Runner with Foot Pain had to decrease her distance!
At a race event that Competitive Edge recently attended, we met a lovely woman who was unfortunately suffering with foot pain. The pain had escalated to the point that she had to change the distance she was registered to run on that day. I’m sure all of your runners understand how heart breaking that can be!
How we Helped her get through that day’s Run
We had a quick peek at the race to see what we could do to give her some immediate relief. We found some imbalance stemming from the hips and back. It was causing a chain reaction all the way down to her feet. On that day, we worked on one spot on the back and the painful spot on her foot as well.
After just that short amount of time she felt relief! She was surprised that we were able to make such a massive impact in her pain in only a handful of minutes before her run that day.
She scheduled in to continue to improve her Foot Pain
When we had her in to the clinic for a more thorough assessment, we continued to find more imbalances in the hip and back. These imbalances were the main cause of her foot pain.
Through conversation we found that she is also a skier! She was worried about dealing with sore feet in super rigid boots all day. We also found out that she has a history of chronic plantar fasciitis, though mostly on the opposite foot.
We were able to link her plantar fasciitis on the opposite side back to the same imbalances in her back! This is a common occurrence in our clinic. We often find that people have multiple areas of pain that are all stemming from the same root cause. The amazing thing is that when you resolve the root cause (the imbalances in her back in this case), you end up resolving ALL of the areas of Pain. No need to work on them all individually.
How exactly were imbalances in her back causing foot pain?
Through evaluation we found that there was some compression to the L5 myotome nerve root, this is a nerve coming from the low back. This nerve root travels down the leg and is in charge of lifting the big toe. As you can imagine, this is something that is very crucial to any runner (or walker alike).
At the beginning of her treatment, the muscles that this nerve controls would consistently test weak. Once we were able to help create balance in the hips and back, the nerves were able to function properly and the muscles controlling the big toe were strong!
How The Runner is Doing Now
This runner is now happy to say that she has no foot pain whatsoever! We are continuing to work with her to help with some discomfort in her hip. This was an area that previously bothered her. However up until now she didn’t realize that her hip pain and the pain in both feet were connected!
As we continue to work on this last piece of the puzzle, we are confident that her hip pain will also resolve and she will be back running the distance she wants to be!
Your Foot Pain may be coming from another area of the Body!
The biggest moral of the story is that just because you come in with one area of pain doesn’t mean that’s the area where it is coming from. Pain is the signal that something is going on but, not how it came to be in that area. Often we need to look at how everything interacts together to help find the root cause. This is a prime example. If we had just worked on the foot, her relief would only be temporary.
What you can do as a Runner with Pain
If you are a runner struggling with pain, we want to give you a resource to help you start to feel better. Click below to download our “For Running” Class. In this class recording, we will take you through exercises, stretches, etc to either prevent or treat a current ache or pain.
Written by Michelle Gaudet,
Lead Therapist and Certified Athletic Therapist