A bruised heel is ruining my running ...

Discussion in 'Ask the Docs' started by JonathanR, Aug 21, 2021.

  1. JonathanR

    JonathanR Barefooters

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    I'd love some advice on this, if anyone has any.

    I've been running in minimal shoes for nearly a year, after switching to them for walking and regular use about two years ago. I hadn't really run before, and I probably overloaded my feet to begin with. But in no time, I was increasing my distances. I felt like I had so much more strength and control in my legs than when I had run in Nike's with a big, fat, bouncy heel.

    I'm not super fit, but I was doing 12k a few times a week and felt good. I felt like I could go further quite easily and I put that down to the minimal shoes. In the Nike's, it had been such an effort to keep going, and I was never comfortable.

    But then, about 5 months ago, my left heel landed on a stone as I was nearing the end of a run and tiring. I now have plantar fasciitis in that foot and a bruised fat pad originating from the stone injury. Rather than experiencing the gradual recovery that I would have expected as I've tried to rest the foot as much as possible, I think it's steadily worsening.

    I've been assessed by an experienced physio, who diagnosed the pf and bruising (nothing torn or fractured, thankfully). But his recommended treatment hasn't helped.

    He's given me some simple exercises to gradually load the plantar fascia and build-up tolerance, with a view to me running again. That makes sense. But whilst he's not anti-barefoot running, he thinks I need a raised heel shoe whilst this recovers, to take the strain away from my plantar fascia - and he thinks I need padding under the bruise. I find shoes with a heel lift painful, because they seem to focus all my weight on my heel - and even additional padding beneath the heel doesn't seem to help (it just seems to put more pressure on the heel).

    Prior to this input from the physio, I had advice from another physio, a friend who's an incredibly fit runner. He recommended similar exercises (heel raises on a step, in particular), with small runs as far as I felt I could tolerate it. Looking back, I think he may have recommended too much each day - 100 heel raises - because the plantar fasciitis only seemed to become more pronounced.

    I'm a wedding photographer, and my work does require me to be on my feet for a whole day, which can leave me with a lot of pain the next day, but this work is calming down now that the summer is passing. So I need to get some appropriate treatment figured out whilst I'm less busy. I'm so desperate to run again.

    Can anyone help?
     
    #1 JonathanR, Aug 21, 2021
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2021
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  2. darren1

    darren1 Barefooters

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    I've had a few stone bruises on my heel. When I have done this I have switched to Altra or Topo until it healed. I have never had one bad enough that I couldn't run.
     
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  3. JonathanR

    JonathanR Barefooters

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    Thanks, Darren. I've tried going back to shoes with more of a raised heel, to walk and run in, but I find the pressure on the area of my heel that's sore painful.
     
  4. Barefoot TJ

    Barefoot TJ Administrator
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    I will have one of the docs reply soon. It will probably be next week, so please keep checking back.
     
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  5. JonathanR

    JonathanR Barefooters

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    Thanks, TJ, I will definitely keep checking!
     
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  6. flammee

    flammee Barefooters

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    You could try naboso insoles.. They are non-cushioned thin and spiky insoles that stimulate the soles of foot, I use them at work. If I use soft cushioned insoles, I get dull pain at the soles of foot when standing still for prolonged times. Nabosos are not completely pain free, but help a lot. When running you could try bending the knees more, so the weight is more on front of the foot - that actually cured PF for me...
     
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  7. JonathanR

    JonathanR Barefooters

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    Hey thanks, Flammee, I haven't heard of Naboso but I will try them. I'm certainly finding that pretty much any 'ordinary' shoe insole I try isn't helping either the bruised fat pad or the PF.
    When I do try running again, I'll give your suggestion of more bent knees a go too.
    Thank you
     
  8. Adi

    Adi Barefooters
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    I use the Naboso standing mat when I work. The founder of Naboso has some really useful videos on YouTube all about feet and foot health. Look her up, Dr. Emily Splichal.
     
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  9. JonathanR

    JonathanR Barefooters

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    Thanks, Ali - I just found those, actually, after Flammee suggested I check them out. I'll take a proper look ASAP
     
  10. Barefoot TJ

    Barefoot TJ Administrator
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    Sorry for the delay. Been dealing will illness in the home. I just contacted Dr. Mark. He will be with you shortly.
     
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  11. JonathanR

    JonathanR Barefooters

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    Thanks again - I'm really grateful that some folks have already made some really interesting suggestions to try.
     
  12. Dr. Mark

    Dr. Mark Barefooters
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    jonathan thx for note. tough over computer to see what is going on. many issues w PF. the Barefoot Science insole really helpful in helping foot muscles. some cushion can help too w pain
    Dr Mark
     
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  13. JonathanR

    JonathanR Barefooters

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    OK, thanks for your suggestion - much appreciated.
    Can I check with you, regarding the insoles, do you mean these guys?
    https://barefoot-science.com

    I was about to order some Naboso insoles, as per the suggestions above. But you think Barefoot Science insoles may be better for PF?
     

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