T Nation

Left Heal Pain

Kelly’s question prompted me to ask this one. I have had pain of varying degrees in my left heal for two years now. At it’s worst I cannot walk barefoot across the floor without limping. I also feel tension and pain in the area around the Achilles tendon and around the bone on the outside of that ankle when I run. At it’s best it’s only mildly uncomfortable and practically nonexistent with shoes on. I have had it x-rayed by me regular chiropractor and I don’t have a heal spur. When stretching I notice that my left calf and hamstring are noticably tighter and my left ankle has less range of motion. Could this be caused by a muscle imbalance or adhesions in my hamstring and/or elsewhere that are somehow affecting this heal? Could ART be of any help? It’s a real bummer not being able to go for a short run for fear of blowing an Achilles tendon. This makes fat loss harder as well. I’m open for any suggestions.

By all means walk, limp or hobble as quickly as possible to your nearest ART practitioner. I’m serious, since I do a form of it (SRT-soft tissue release). I have also had ART performed on my shoulder, back, legs and Achilles. Oh, and elbows, etc. Anyway, better get ready for some pain, but it is worth it in the end. I always tell my clients its called “bloodless surgery”. Good luck.

Hey Brian, the same thing I mentioned to Kelly, have someone check your foot biomechanics – see a specialist in this area. Also, get them to test for LLD (leg length discrepency) because a simple heel lift may help reduce the pain (doesn’t help much for barefoot though). Again, custom foot orthotics may help to keep everything aligned, and thus reducing excessive stress on the achilles and plantar fascia (bottom of foot area). Without a complete assessment, this is a tough area to make blanket statement about.

No offense Westie, but Brian should see an ART practitioner first. I’ve seen way too many people get “evaluated” and they “always” get orthotics. Why? MONEY…!!! oh, and egotism. Every biomechanics expert I have ever met is this way, with one exception…Greg Roskoff (who is now with the Denver Broncos). If, Brian got evaluated now, his hip flexors, hamstring and calf muscles all would be so tight, that he would be issued orthotics. But, why wear one of those things unless its the last resort. Its like all the guys at the gym who have to wear their battle braces on every damn part of their body. Fix the hole where the rats are coming in first, then address the rats in the house (if any are left)

In the case of being flat-footed, orthotics really do attack the start of the problem. In the past I’ve had reacurring shin, knee, and back issues. Even though I paid a great deal of attention to flexibility and muscle-balance, the misaligned inward tracking (caused by the undeniable fact that I do not have an arch, not because of muscle imbalance, scar tissue, infexiblility, insuffiecient ROM, etc.) always led to re-injury. Brian’s left foot could very well have a collapsed arch. This would cause a tightening of the achilles and the resultant gastroc/hamstring tightness. Unless ART practitioners can somehow physically restructure the bottom of Brian’s foot (if it is a collapsed arch), the problem will simply show up again.

Well…my left foot does seem to have less of an arch than my right. I believe that it causes my left shoe to always be slightly tighter in the instep area. Thanks for all of your suggestions! I might give ART a try first. I have a friend who’s younger sister is involved in sports medicine in some capacity. I believe that’s what her degree is in. I can pick her brain and maybe get some free (or at least cheap) treatment!

Brian, ART is not really expensive. I charge $30 to do soft tissue work and my ART guy who works on me charges $25 per visit. It only takes us about 10 minutes to work on you. We usually spend 15-20 min. in the room, just so you don’t feel like we are giving you the shaft. Of course, the pain you will feel that day and the next will make you fully aware something has been done. :wink:

Bodz, thanks for the input. I pay my regular chiro. $20 a visit so another $5-$10 won’t kill me! I wish he was more into this kind of stuff but because of his location (a busy 4 lane highway with a median) he gets a lot of personal inury cases from accidents. You wouldn’t happen to live in the Atlanta area would you? Or do you know of anyone in the area you could recommend? Thanks again!

Brian - The only ART provider certified by Dr. Leahy in Georgia is Dave Radaszewski. Yes, he’s in Atlanta. Office # is 770-564-3334. He’s very busy now that football season has started though. He flies to Washington twice a week to work for the Redskins and visits Falcons camp once or twice a week also.

This sounds simular to a pain I had in my heal about a year ago. It turned out to be caused by high blood sugar. Once I got my blood sugar under control, the pain went away.

Thanks, Will! I’ll have to give him a call! From the phone # it appears he might be relatively close to me (that’s a rarity in Atlanta). He works with the Redskins and the Falcons? He must really know his stuff!