Just when I thought things were going so well.... I started C25K in Mid April, graduated in June and recently managed to run just over 7K. I had a lovely run by the river in York at the weekend - 6.7 K and felt really good. A little later in the day I noticed some pain in my foot and thought it was my old weak ankle playing up, so I ignored it. Last night I went for my 'standard' home run: 5.3k to the river and back. A the run went on, the pain grew worse so I slowed down, but by the time I got home, I was feeling a bit sick with the pain. I took some ibuprofen and rested (well, I watched Game of thrones actually, trying not to think of all the horrible possibilities). Really painful to walk, but no swelling, no heat and really difficult to identify the source of the pain.

Still very painful this morning when I walk, though I slept well. Not wanting to even think about the dreaded plantar fasciitis, I googled foot pain and quite quickly got to heel pain and then to plantar fasciitis... 'Most cases of heel pain resolve within a year with exercise and stretching' the NHS Choices website tells me.

Now it could just be bruising, as my husband tells me the heel is quite dark, which would be very good, but I wonder whether anyone has any thoughts or ideas or suggestions? We are going to the coast today to celebrate my husband's birthday walking on the beach, but I may not be doing much walking! And I was just about to register for 10k race at the end of September...

Photo of feet attached - it's the right foot/heel.

Thank you everyone, for reading this far - I have really enjoyed this group.

19 Replies

  • I have no experience of this and therefore no suggestions, but good luck sorting it out.

  • Thank you Rosebery.

  • What shoes are you running in? Those look like bruised heels! If it is indeed bruised heels then you know they'll be right in a day or two. You could buy some gel insoles from the chemist or running shop to help straight away. Let us know what shoes you're running in

  • Thank you MissWobble - my shoes are Saucony Power Grids, fitted at Up and Running for neutral runners, so they should be good. I've had no problems in the month since I've had them and they are really comfy. Might get some insoles though, and hope you are right about bruising!

  • Wow PilgrimPip

    Well you can see the heel is bruised and swollen in comparison to the left one. Have you got anything you can strap it with for support so you could walk a bit? I would imagine it will be very sore to walk. I would suggest RICE, once it is improved you could try pads - I've used pads, they do offer some relief, but you may also have a heel pad problem - apparently the fatty pad does thin as us lucky ladies get older, and not least from wearing heels, so you are bruising the actual heel bone. Heel cups apparently help to keep the heel pad stable - I haven't tried cups, but may do so if my heel pain returns.

    I've had heel pain and as the symptoms I've had have not been completely typical of plantar fasciitis have never been convinced that was what it was, so I have been self managing with heel pads, I had it a year ago before I got properly fitted shoes, it's come back again recently, have renewed my shoes and so far so good.

    Hope you find something that works for you, do take care of those feet!

    M x

  • Thank you, Madge, that's really good advice. I will see if I can get some pads and will investigate cups. And renew my efforts at strengthening ankles and calves, as the pain is now extending up my calf. I think I have little choice other than resting it for a few days, and will try cycling to get some exercise!

  • You can get gel inserts for running shoes. Get the right thing! I think someone here gave some good info on these. Foot Logic springs to mind

    Have you been doing something strenuous other than running. Gym, fitness etc where you've been slamming your feet down?

  • Nope, nothing other than running... and Laura's Strength and flexibility, but that's not hard on feet. I am wondering whether I land too hard on my heels, and guess maybe I should find someone to watch me running and make suggestions on my running style, which I suspect is a bit heavy-footed.

  • Oh, so sad to hear of you heel problem....I agree with the RICE advice and lay off the running until the pain settles. You can certainly see the bruising and some swelling. Let us know how things go.

    I also graduated In June and have been injury free until last Friday.....And now I also have heel pain, but mine is not under the heel, but at the back.....I'm off to the physio on Friday.....and in the meantime the frozen peas are out.

  • Thank you AmberC. I'm so sorry to hear about your injury as well - I hope the physio can help. I think I will try to see someone... unfortunately, my old osteopath retired last year! I will be sensible and content myself with S&F and a bit of cycling for a few days.

  • Sorry to hear about your problem. The advice will be a benefit to me as after a year injury free I am also suffering with heel pain. I am also hoping that it is just bruising. I read that you should stretch your calves often (10 x per day) and wear rigid shoes while recovering. I haven't been able to run for a week so far but it seems I may have to take another off. I hope you get better quicker than me.

  • Oh no! I've no experience of such issues but there certainly looks to be a difference between the two heels. I hope you manage to get it sorted. Must be really frustrating. Good luck :)

  • Oh no! I've no experience of such issues but there certainly looks to be a difference between the two heels. I hope you manage to get it sorted. Must be really frustrating. Good luck :)

  • You may have sprained a ligament which is subtlety different to a normal sprain. Worth using RICE and seeing a physio for suitable exercises if it is the case.

  • Ouch! They both look quite sore actually. Do you land on your heel or the middle of your foot? Once you are recovered and up and running again, it might be worth doing some very short, gentle runs experimenting with where your foot lands. But be careful, because making too drastic a change needs to be done carefully otherwise it will be a bit of a shock to some of the muscles that you start to use differently.

    I do hope it's "just bruising" - while I'm sure it's very painful, at least it will heal quickly. Others seem to have given good advice about how to help protect your heel. All the best for a speed recovery.

  • Hi PP, well done on running some long distances preparing for a 10 k - but sorry to hear and see the swelling and pain on your heel.

    Try and Rest from running, walking and cycling until the swelling reduces.

    - you know that swelling reduces good circulation, blood flow and oxygen to the areas at and beyond the swelling and back again. Hence the change of colour, swelling etc.

    - just be aware that cycling will put pressure through your forefoot / ball of foot. This is likely to increase the swelling at your heel, perhaps cause numbness / pins and needles and add to decreased circulation from the swelling at your heel. It's possible the pain you're now feeling in your calves is secondary to inflammation and also the effect of sluggish circulation.

    Brufen is a good anti inflammatory (topical gel is also very good as you apply it directly to the area affected) and taken with paracetamol to relieve pain should help you feel much more comfortable. Obviously following frequency guidance :)

    I wouldn't normally bring health advice into our great forum but Wanted to reply briefly to try and talk you out of cycling ( or anything else) - pain is helpful in that it warns us to stop; the couch is your friend at this time x

  • Ah, thanks so much for this advice - and good to have some health advice on the forum. Actually, though, I didn't read your post until this morning as we've been away for a couple of days and I went for a cycle ride last night.... It was lovely actually, particularly as it was completely pain-free. I was careful and didn't push to hard, but am so loathe to lose the fitness I've built up over the past few months. I was interested that there was absolutely no pain at all, so reassured me a bit about the pain being localised to the heel. It's feeling a bit better today, so I'm hoping I just somehow bruised it while running along the river bank, but I promise I won't run again until the pain is gone! Hoping to do a bit of S&F with Laura though. Thank you again for the timely advice.

  • Great news PP x that must be a relief!

  • Yes indeed, thanks.

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