Heel Pain

I’m starting to freak out now that it has dawned on me that the pain in the heel of my foot is just not going away. In late March (or April, I don’t quite remember) I went out for a jog for an hour, as I normally did about once to thrice a week. But this time I ended up with a very sore left foot the following day. I brushed it off. The pain gradually increased in the following week or so. I still wasn’t worried because it’s not uncommon for me to feel some pain or discomfort after running. I always just took it as my feet reacting to the strain, and it always went away after a few days max.

Now it’s been four months. The pain abates or returns with varying degrees. I didn’t really realise the length of time except for the occasional vague thought, “Shit, when is this pain finally going away? It’s been weeks.” The reason being that I was particularly busy with our projects at work, which required a lot of physical effort and me being on my feet, and walking briskly, so I just put up with the pain the best I could. After about a month of that, we moved house. About two weeks of stress and exhaustion in packing boxes and furniture and other stuff. Moving from one double-storey house to another means a lot of pounding the stairs to get many of those boxes and furniture from one floor to another. And after that it was immediately back to work again.

*

I know an injured joint/muscle needs to rest to heal properly, but I just coudn’t give it enough of that, even when I was limping and hobbling on some days. In addition, I’ve always been a fast walker (even when I don’t need to be somewhere quickly). When the pain is unbearable, of course I can’t walk quickly, but even when the pain has mostly subsided for a while, I find it’s such a strain to keep reminding myself to walk slowly so that the foot can properly heal.

It was only around last month when I was thinking of how much I miss jogging, that I was startled into realising that I haven’t jogged for three whole months. Started to be alarmed and wonder why the pain in my foot stubbornly won’t go away. Tried to make myself feel better by thinking, “Okay, I’ll just walk for exercise since that’s all I can do now. Let’s see what happens.” Of course the idiot that I am, I was soon brisk-walking because seeing all the joggers running past me made me jealous and miserable. I brisk-walked for almost an hour, and the next day, the sharp pain in the heel hurt like hell all over again.

I started searching online to learn more. As with other subjects, there is so much info online that one can become overwhelmed or confused, and spend way too much time reading. So I picked and chose randomly what to read/watch as I just don’t have the time to read endless articles.  I learnt the basics that the area that is causing the pain in my foot is called Plantar Fascia, and the condition is called Plantar Fasciitis. It’s an apparently common affliction even among experienced athletes. It was both comforting and depressing at the same time to learn that it is common to suffer for months from this condition, as I have been. What scares me most is that some people end up having it as a chronic ailment for years. I can’t bear the thought of going through it again even once more after I’ve recovered, let alone over and over again for life.

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So no more marathons, even after I (hopefully) recover from this? My last one was back in 2012. I don’t want to be a pussy, but it’s such a massive pain in the ass (or heel, rather) that I would just be scared of getting this Plantar Fasciitis crap all over again. Because, oh my God, the pain when it comes…. and being out for months, without being able to jog, is just so… *sigh* … damn irritating and depressing, to be honest.

I can’t afford to see a podiatrist or whatever specialist, so I turned online to learn some stretches to help myself, including from the following video:

I also like the advice of the following doctor Gary Crowley who not only recommends some stretch exercise, but explains what each is for and how it may impact the treatment. He also reminds the viewer to note which works or doesn’t, as I suppose not all work for all bodies, so we have to learn for ourselves what specifically works for us.

I discovered his excellent website, Do-It-Yourself-Joint-Pain-Relief, some years ago while I was searching online to learn to cope with some lower back pain. I find his advice and instructions sensible and easy to follow. Of course, being me, I also have to mention the bonus that’s he’s goodlooking and pretty hot. Especially when he smiles.

Videos for Step 2 and Step 3 can be found on his Heel Pain Treatment‘ page.

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8 thoughts on “Heel Pain

  1. I suffered from this when I was in the Army. Like you, I thought it was from simply overdoing it because we would run two miles a day in under 14 minutes. I was 28 and kept telling myself that I wasn’t a young pup anymore. Finally, after three months of the pain being so unbearable that I couldn’t even lace my boots properly, I went to sick call (Emergency room for soldiers) they diagnosed me and told me to ice my Achilles while it was propped up. I used my helmet to prop it up, but surprisingly, it helped. I’m not sure why but it did. Give that a try at night in addition to your stretches. It did relieve the swelling and soreness that is wake up with each morning. Good luck, my friend!

    • Your comment fills me with gratitude but also guilt! A few days ago when I started posting after not for months, I was going through the Reader and was shocked to come across a post from you that Julie has breast cancer. I wanted to leave a few comforting words but they all sounded so trivial and empty once I typed them out. Just seemed so hollow to the seriousness of of the situation you guys are facing. Now I wish I did send you those words. I will now. I mean them sincerely.

      I don’t know what’s wrong with me sometimes, why I hold back. I mean I’m even basically anon on this blog and even then I still can’t bring myself to express myself fully because I sometimes still worry that people will laugh or judge me. As stupid or over-emotional or inadequate loser. Because I’m not some youngster, I’m a grown man, and it’s embarrasing to still be fumbling and lost sometimes. I know that’s silly. And the whole point of being anon is to be able to wear my heart on my sleeve and just say what I want.

      And now here you are. You did not just read my whine about my heel pain, but you took the time to tell me you can relate and share with me how you overcame it, in the hope it will help me too. Even as you and Julie are going through what you are going through, you still took the time. I cannot properly describe how moved and humbled I feel right now. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart. Thank you for your kindness and generosity.

      I will try your ice-and-prop-it-up suggestion starting tonight. Hugs.

      • Thank you. Reading the blogs, and continuing to interact with others is one of my ways to try to not dwell. So far, we are taking this day by day. Today has been a good day. Joking, laughing and planning for the future. The doctor has been very encouraging that her cancer is incapsulated and can be removed with surgery and only 7 or 8 weeks of radiation. As Julie says, “it’s my breast and my lump and I’ll be the one to decide when we worry about it!” I let her have that because it makes us laugh and it gives her some sense of control. Thank you for thinking of us. And I do hope your foot feels better. I remember the first day I woke up, put my foot on the floor and DIDN’T have that pain. It was awesome!

        • I’m glad to read the doctor said that! That’s very encouraging indeed. I wish you both the best, with more days like these that are filled with positivity and laughter. Cheers to you, my friend.

  2. Very timely for me to see this! Late stage pregnancy has me experiencing this for the first time in my life. Hope yours has healed! I am sure mine will once this baby is out! Until then, calf stretches etc for me.

    • Hi, Laura! Congratulations on the coming baby!

      There is still some pain in my heel but it has overall lessened since I wrote the post. I’m feeling better and am confident now it will eventually go away. Unlike the first few months, I’m not pushing my luck anymore and have told myself no more trying to jog or brisk-walk until the end of the year when it will hopefully have healed a lot more.

      Take care, and cheers to you!

  3. I’m having a very similar problem with my knee right now – my doctor suggested it might be an age thing…I almost punched him lol so he’s now saying wear and tear and referred for physio…unfortunately unlike the guy in your video doctor is neither hot nor good looking lol and I’m hoping for much much better from the physiotherapist!!! ;)

    • That’s great your doctor has referred you to a physiotherapist. I’m sorry to hear about your knee and I hope he will be able to help you with it, and it will be a nice bonus if he’s hot and goodlooking too haha!! Cheers.

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