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Fix Foot & Ankle Pain!

Plantar Fasciitis & Achilles Tendon Injuries!

Posted by Scott_Herman - October 31st, 2017

Today I want to talk about something that’s been affecting my own personal life, and it has to do with having a lot of pain in my feet and in my ankles. It’s been really affecting me because I’ve been doing a lot more running throughout the development of my Cheat & Recover program. The reason being is that the program involves training really intensely three days a week, and because I’m trying to stay more on the lean side and also prepare for future Spartan Races and Tough Mudders, I’ve been trying to do more running.



I’ve been running about 4.5-5 miles, 3-4 days a week, and I hadn’t been running that much in a long time. For a while I was simply doing 15-20 minutes of HIIT 2-3 times a week, but lately I’ve been going outside and running on pavement. Because my body isn’t used to doing it, I’ve been getting a lot of pain in my feet and in my ankles. You can probably say it’s some of the symptoms of plantar fasciitis, but I think it’s a couple of different things that are going on at once.


Where Is The Pain Coming From?

Basically what’s been happening to me is I would go to start my run, which always starts off with me running uphill. As soon as I would start to move my feet, I get pain in my right foot through the Achilles tendon, and pain in my left foot right through the arch of my foot. To try and fix it, I would try to stretch my calves by doing a kind of static lunge, and I would put my foot on the curb and press my heel down to try and stretch out the back area as well. For the pain in the arch of my foot, because I’m really stubborn, I would just run slowly until I got warmed up and the pain would almost go away, but basically I would push through any pain for the remainder of my run.


What I’ve Been Doing To Make A Full Recovery

First of all, there are a couple of different tools I have been using to deal with the pain. I have a foam roller, a lacrosse ball and a small dumbbell. Since I’ve been doing things with my tools at home, I’ve been feeling a lot better and am probably about 85%-90% healed from all of this. We’ll start with what I’ve been doing to help the pain in the arch of my foot, and there are a couple of different things I’ve been doing. Remember first and foremost, that anything you do on one side of your body, you need to do on the other side as well, and I suggest doing these mobility exercises before AND after running.



Recovery Method #1: Foam Rolling

I would start by getting on my foam roller and rolling from my hip, all the way down through my quad and past my knee. While doing this, I look for areas where it really hurts, and when I find a really sore spot I would sit in that area for a bit. I would go back and forth over the same area about 15-20 times, really trying to roll out the entire area, loosen things up and break things up. Once finished on one side, I would switch to the other side of my body and do that.


Next would be to roll through my quads, and to do this I’d place one leg on the foam roller, and use my upper body for support. If it hurts A LOT rolling out your own quads, you can place your opposite leg on the ground for added support. Otherwise try to tuck your opposite leg on top of the leg you’re working for added pressure. Again, I would roll from the hip down to the knee, and if I found an extra painful spot, I’d sit there for a bit, before continuing to roll all the way through 15-20 times. I’d then repeat the same process for the inside of my leg as well, before moving to my hamstring where I would roll from my butt all the way to the knee.



Obviously this will take time, but if you do it every time you go running, or even just once in the morning and once at night, eventually the pain will go away and you won’t have to do it as much. But as much as it might suck, when you’re in pain you have to take the time to do this to make a full recovery.


After completing the upper portion of the legs, it’s time to move down to the lower half from the knee down. Starting at the front, I would roll from my knee through my shin to my foot. This is an area where I found quite a few painful areas, but if you’re like me, this pain feels good and really helps to loosen things up. Again, I’d work on hitting the inside and outside of my shin as well, before hitting the back of my calves. Personally, I prefer to roll one leg at a time, and use the opposite leg to apply more pressure on top, but you can try to do both of your legs at once.


Recovery Method #2: Lacrosse Ball

If you have a lacrosse ball at home, you’ll know just how hard it is, and it’s perfect for hitting the bottom of the arch of your foot. I like to hold onto something for support so I can place more pressure on the ball while standing on it, going from the front of my toes to the heel of my foot. I’d suggest going back and forth like this 15-20 times as well.



Recovery Method #3: Curved Dumbbell

If you happen to have some old school dumbbells lying around your house, they may work even better than the lacrosse ball does. Because of the way the heads of the dumbbell are rounded, they fit perfectly into the arc of your foot. With the dumbbell, I would use the same motion as I did with the lacrosse ball, just rocking it back and forth to make sure I hit the entire arch of my foot and pinpoint any major pain.



How Long Does A Full Recovery Take?

I have been using all three of these recovery methods for about a month, and the pain I was having has gone down dramatically. I’m able to go back outside and hit my runs as fast as I used to do them, and I’m starting to feel good. What you have to understand is that this is all trial and error. When it comes to stretching and trying to fix a problem like this, it does take time, and you might take a little while to find exactly where the problem area is. For example, the reason I work so much around my hips and upper legs is that even though the problem is at the bottom of my feet, I don’t know if there are issues compound and/or pulling all the way through my leg, and my feet just happen to be the source of the pain.


I talk about this in my videos a lot, making sure you understand there are these things called anatomy chains. What this means is you might have elbow pain in your left arm and think it’s tennis elbow, but you actually have some tightness in your shoulder on the right side of your body which is pulling through your back, over your shoulder and stopping at your elbow. That’s why it’s important to target a number of different areas on your body, as well as the point where it hurts the most.


Bonus Tip!

One final not for those of you who are also experiencing pain through your Achilles tendon – the reason for your pain could be because of the way you sleep. This is because the tendon is nice and stretched out while you’re walking all day long, but if you sleep with the top of your foot pressed down, then the tendon is no longer stretched out any more. If you’re in that position for 8 hours while you sleep, that tendon can get really compressed and tight. If you wake up in the morning and have pain there, it could just be because of your sleeping position, and you might need something like a night splint which holds your foot in place to keep that tendon stretched. It’s not a solution on its own though, and I still suggest doing all of the other recovery methods as well.



Conclusion

This is what has been happening to me, it’s been super annoying and really disrupting my training, so I wanted to provide you with a solution in case you have been suffering from it in a similar way, or the exact same way as I have. Hopefully these tips will be helpful to you, and like me, you’ll be back operating pain-free in no time!



Related Videos:


Nursing a Lower Back Injury "Be a 10 in 2010"


Nursing A Shoulder Injury "Be a 10 in 2010"

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MEMBER COMMENTS
Hawk_Given
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This is a great article.  I had the same thing and had surgery that did not help after 4-yrs.  The best thing for me was a golf ball and ice-water bottle.  Plantar Fasciitis

Scott_Herman Edit Delete Close

yeah @hawk_given this kind of pain is so annoying.. takes FOREVER to go away.. but the funny this is that once it does go away... you forget you even had it... lol

Hawk_Given Edit Delete Close

Haha!  Yep!  I make sure I do always wear my orthotics and quality support shoes.

teretanaspartak
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I start with your plan today. Have 54 age, I broke my Achiley tet. before 2 months.(have a rupture as doc says). Now I am in recovering program with electro foresa and some stupid exercise. Please, give some tips for faster recovering,and sorry for my " bad " english. All the best Miloš
Scott_Herman Edit Delete Close

Hey Milos, if you want tips for faster recovery.. just use the exercises I demonstrate in the video my friend! That is what has helped me! 😊 

Hawk_Given Edit Delete Close

Grind out that scar tissue.  If it hurts while rolling a firm ball then rub harder.  That's what cured me!  Gotta get rid of that nasty scar tissue!

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