I get a burning sensation on the back of the heel when I stretch?

Discussion in 'Ask the Docs' started by Abide, Sep 12, 2011.

  1. Abide Barefooters
    1. Arizona -...

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    Hey Docs! For the last couple of weeks I have been getting a burning sensation while stretching on the back of my left heel. It only happens when I do such stretches as the down dog where my hamstrings are also being stretched. I can do simple calf stretches without any pain. I had this once before on my right heel and it went away eventually. It never hurts while doing any other excercise and it gets better the more I stretch out.

    Any idea what this is and how to help it go away? It's not a big deal, but it makes going to my yoga class quite painful.
  2. Dr. Gangemi_SockDoc Barefooters

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  3. angel73bird Barefooters

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    I've only been running for a

    I've only been running for a couple weeks now but after reading the Doc's article against stretching, I decided to ditch the stretching (never liked it anyway and never did it with weight lifting). Today was the first no stretch run and it was also the first in which I didn't have any pains while running (usually my calfs would tighten up, my achilles tendon would start to ache and my knees would get achy). I'm a believer in not stretching :)
  4. Barefoot TJ Administrator
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    I found that if I stretched

    I found that if I stretched my calves before a run, my calves and legs would be tight throughout my run. I hated it. I stopped stretching a long, long time ago. Now, once in a while though, I like a good cat stretch, just to wake myself up.

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  5. Dr. Gangemi_SockDoc Barefooters

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    Yeah....love those

    Yeah....love those "non-belivers" of stretching. Nice! I need to make some 'Stretching Sucks' T-Shirts.

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  6. Barefooting Bob Chapter Presidents
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    Dr. Gangemi_SockDoc



    I could use one of those, everybody always asks me why i don't stretch. ;-)

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  7. NickW Guest

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    I would take one too doc!

    I would take one too doc! Thanks to you I figured out why my calf wouldn't heal. A week of not stretching and I was back out on the road again.
  8. Dr. Gangemi_SockDoc Barefooters

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    That's awesome Nick!I'm

    That's awesome Nick!

    I'm actually looking into the shirts. Maybe a sketch of an overweight guy smoking doing a Hurdler's stretch. Caption: Stretching Is Hazardous To Your Health

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  9. Barefooting Bob Chapter Presidents
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    Dr. Gangemi_SockDoc



    Hilarious, I would wear that....:lol:

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  10. janson Barefooters
    1. Oregon
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    I want a shirt too!  Sounds

    I want a shirt too! Sounds like a great idea.
  11. Barefoot TJ Administrator
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    Ha ha ha ha ha ha.  Doc!  You

    Ha ha ha ha ha ha. Doc! You crack me up!

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  12. Barefoot Gentile Barefooters

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    Dr. Gangemi_SockDoc



    I would wear one!

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  13. Abide Barefooters
    1. Arizona -...

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    Hey I believe in stretching

    Hey I believe in stretching leave my thread alone.

    And for the record stretching actually made this pain go away. I was just focused on the wrong area, after stretching my lower back, glutes and hamstrings regularly for a week the pain is now completely gone. I suspect it was actually caused by a nerve impingement in that area and strecthing helped relieve any misalignments in my lower back.

    I'm not sure why everyone is hating on stretching. I might agree that stretching may not be beneficial to slow runners, but if you do anything else in life besides run slow adequate mobility is very important. So I take the "no stretching" mantra with a grain of salt.
  14. Barefoot Gentile Barefooters

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    lol!   My bad Abide,  I think

    lol! My bad Abide, I think some stretching is good to be honest.

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  15. Barefoot TJ Administrator
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    I'm saying if you have an

    I'm saying if you have an injury, don't stretch it. That's my main concern.

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  16. Dr. Gangemi_SockDoc Barefooters

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    Abide wrote:Hey I believe in

    Few comments - I just can't not on this one:

    So stretching is beneficial to fast runners then? That's a new one. How fast? Say sub 7min/mile it's okay to stretch, but over 7s it's harmful?

    If you read my post it suggests what types of stretching are bad and why they're bad. Actually often people stretch and their pain is relieved. The reason why is that stretching stimulates a significant amount of mechanoreceptors in the body, and these nerve receptors are great at blocking pain. It's also why even just rubbing a painful area helps to diminish pain. But does it correct it, no. I'm not trying to rain on your parade here because it is good to hear that you resolved your problem yourself and without any other, more harmful, interventions (drugs/surgery). So that's great. I've just never seen a healthy person say "I stretched and my pain was gone and I have absolutely no other problems." They're just managing one of their other problems/symptoms through stretching.

    Thanks for allowing me to speak on "your" thread.

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  17. Abide Barefooters
    1. Arizona -...

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    Dr. Gangemi_SockDoc wrote:

    I appreciate your willingness to discuss this here. I'm not knocking on you or your article and I actually believe that as a runner stretching really isn't that important.

    As for slow I meant the difference between a sprint and all other slower running. I can get away without stretching before a slow run, but when I go out for sprints they are much more effective after I have warmed up and strecthed out.

    I didn't read your article that thoroughly. I have a hard time being interested in articles that scream at you in absolutes. Sorry but there is a lot of information out there and I'd rather read something that has a relatively balanced opinion on things such as:

    http://www.scienceofrunning.com/2009/08/stretching-is-it-useless.html

    As for if stretching fixing my problem, I have no idea if stretching specifically helped alleviate the pain, but it was one of the many things that I tried and it seemed to be effective shortly after. As for following up with the root cause, I plan to see my chiropractor more frequently to ensure alignment. Hopefully the combination of the two (stretching and adjustments) will help prevent anything in the future.

    I'm not just a runner, I do a lot of other things and regularly stretching helps me succeed in those endeavors. I personally think stretching is very effective for me and when I don't keep up with it bad things seem to happen.

    Your welcome.
  18. Dr. Gangemi_SockDoc Barefooters

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    Abide, it's all cool with me

    Abide, it's all cool with me but I think you're missing the point. I am not screaming in absolutes (other than the actual title "Stop Stretching" which I guess turned you off). From what I read (and I try to keep up with all the research) those with a balanced opinion on such topics are not actually dealing with this as a hands-on approach and they're more interested in doing study reviews and pleasing their entire audience. That is not my intention. Mine is to make people think about what they're doing and understand why they're doing something. It's easy to find studies to support one's case, or go against another's, whether that be stretching or any subject matter. Sorry but balanced approaches are all too common today - just look at people who say "go barefoot sometimes, but not always." Or "limit harmful fats and high fructose corn syrup - but a little is okay, the research says it's not that bad." I do give some exceptions in the stretching post, but you didn't read it anyway, and those exceptions are based off countless hours of hands-on contact with people every day, not reading the latest headline or watching someone else work.

    You say that as a runner stretching really isn't that important. But then you say you sprint better when you stretch out before hand. Well, that (sprinting) is running. So stretching, for you, is actually very important. It sounds to me like you're equating stretching with flexibility, which is incorrect, and one of the main points of my "Stop Stretching" article. When you sprint, you need a greater range of motion, and you don't have that unless you stretch out before. But my point - you should have this all the time. You shouldn't have to stretch to sprint! Lions don't walk around all day looking for food and then stop and stretch out before they attack the herd of zebras they've finally come upon. Picture that in your head; it's pretty funny.

    Your comment "when I don't keep up with it bad things seem to happen" - means that you're not naturally limber, naturally flexible. Flexibility is important - it's a result of a healthy nervous system and a fit body. It is NOT a result of stretching. Stretching for the most part, will not increase your fitness and it will not improve nervous system dysfunctions which result in muscle imbalances, so the change in flexibility is limited and short-lived. That is why you always need to stretch. So, as I mention, the idea here is to figure out why you always need to stretch. The why is what I screamed out in the post. I want you to hear me. [IMG]

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  19. buzzie Barefooters

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    Dr. Gangemi_SockDoc



    So, how do we figure out why we always need to stretch, or foam-roll, or work on trigger points, or...? How do we find out what's really out of whack so we can address the root cause?

    MTA - just read your paper on Identifying and Treating the Primary Problem in Patients ... certainly points to one method! :wink:

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  20. Dr. Gangemi_SockDoc Barefooters

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    Liz/Buzzie - sometimes you

    Liz/Buzzie - sometimes you might need the help of a physician to figure out why you need to stretch, especially if there is some muscle imbalance as a result of a gait dysfunction or old injury, for example. But, as mentioned in the article, most often people feel the need to stretch because of muscle imbalances as a result of too much overall stress which can come via the form of dietary/nutritional, physical, or emotional stress. So really it involves adopting a completely healthy lifestyle - emotionally, physically (which includes proper footwear), and nutritionally. One example I can give you is actually through one of the stretching exceptions I mention - dancers. I see some principle ballet dancers and for them, stretching does provide some benefit. Again, it's mentioned in the article. One woman was using a lot of NSAIDs for pain and stretching an awful lot just to get warmed up before rehearsals and shows. After she stopped the NSAIDs she reported being much more flexible throughout her body, and needed to stretch a lot less. Then when she implemented some light aerobic (fast walking/running) for several minutes before going to the bar to stretch, she was even more limber and felt the need to stretch even less.

    Re your comment "MTA - just read your paper on Identifying and Treating the Primary Problem in Patients ... certainly points to one method!" I'm not sure if that is a question or your attempt to try to point out that I use or recommend one method? If you truly did read the entire paper, (which, is one of 14 clinical research papers I have written for physicians who use certain diagnostic & treatment methods), you know that the paper discusses using various (not one) methods to diagnose (not treat) ailments in patients. In other words, when to treat muscle A over muscle B, or when to further investigate organ A rather than organ B based off several diagnostic procedures. I'm not sure how you got one treatment method in a paper discussing how to use more than one DIAGNOSIS method to find out the primary problem in a patient. I'm even further at a loss because treatments involved based off the diagnosis can range from various myofascial therapies, cranial techniques, meridian therapies, nutritional and dietary changes, lifestyle and exercise education, various reflex, and manipulations. These would be some of the many therapies based off cross-checking various diagnosis results to identify the primary problem in a patient. So to your comment I have to say "Huh? What were you reading?"

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