Do you have heel or foot pain first thing in the morning when you get out of bed or standing up after sitting for a while?

Do you have stiffness in your calves or Achilles tendons that you can’t seem to get rid of?

When running at high volumes as we train, it is common for runners to have heel pain, calf pain, Achilles tendonitis, or the dreaded plantar fasciitis.

The plantar fascia is the thick band of tissue that starts at the base of the heel and travels down the foot towards the toes. The calf muscles begin in the back of the shin and insert through tendons onto the bottom of the foot, very close to where the plantar fascia begins.

Because both muscle groups attach around the same point, many factors play into calf, heel, or plantar fascia pain.

Some potential factors:
-Collapsing of the arch of the foot when walking/running
-Muscle tightness/nodules through the calf muscles
-Decreased stability of foot and ankle
-Impaired strength through the calf and foot muscles
-Impaired mechanics through hips and knees during walking/running
-Impaired gait mechanics throughout the lower extremity
-Lack of good stretching and strength training

*It is essential to know that the place of pain is not always the source of the pain, so getting an evaluation to determine where the problem is occurring rather than just treating the symptoms will be significant for long-term results.*

Treatments/Solutions include:
-Full ankle ROM
-Soft Tissue Mobilization to calves/plantar fascia
-Dry needling to calves
-Improve gait mechanics
-Strength training of the glutes, quads, hamstrings, and calves
-Stretching of the foot and calf muscles
-Improve single leg strength and stability
-Get a running gait analysis from a physical therapist

You can expect whole Movement and Mobility at Revive Physical Therapy and Wellness. Assessment to help you determine the source of your pain. This includes mobility and movement assessment of the whole body, functional strength testing, running gait analysis, joint-specific assessment, a full report of findings, and a game plan to help you reach your goals and keep your training strong!

by Courtney Buhrow, PT
Revive Physical Therapy and Wellness