Physio webchat with Paul Hobrough

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Q. I've had a bit of achilles tightness over the last few months, where I wake up in the mornings and my ankle is a bit stiff and painful to walk on, but this pain dissipates over an hour or so or quicker if I do some stretches, heel drops on the stairs mainly. However last week during an easy run the out side sole of my foot (same side as the tight achilles, related?) started hurting to the point I couldn't walk properly for the rest of the day, I iced it and all that! and haven't run since. It feels much better in that I can walk OK but still not 100% or even to the point I feel happy to run on it. Is there anything I can do to speed recovery? Should I go for a tester run to see how my foot copes? I'm meant to be training to run 26.2 miles, and sitting around with a painful foot isn't helping. - AndyRuns

A. This sounds like the start of something called Plantar fasciitis. When you push the base of your heel, just before the inside of the foot arch does it hurt there?  does it hurt the first few steps in the morning? do supportive shoes help?

If so then please follow my 8 top tips for plantar fasciitis.

1) no bare foot walking (not even to the loo at night)

2) Write the alphabet with your foot before moving in the morning or after a prolonged sit

3) use a strassburg sock at night

4) stretch the Gastrocnemius and soleus muscles 4 -6 times per day for 45 seconds

5) ice the foot after any heavy use

6) use supportive shoes, or shoe insole such as Scholl orthoheel

7) Drag a towel across the floor using your toes 2 min X 2 per day

8) DO NOT run until you can press your heel and it doesn't hurt at all


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