Sore Feet

January 12, 2014

Rachel asked The Guru for the following Physiotherapy Advice:

Dear Guru,

I am 24 and have been having problems with my feet for about 4 years. I got orthotics to support my arches as I have very flat feet, and I wear them all the time. I started getting a lot of pain through my arches when doing running sports about 3 years ago, and was diagnosed with plantar fasciitis. I received several periods of physio treatment to manage this, but have not had any treatment for the last 9 months (since I moved overseas). Over this time I have started experience worse and worse pain, to the point where I cannot run without experiencing high levels of pain. My feet also hurt when walking or standing. I have been icing my feet and doing calf stretches but so far have not been making progress. Please help!


January 12, 2014

Hi Rachel

PF is an over stretch problem – simple as that. The orthotics have to control the amount of stretch that is put through your PF. Have they been prescribed to you or are they off the shelf? Do they feel they support your feet or just push up through your arch?

Balance is also therefore really important – if you wobble around when standing on 1 leg, then you’ll wobble when walking and wobble worse than running which will increase the stretch and load on your PF. Your gluteal muscles are really important for controlling this.

Stretching calf muscles, if they’re tight (and they usually are for PF) – are very rarely done correctly i.e. foot and leg in a good position, so it will just increase the load on your PF. So instead of stretching why not roll them instead – using a foam roller?

PF is an absolute bugger – and looked after really poorly, as the cause is rarely identified and the symptoms are just treated. You need to find out why. When you have (and only then) will you start to feel better BUT it will not happen over night. It’ll take months of you wearing decent shoes, not running, getting control and stability and getting the excessive load off of your PF.

It is very possible, but there is no quick fix. Jabs and ESWT are options (with poor results) but get the cause nailed.

The Guru

Six Physio

Guru Responded

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