I ran in new Nike lunar eclipse trainers but they felt really comfortable and the pain only started the next day.
If anybody else knows what im talking about I would be very grateful if you could shed some light on this and maybe give me an idea how to repair/rectify my problem.
Thanks in advance.


  • Sounds like Plantar Fascitis, maybe spelled wrong.  I suffered for about 8 months last year with it.

    I think with me it was a bad fitting pair of trainers.  I could only run once a week and could hardly walk for about 3 days.  Tried everything, rest, ice, gels, doctor who basically advised the afore mentioned and finally refered me to physio

     But don't let that scare you.  I then saw the physio who gave me some exercises to do and after three weeks the pain was all but gone. 

    Thank god as the next option was a cortozone injection into the base of my foot........


  • Yeah after digging around the net I think you may be right.

    Don't suppose you could elaborate on the exercises you did to fix the problem???


  • Three exercises takin about 15 mins a day.  Physio won't give any more as people are not likely to do them (Bright man)

    Half squats feet shoulder width apart, concentrate on making sure knee passes foot above the same point both sides to ensure alignment, 50 Building to 100.

    Single leg half squats.25 Building to 50.

    Now for the other.  Stand facing a wall with bare feet,  put the bad foot against the wall at about 45 degrees and rotate the foot side to side.  It will feel uncomfortable at first as i's not natural but it really stetches the plantar.  Do this 15 times.

  • Many thanks EDED, I will defo give these a go as I have the Manchester 10k in may and the Great North Run in September.

  • Did your physio mentioned the possibility of trying orthotics? PF is usually caused by the flattening of the arch of your foot and orthotics support this area and help the tendon pulling over the heel.

    I used an off the shelf product - Orthaheel and was back running within a week.

  • He mentioned it as a possibility if the exercises didn't work, it was the doctor who wanted to inject if neccesary.  If the trouble flares up again I may very well try them. Hate needles me like..
  • The funny thing is that Last year I had really severe pain in both feet that happened over night but it was all over my foot rather than just at the front of my heel.
    I went and had some orthotics made at a cost of £180 which cured my problem instantly BUT!!! after talking to some people on here they informed me that my problem could have been cured with simple calf stretches!!! I tried this and it worked so I havent worn my bespoke insoles for over a year with no pain what so ever. Until last weekend that is, so now I have them back in my shoes image.
  • The funny thing is that I have to do calf stretches my right calf causes me no end of bother! Will always stick my orthotics in my shoes.

  • well ive been struggling with this for the past 2 months, done the stretches, done the ice, done the rolling.....and it still hurts!!!
  • Ah Richard - are you still suffering ?  Mine is dying down a bit - heel more niggly than anything now - Did I tell you about my sock - been wearing a Strassburg sock overnight which helps especially first thing in the morning and I think it's working although have taken it off in the middle of the night a couple of times as I've probably done it up too tight.  Not the most attractive of bedtime attire but if it helps image
  • was waiting to here your thoughts on the sock before i looked into it myself. Keep us posted.
  • If the correct diagnosis is Plantar Fasciitis then this can be a very intractable problem.
    Glad runners have had a good result for pain that may mimic PF but is one of other complex foot problems that is amenable to the treatments described.
  • try massaging feet by rolling a golf ball......its a perverse pain/heaven!!!!!
  • Thing is ive had this for over a week now, not much better even with the exercises or bespoke orthotics. My thoughts are do I persevere with the stretching or is it rest thats needed?
  • I had this last year. The problem for me was tightness in the calf and achilles (from racing on multiple consecutive weekends and not sufficient stretching) which manifested as pain in the plantar/heel.

    I had 2 months off running, doing lots of stretches, calf dips etc, rolling tennis ball (better than golf) under the foot, raising legs when seated and rotating feet left to right and vice versa.

    Orthotics will only mask the pain (i.e good for vital races but bad for cure). Having your heel raised will actually be detrimental as it puts extra pressure on achilles/calf.

    It depends how quickly you can get back into shape/ are willing to cross train. You can run through PF but this can lead to much worse problems, some people suffer for years.

    My advice is be careful, take a few weeks off running and just cross train (you have plenty of time before manc 10k and esp. GNR), get a good physio and stretch lots.

  • Cheers Slim j, sounds like good advice.
  • I've not run for about 6 weeks now and can see myself not running for at least another 6 weeks.  It's only very slowly getting better and some days it feels worse but I'm doing all the right things and I can live without running for a bit - I know from previous injuries that running too soon or indeed running through them only makes it worse thus prolonging the agony so to speak.  I love my running so a few weeks is better than a few months and also I know how painful it was to walk at first and I'm not going back there !!  I cycle and do gym stuff now - not the same I know but better than nowt !!
  • The advice I was given by my physio is that orthotics that support the arch of your foot allow the tendons running over the heal (from under your foot to your achilles) to relax.

    Orthotics certainly DON'T mask pain, as stated by Slim J, it allows the injured area to heal.

  • I've now been diagnosed with a heal spur - went to the physio last week and now my plantar fascia is totally stretched out but my heal is so lumpy and still tender.  don't know when I'll be running again but with all the massaging and stretching it could be sooner than I hoped in the first place.
  • ive had an XRay thats given the all clear for anything bone related. Now got an appointment with the Podiatrist on friday to see what he says. Im still suffering with pain in a very precise area, not just all over,  although still got inflamation that wont clear up either.

    Managed 2 mile on the treadmill although it still didnt feel right but the pain didnt get any worse, dont know whether thats a good or bad thing??

  • I wonder if you could offer me some guidance? I have been training for Brighton Marathon (10th April) and have reached 21 mile mark some weeks ago. About 3 weeks back, I came home from my long run in agony. I haven't run since. Saw Doctor last week who says it is PF, and have given me some strong anti-inflamms, I have been icing, stretching and tennis ball foot rolling which have all eased  the pain.  I am now able to walk comfortably on my foot, but running is still a no go.

    It is only 3 weeks to the marathon, I haven't done any running for the last 3 weeks, I have cross trained hard to keep my fitness up. I am now coming to accept that my training will have to go to waste as I do not think it would be wise to just run 26 miles on it even if it does feel healed.  I would be worried I could do some long term damage.

    What do you think?


  • Hi Helen

    I am in exactly the same situation as yourself,
    I have got to a stage where when im walking I cant even feel any pain what so ever but as soon as I start to run the pain appears then takes a few days to stop hurting again. The only advice ive had is to deal with it and gradually it will get better over time. TIME being the operative word. My physio is very talented and I trust her every word as she has sorted me out in the past where other physio's have just wasted my money so I trust her when she says just do the stretching and rolling, although she has recommended I fill a plastic coke bottle with water a freeze it and use this for the rolling. Do this for 30 mins a day. This has got me walking with Zero pain but running is still a no no.
    She says its just down to you and how quickly you heal! every body is different but there really is no other fix for this.
  • Hi Helen,

    I'm in a similar situation to yourself, (also lost a few weeks training in Jan with separate injury). I'm deferring my marathon place this year (also on 10th April) - not an easy decision to make. On what you've said, it may be best to defer - especially if you're aiming for a time. Not worth the risk of making the injury worse.....Think only you can decide what is best though.

    BB - I'm going to take a leaf out of your book & try the iced bottle treatment. Have you been given any particular stretches by your physio? The foot pain I have is towards the right side of my R foot, so dont think it is PF, but the degree of pain is similar - I'm treating it it with Ice & rest. Can now walk painfree. Itching to run as weather is so lovely, but going to leave it another week to be on safe side.

    Would be interested to hear how you all get on with returning to running & what you found helped. Cheers!

  • Ditto. I've been easily banging out 50 miles a week and feeling fitter than I've ever felt in my life. But I've had a bit of pain in my left heel which has just been diagnosed as Plantar Fasciitis.

    My physio, who I like very much and trust implicitly, said I shouldn't worry about it, and that it's not as bad as all the internet sites make out. He said it should ease off now as I taper and there's no reason why it should interfere with my training or marathon, particularly as it eases when I run. He says it takes months to get really bad and that as long as I rest for a few weeks after the marathon it'll clear up by itself.

    But this morning it's the worst it's been. I'm hobbling around like an old man. And a quick Google search tells me encouragingly that it should get better in 6-9 months, and only if I'm unlucky will it take 2 years........ SIX TO NINE MONTHS!!!!!!!! TWO YEARS!!!!! ARE YOU HAVING A ******* LAUGH????? I'd go out of my mind if I had to stop for 6-9 days!!! 

    Who's right, my physio or the internet geeks?

    Depressed of Brighton

  • Physio....any day!

     I had PF during a marathon build up. Under my physios advice, I had 10 days rest, did strengthening exercises and started using orthotics. It did the trick.

    I use orthotics in all my shoes now and it hasn't affected me in the 7 years since.

  • Brighton, I guess your physio has never had plantar him/herself.

    My physio has and she knows how painful it can be, like I said when I walk there is no pain (thanks to her advice) but as soon as I push off to run POP there its goes, It feels like imagine having stitches on a cut and just before it heels pull the stitches out and open the cut. Its literally that painful for me. I mentioned the same website to my physio and her remark was that they have to give you a worse case scenario. It really can take that long. She also advises cycling to keep the fitness up while it heels.
    The stretches she advises are rear leg stretches ie calf and hamstring as this is usually caused by the tightening of these.
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