Have you ever woken up, taken that first step, and felt a shooting pain running through your foot? How about when you go grocery shopping and find yourself leaning on your cart more than you’re pushing it? Heel pain affects most people at least once in their lives, and though it can be nagging, debilitating, and often simply irritating, it can be overcome. In this post, I take a look at the most common causes for calf and heel pain and what to do about them.
As a physical therapist, I deal with pain on a daily basis in one form or another. Back pain, shoulder pain, knee pain, neck pain, ankle pain… they’re all part of my daily experience. Pain is such a common experience for most individuals at some point in their lives, and yet the truth is that so many people don’t know the first thing about what pain actually is. Pain is mysterious, and for many of us, pain is actually completely and utterly confusing. I’d like to shed some light on the darkness, tackling the definition of pain one step at a time.
We know that for many of our patients running is a passion. The truth is, however, so many of those same patients visit us because of injuries related to their runs. Far from telling them to stop running, our main goal is to prevent debilitating knee/foot/ankle injuries BEFORE they happen, and to keep our patients as active as possible.
Are You Thinking About Hanging Up Your: Running Shoes, Cleats, Tennis Racket, Bike or Even Trading In Your Surfboard Because of Your Knee Pain?
Is your nagging knee pain keeping you from the things you love? Is it getting worse or keeps coming back just when you thought it was finally gone for good?
Most people just settle for the fact that knee pain and stiffness is just a normal part of the aging process and surrender to giving up the activities they love and live with the pain.
For so many athletes or parents their greatest concern is how and if it is safe to keep training when they experience pain or are recovery in from an injury. They often fear of losing their performance gains and ability to compete at the levels they need to to qualify for teams, playing time, scholarships or recruitment.
Here’s a common sport injury scenario….
When you are seriously driven and passionate about exercise, health and fitness goals, and your sport, sometimes it is hard to slow down and recognize that your body is not functioning right. Or maybe your job demands, travel, remodeling the house, or commuting seems to prevent you from actually taking the time to DO something about the pain.
You have probably seen people walking around with a big clunky straight leg brace or a hinged knee brace. Or seen many professional athletes wearing them. They even make it now mandatory for linemen in football to wear these sports ACL braces- on BOTH legs to try to prevent this injury……..
Many of my ACL patients report how surprised they are by how often people approach them in their ACL brace, offer up their own ACL stories, advice (for better or worse) and that it seems “that everyone has this injury and surgery”.
Strength vs. Flexibility: How to Solve Shoulder Pain in Overhead Athletes, Swimmers, Surfers & For People that Just Put Serious Mileage on Their Shoulders.
We tend to think that we need to just keep stretching and pushing for movement when we are stiff, tight or hurt. People tend to focus on working on their “flexibility or mobility” to unstick their stiff joints or tight muscles. They often experience snap, crackles, and pops in their joints as they move. This can be alarming and make you wonder if this is the start of a serious injury.
Counter to what you may think……
What is the one pain you do not want to brush aside and ignore? What is the one pain that is a warning sign that there is an underlying problem festering and will eventually result in a serious limitation, injury and even surgery?
At Perseverance Physical Therapy & Pilates we help people aged 40+ stay fit, active and overcome mobility loss to be able to live the life they love without fear, limitation and depending on painkillers or procedures.
Yvonne A. Castillo, MSPT, DPT, CPT