What are the three best signs that your heel pain is not Plantar fasciitis? Well, that’s what we’re talking about today on the Doc On The Run Podcast.
There are really three indications that tell me that somebody who I’m talking to does not really have plantar fasciitis, they probably have something else.
The first thing is bruising. So, anybody who calls me and sends me a picture of their foot where they say, “I got this bruise on my foot, it’s tender, right where the bruise is, or this is a picture of it when it happened. I had a bruise. Now the bruise is gone but the pain is still right there weeks or months later.”
Well, that is not plantar fasciitis for sure. You do not get plantar fasciitis and if you have so much damage to plantar fascia that it actually rips, tears and bleeds under the skin. That is a partial rupture of the plantar fascia, that is not plantar fasciitis. If you try to treat it like plantar fasciitis, it is not going to get better.
The second thing is when they knew exactly when it started. And when I do a lecture on runner’s heel pain at medical conferences and I’m teaching physicians about heel pain and what to do differently in runners versus non-runners, I say “Look, one of the top six reasons that is a difference between a runner and a non-runner is that the runners give you more specific information and because they are used to tracking things like heart rate and your mileage and your pace, all that kind of stuff.”
But when a runner says I know exactly when it happened on Tuesday, May whatever, I was on a four mile run and three miles into it, I changed direction to dodge a dog and on the sidewalk and I felt this sudden pain in my foot and I actually had to stop and I had to walk home or I was on my long run and on Sunday and I felt this big pain in my foot. It really hurt and so I was actually limping, and I called an Uber to pick me up and take me back to my house. Well, that is not plantar fasciitis. Plantar Fasciitis usually has a very vague onset and if you remember the moment it started, it is almost never plantar fasciitis.
The other thing is that if you have increasing pain during the runs. This is the third thing, the third indication that your plantar fasciitis is not really plantar fasciitis. It’s something else, it’s a different form of runner’s heel pain. What we know is that if you’re sitting still and then you get up and start walking, or you’re sleeping all night, you wake up and you step out of bed and the first few steps is painful, that’s most typical of plantar fasciitis. What is not typical of plantar fasciitis is when you actually start running and the pain continually increases throughout the course of your run. There are several different conditions that can do that. But plantar fasciitis is not one of them.
So, if your pain really does truly increase throughout the duration of your run or continue consistently during the run is highly unlikely that it’s plantar fascists. If you want to find out some more about all these different conditions and these things that can kind of look like plantar fasciitis in runners, I put some together for you, it’s a free presentation. It’s running with heel pain do’s and don’ts. It’s things that you should do, and that you should not do to help figure this all out.
You can get it for free at www.docontherun.com/runningwithheelpain, so come check it out and I’ll see you in the training.