So for those of you that do not know for the last 3 months I have been dealing with heel pain that runs into the arch.
It started at the end of July right before the Multisport Canada Belwood Triathlon. However at this point it was more of a minor pain and I decided to ignore it thinking it was a simple muscle pain or strain. However this small pain got worse and worse as more speed work was added into my training. This was a huge mistake as something that could have been fixed quickly and not affected my preparation for U23 Duathlon World Championships or the Age Group Amateur World Championships ended up causing some minor disruptions and over a month to properly recover.
So now I will discuss the treatment options that have been presented to me by a chiropractor, physiotherapist as well as through my own research. From my experience, my recommendation would be the second that you feel your heel hurting, go see a professional. However there are things that can help prevent injury of the foot as well as treat it.
#1: Fill up a normal plastic 500ml water bottle and place it in your freezer. Then every day roll up and down each foot slowly concentrating on rolling back and forth gently on any trouble spots. This will help release tension on the foot as well as reducing inflammation.
#2: Get a box of marbles. Then empty these marbles on the floor and pick them up placing them back in the bucket. This will help strengthen the muscles in the arch.
#3: Balance on 1 leg then do 2 sets of 10 calf raises trying to get as tall as possible. Do these nice and slowly so as to not risk damaging any muscles.
#4: After this do some gentle stretches for the feet. One of the ones I find works really well is to stretch one foot straight out in front of your body when sitting on the floor and then put a strap over the ball of the foot. You then pull on the strap until you feel a gentle stretch in the foot. Another stretch that works is to stand on the edge of a staircase on one foot and then let your foot gently drop. This will stretch out both the foot and the calves. If your calves get too tight it will pull on the muscles in the foot which can cause pain.
#1: Roll your foot out gently with the frozen water bottle. Try not to keep too much pressure on it but do each foot for 10 minutes. Do both feet at least once but try to roll the injured foot multiple times.
#2: At night wear something on the injured foot called the Strassburg Sock. This will keep your foot at tension during the night and has really helped me. The key though is to keep your foot out from under the blankets.
#3: Use a foam roller on your calves focusing on the injured one. Then follow this by stretching the calves.
#4: Complement this with treatment from a physiotherapist or chiropractor. My chiropractor used ART as well as acupuncture which I found worked really well. However as long as a professional within the local community is seen who is well respected in the running community is seen they should be able to treat it.
#5: Once your foot is feeling better begin the prevention exercises shown above beginning gently and easing into the exercises being careful to not overstretch the bottoms of your feet.
#6: Under the guidance of your coach gradually ease into running beginning on a soft grass surface in a well cushioned show such as the Sketchers Go Run Ride
I really found that the steps above have helped me handle my foot injury and if I had followed my own advice and listened to my body this injury could have been avoided.
Thank for reading