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3947 Views 1 Reply Latest reply: Oct 2, 2010 9:40 PM by JamesJohnsonLMT
egrande25 Rookie 2 posts since
Sep 29, 2010
Currently Being Moderated

Sep 29, 2010 7:32 AM

Foot pain after 5k

Hi all,


I am a new runner (more like slow jogger) and completed my first 5k three days ago (woo hoo!), after working up to it with my own modifications to the Couch to 5k program. My feet and legs felt fine during the run, but in the days after I have had a dull pain in the outer part of my left foot as I walk. It is along the outside bottom of the foot, basically the area opposite the arch. The dull pain is not there if I am standing and just putting weight on it - it only happens about mid way through my walking stride when I am "pushing off" of the foot. It's not excrutiating, but enough to be bothersome. Has anyone experienced this, or have ideas? I'm hoping it's not some sort of stress fracture.




  • JamesJohnsonLMT Legend 1,290 posts since
    Aug 23, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Oct 2, 2010 9:40 PM (in response to egrande25)
    Re: Foot pain after 5k

    Congratulations on your first 5k, and I'm sorry to hear of your   predicament. It's not unusual to successfully complete a training   program and get caught up in the excitement of race day, only to find   you may have overdone it a bit. Now that a few days have passed, it's   time to check in on that foot.


    As you can see from the above diagram, the peroneal (fibularis) tendon inserts under the bottom of your foot near where your pain is felt. This muscle helps to pronate your foot while walking and running, and performs this action while you are pushing off.


    Here is an interactive visual aid that allows you to see these actions separately by clicking "plantar flexes" and "everts" on the diagram...



    It  is important to note that this muscle group prevents the ankle from  being turned under, and is strained and can be torn when the ankle is  forced under. While people rightly fear damage to the ankle and foot  bones, it is often the tendons and muscles that sustain painful trauma  before there is any danger to the bones, which are much harder to break.  Over-pronation, as a repetitive motion after weeks or months of  training, can also weaken this structure and cause chronic pain there.


    Two  major causes of over-pronation would be low arches and short 1st  metatarsals, measured behind the big toe versus the 2nd metatarsal...

    In  the diagram above (from the Triggerpoint Workbook), the B arrow points  to the 1st metatarsal, with an "X" on the head of this bone. Compare  lengths to the 2nd metatarsal head (A) next door, to get an idea of  whether or not you might be over-pronating. "C" is an associated callus  pattern, which can be another clue. Please note that toes can be of  normal total length despite this unstable metatarsal structure.


    Low arches are also a sign, because like the short 1st  metatarsal, they contribute to the instability of the anke that can  induce over-pronation. A common "cure" for both of these conditions is  shown below (also from the Triggerpoint Workbook)...

    The  circles on the insoles represent tough pads of durable material like a  thin gel pad available in many shoe departments, or Scholl's Molefoam,  cut to the size of roughly a quarter dollar coin. Professional orthotic  versions are available from some podiatrists and online. For the brave,  these pads can be extended under the entire big toe. Expect some  adjustment time, but the results should be a gradual lifting of the  arch, straightening of the foot, less pronation, greater ankle  stability, and fewer problems in knees and hips. Large claims, but for  those with a short 1st metatarsal these things and more are probable  benefits.


    My apologies and thanks for your time if your  foot is not structured this way, but your problem fits a common pattern  of an overuse injury due to this common foot structure. In the general  population, about one in 200 people can expect to have a problem  involving the peroneal tendon, often at the cuboid bone on the outside  bottom of the foot. In the case of athletes and especially newbie  runners, these problems increase dramatically. Examine your feet today  for similarities to the above material, and please feel free to post any further information or questions. I'll be happy to help with several suggestions on how to proceed.

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