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2624 Views 14 Replies Latest reply: Oct 1, 2012 8:54 AM by Rich in NH RSS
JFinSmith Rookie 3 posts since
Sep 28, 2012
Currently Being Moderated

Sep 28, 2012 8:00 AM

Running = Foot Pain (Seeking Help)

To you, runners of the world.... I need help!

 

I'm not a new runner, been running hard for 10 years. Through all the pain and anguish. A few years ago tho, I finally discovered I suffer from FLAT FEET and SEVERE OVER PRONATION. It made sense, since I experience severe pain while running. The worst pain is typically in my arches, extensor digitorum longus, tibalis interior, and tibalis anterior muscle. There is slight pain in my calves, but not to the extent as the fore mentioned.

 

I've been to way too many shoe stores and foot experts (not doctors) to examine my feet and suggest items to buy. I've spent near thousands of dollars on these shoes and inserts that were supposed to help. Nothing did. I got to the point where I was running okay and through the pain upwards of 4-5 miles, but eventually I had to stop. As for health and fitness, I can run fine without shortness of breath etc... It's the pain. I run until it gets numb and then I risk falling. Then I stop for a second. Which I switch to walking, the pain  becomes SEVERE. I try to stretch out then get back into it when I feel okay, suffering then from dimenishing returns (ie - my run time before stopping decreases each time).

 

I took a break from running for a while, and that sent me downward spiriling into these terrible experiences. I can't remotely run like I used to.

 

I've got the New-Balance shoes that help with pronotion and several years of Brooks shoes that were supposed to help, and I've got many different types of inserts that aide with impact and creating arches. All they do is make the pain more intense. I try running through it, to strengthen into them, but sometimes it's just unbearable. I need to run. For excercise and to keep up physical fitness for my career.

 

So, hoping I've supplied enough info, I ask PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE HELP with any information you can provide. I need aide badly.

 

Thank you so much for reading and even more for helping if you can. I need some serious help.

Attachments:
  • Jasko123 Legend 461 posts since
    Apr 18, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Sep 28, 2012 3:41 PM (in response to JFinSmith)
    Running = Foot Pain (Seeking Help)

      I understand your frustrations, but finding a good sports PT might really be of assistance.  It sounds like you still do not have the right combination of shoes, socks, necessary stabilizing items and supplements.  If you have not already experimented with this, I would recommend a quality arch item with metatarsal pad and some ankle support.  There are some brands and models designed for runners and for regular wear outside of exercising that could help (like the Foot Gauntlet, for example). 

     

    The pain followed by numbness may be another circulation or nerve pressure issue, so it is important to get a professional evaluation about the whole picture. 

    In general, it would not hurt to increase vitamins B-12 and D.

     

    Wishing you all the best. 

  • Haselsmasher Legend 513 posts since
    May 25, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    2. Sep 28, 2012 6:22 PM (in response to JFinSmith)
    Re: Running = Foot Pain (Seeking Help)

    It's quite possible you've got TOO MUCH support.  "Common belief" is that flat feet are things that must be corrected.  Very often that's not the case.  I was put in rigid orthotics for over 10 years because I have horribly flat feet.  A few years ago I got out of them.  When I was in the process of getting out of them I went skiing with Superfeet in my boots.  I figured I needed a little support - since I wasn't completely used to no arch support.  I ALMOST stopped half-way down the mountain on the first run to take them out.  They hurt my feet so badly.  I took them out and skied the rest of the day no problem.  My point is that sometimes arch support can cause pain.

     

    I'd try some experimenting with less foot control.  Just take it slowly and see what happens.

     

    Jim





    "Kick off your high heel sneakers, it's party time."

    -- From the song FM by Steely Dan

  • Rich in NH Legend 850 posts since
    Dec 10, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    3. Sep 29, 2012 5:23 AM (in response to JFinSmith)
    Re: Running = Foot Pain (Seeking Help)

    If I were in your situation, I'd go find a golf course with its short grass, take everything off my feet and go for a barefoot run in the short grass.   That gets you back to basics and lets your feet function the way nature intended.

     

    If you get through the run with no pain, it'll be obvious your shoes are causing the problem.  I'm not a barefoot runner, but run in 6 oz. racing flats.  They provide protection for the bottoms of my feet, but that's it.

     

    If you find you can run without pain on the golf course, I'd continue running that way for a while to strengthen the muscles in your feet. 

     

    I don't advocate barefoot running, but have had good luck getting away from shoes designed to make your feet land a certain way.  Find out if you can run shoeless, then take it from there. 

     

    And good luck, not being able to run is extremely frustrating...





    Enjoy life, this ain't a rehearsal...

  • lenzlaw Community Moderator 10,391 posts since
    Jan 18, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    4. Sep 29, 2012 1:30 PM (in response to Rich in NH)
    Re: Running = Foot Pain (Seeking Help)

    Trying a little barefoot running might help. A little means maybe a couple/three 200 meter jogs. However, I would find a smooth, firm surface.  A composite track or a clean, flat stretch of asphalt would work well. I agree with Jim that you may be "over-supporting" your feet. Research seems to show that shoes should allow your feet to react to the road, rather than forcing them into a footstrike determined by the shoe designer.

     

    Len





    Len

  • Old Coyote Legend 256 posts since
    Apr 9, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    5. Sep 30, 2012 6:28 AM (in response to JFinSmith)
    Re: Running = Foot Pain (Seeking Help)

    From looking at my "real life" shoes, you'd think I was a horrible overpronator who needs orthotics. And when I started running, I wore big shoes that forced my feet to land and rotate "properly".

    Then I tried running in minimalist shoes, 200 yards at a time. After   some time spent adapting, I've found that a mid-foot strike nearly eliminates pronation. Mid-foot striking is very difficult to achieve in a big, bulky corrective shoe. My wife, who has feet flatter than a flounder that's been crushed by a pavement roller, also went minimalist. Neither of us has problems with foot or lower leg pain.

    Do I think it's the shoe? Not really. I think it's the running style, and I also don't think that big shoes are conducive to efficient strides. I second the suggestion of running short distances barefoot, on grass, to see how it works for you. It's not the solution for everyone, but hey. If barefoot feels good, you can lay out the cash for a good pair of minimalist shoes and take your mileage higher.

     

    Also - Do you walk around the house barefoot? It's amazing the different muscles you work. Walk barefoot, on the balls of your feet, and your arch never comes into play.










  • lenzlaw Community Moderator 10,391 posts since
    Jan 18, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    6. Sep 30, 2012 9:13 AM (in response to Old Coyote)
    Re: Running = Foot Pain (Seeking Help)

    Your arch comes into play regardless of your footstrike. Even with a forefoot strike, you don't run "on the balls of your feet". The forefoot is where you land first, with the rest of your foot coming down after, lightly and quickly. Pronation involves the entire bottom of your foot, and is the means by which the load is distributed.

     

    To reiterate, grass is not a good starting surface for barefoot. It is usually too lumpy, making your foot try to adapt to the irregularities while also trying to learn to run barefoot. If you don't like the idea of pavement or have access to a track, try to find a smooth, stone free, dirt trail. The main thing is to have a smooth, firm surface.

     

    When overpronation comes up, I alway go back to this video of Haille Gebrselassie, marathon WR holder for some time, at 2:04:xx, and a classic overpronator.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EAW87NsiGuI

     

    Len





    Len

  • lenzlaw Community Moderator 10,391 posts since
    Jan 18, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    8. Sep 30, 2012 2:57 PM (in response to JFinSmith)
    Running = Foot Pain (Seeking Help)

    Be cautious trying to change your footstrike. It takes a lot of time (months) and effort. If done too fast, you'll just be trading one set of injuries for another. I've been a heelstriker for 28 years and 190 lbs and survived with very few injuries.  First work on your posture and stride, making sure you plant your foot under your hips, not out in front. This will move you closer to a midfoot strike too. Vibrams are OK but should be approached the same way as barefoot - a little bit at a time, a couple hundred meters, increasing gradually.

     

    Len





    Len

  • Haselsmasher Legend 513 posts since
    May 25, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    9. Sep 30, 2012 4:00 PM (in response to JFinSmith)
    Running = Foot Pain (Seeking Help)

    I agree with Len re:  landing under the hips, etc.  Since you're coming from a heel striking background when you start landing under your hips it will feel like you'll be landing with your feet behind you.  You won't be, of course, but it will feel that way.  Also try to keep a pretty high cadence - 180 steps per minute or so.  I also agree to not barefoot on grass but rather a hard surface.  Your feet and body need the firm feedback in order to get the form right.  (Also, with regards to cadence:  180 steps per minute doesn't necessarily mean you need to run fast.  You can run in place at 180 steps per minute.  Try doing that, then very slightly leaning forward.  You'll start to move - and your feet can stay moving at the same cadence.)

     

    Keep in mind that Vibrams are not barefoot.  The best way to learn the "barefoot style" is truly barefoot.  Once the form feels comfortable then potentially look at something like a Vibram.

     

    Dr. Mark Cucuzzella (started / is part of The Natural Running Center) has put together some GREAT info on running in the barefoot style.  Check out this video:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zSIDRHUWlVo

     

    Jim





    "Kick off your high heel sneakers, it's party time."

    -- From the song FM by Steely Dan

  • Rich in NH Legend 850 posts since
    Dec 10, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    10. Sep 30, 2012 6:03 PM (in response to JFinSmith)
    Re: Running = Foot Pain (Seeking Help)

    Quote: "It was like I reverted back to the way I should be running or something."  Bingo!

     

    When you take your shoes off and run, your body will compensate for the change and not let you land on your heels and get hurt.  It happens automatically and you've already experienced it with what little running you did on a tile floor.

     

    Like I said, go for a run barefoot.  If it works, take it from there.  You might move into a minimalist shoe and be good to go. 

     

    And don't agree with it taking months to change your footstrike, as soon as you run either barefoot or in a minimalist shoe, the change is immediate and takes place automatically.

     

    Again... I run in a 6 oz. racing flat...

     

    Edited to add:  I suggested you find a golf course to run on because I doubt the bottoms of your feet are tough enough to run on pavement.  And the short grass on a golf course would allow you to see any irregularities before stepping on/in them.

     

    Good luck!  

     

    Message was edited by: Richard Davis





    Enjoy life, this ain't a rehearsal...

  • lenzlaw Community Moderator 10,391 posts since
    Jan 18, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    11. Sep 30, 2012 7:33 PM (in response to Rich in NH)
    Re: Running = Foot Pain (Seeking Help)

    Rich in NH wrote:

     

    Quote: "It was like I reverted back to the way I should be running or something."  Bingo!

     

    When you take your shoes off and run, your body will compensate for the change and not let you land on your heels and get hurt.  It happens automatically and you've already experienced it with what little running you did on a tile floor.

     

    Like I said, go for a run barefoot.  If it works, take it from there.  You might move into a minimalist shoe and be good to go. 

     

    And don't agree with it taking months to change your footstrike, as soon as you run either barefoot or in a minimalist shoe, the change is immediate and takes place automatically.

     


    This is a common miscoception that is simply not true. Research indicates that most heelstrikers will continue to heelstrike barefoot for some time, transitioning to a midfoot/forefoot strike over a period of time, weeks or longer.  As a matter of fact I have done some barefoot running and I consistently heelstrike barefoot.  Also, the problem with changing from heel to midfoot or forefoot is not how fast you learn to do it, but with the added stresses on calf muscles and achilles that take adjustment time. You can end up with very sore or injured calves.

     

    Len





    Len

  • Rich in NH Legend 850 posts since
    Dec 10, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    12. Oct 1, 2012 3:07 AM (in response to lenzlaw)
    Re: Running = Foot Pain (Seeking Help)

    Lenzlaw, you're getting away from the original poster's request for suggestions that might help him get back to running without pain.  I told him to try running barefoot and if it worked, "to take it from there."

     

    Here's another quote from JFinSmith, "my running was VERY DIFFERENT and I hardly experienced pain.  Was running on the balls of my feet." 

     

    That's hardly a "misconception", it's something he ought to pursue.   He's an experienced runner with 10 years of "running hard" under his belt, so should be able to tell from what he's feeling whether or not what I'm suggesting will work and can "take it from there."





    Enjoy life, this ain't a rehearsal...

  • Rich in NH Legend 850 posts since
    Dec 10, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    14. Oct 1, 2012 8:54 AM (in response to JFinSmith)
    Running = Foot Pain (Seeking Help)

    Debate is good, it's how we learn.  And a lively debate's even better...lol

     

    Anyway, good luck getting this behind you, hopefully you'll come up with a solution that'll get you running full time again.





    Enjoy life, this ain't a rehearsal...

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