Heel Damage from Over-training--any suggestions?

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Heel Damage from Over-training--any suggestions?

Postby Marcel » Wed Mar 09, 2011 1:28 pm

Alright, I've gone and damaged my right heel from over-training. The injury is several months old and hasn't gotten much better in the last month or so. I've seen three different doctors: the first said nothing was wrong (despite my limping!), the second the injury is related to nerves in my spine (diagnosis took less than a minute--so I was naturally skeptical), and the third says it's over-training related (after taking a magnifying glass to an x-ray). Being in Japan and getting treatment is easy enough, but communicating is a real bitch.

So, I believe it's an over-training injury. Walking is okay. I can run on it for a few minutes, but that's it. Cycling is okay. Lunges are absolutely out of the question.

Any recommendations from the folks here as to what the best way to approach this is? Seeing another doctor is futile so I'm kind of in a fix. Any and all advice is warmly welcomed.
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Re: Heel Damage from Over-training--any suggestions?

Postby xrodolfox » Wed Mar 09, 2011 1:54 pm

What's your normal "training".

I've trained a lot, but since I swim, I've never had heel issues. If this is an over training issue, then it has to do with the specific types of movements and stress on your body. Moar details plz.
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Re: Heel Damage from Over-training--any suggestions?

Postby Marcel » Wed Mar 09, 2011 4:22 pm

Gladly provide details:
Before the injury I'd been alternating days doing weights/20 minute of cardio and 40-60 minutes of running or 1.5 hours of cycling. On weekends I was either mountain climbing or doing 100 km cycle rides with my wife. I'd been doing this for about 2.5 years, basically from when I arrived here in Japan, without incident.

The injury occurred when I introduced skipping. Pound, pound, pound on the heel. I didn't know how to skip, i.e., no efficiency of movement, no grace and no style. So, my best guess is the culprit that pushed the heel over the edge is the skipping.

My friend is a registered massage therapist over in Canada. First, she says I'm a fool for running as it's terrible on the body yadda yadda. Whatever: I'm a runner and love running. Second, she can't advise me specifically as I can't be tested. I know this is the case--but what other option do I have when there's a failure to communicate with the doctors here? Not much.

I just want to know basic things like whether ice actually helps or not. Simple stuff. Thanks for taking the time. :o Much obliged!
Canadian chilling out in Japan for a couple of years.
Marcel
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Location: Nagoya, Japan

Re: Heel Damage from Over-training--any suggestions?

Postby xrodolfox » Sat Mar 12, 2011 10:53 am

I am a swim coach, and I know how to deal with soft tissue issues, but not really stuff like skipping.

But heck, a little guess is unlikely to make things worse for you.

Running can hurt you, but it all depends on technique. Skipping can be great for you, but clearly, it depends on technique even more. If you are heel landing, then skipping is just going to damage your heel, if not your whole body.

I think that doing anything where you regularly put stress on your heel is a terrible idea until it heels. If you changed your technique in running so that you were landing on your forefoot or even better, the balls of your feet (by keeping your center of gravity *over* the landing area or keeping the landing foot under your body rather than extending forward), and if you managed to do this without causing any pain, then running would be great and it might help you heal your heel more quickly.... but chances are that you are not going to be able to change technique.

That's the key. If you can change how you move, you'll find skipping and running to aid your healing. If you do more of the same, then you'll aggravate your heel.

About hot/cold. That usually helps for more minor issues. Cold helps calm inflammation. Heat helps warm tissue activate healing and rebuilding. Usually folks alternate 5 to 10 minutes of one with the other. I am not a physical therapist, but I know that there's a formula to address each type of injury/inflammation/issue. I know it works.

But for that, you'd have to actually get yourself to a physical therapist. You need to find out if you have swelling, or what exactly is going on in your tissues before you start fooling around with cold/hot. There's no point to cooling an area if there is no swelling.

Good luck!
"The worker has the right to leave his boss, but can she do it? And if she does quit him, is it in order to lead a free life; where she will have no master but herself? No, she leaves to sell herself to another employer. She's driven by the same hunger. Thus the worker's liberty is only a theoretical freedom, lacking any means of realization; an utter falsehood."
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Re: Heel Damage from Over-training--any suggestions?

Postby Marcel » Tue Mar 22, 2011 3:10 pm

Thanks so much for your comments. I find it most amazing that not a single doctor here in Japan has offered a shred on maintenance advice. It's as if they've never encountered anything like this before or could recommend seeing anyone else that might know anything about it.

I've recently picked up two pairs of VFFs to change to the forefoot strike method. I've checked many videos concerning the style-change and the best means of introducing it into my routine. I'm anxious to get started and encourage whatever healing process I can from running and stretching. I predict that if this does heal (if) it'll be about 6-7 months from now--if not longer. It's frightening having an injury like this: the prospect of not being able to run, climb mountains or even walk long distances (I can only do about 2 km) is terrifying.

I cannot emphasize how much I appreciate your input. Thank you.
Canadian chilling out in Japan for a couple of years.
Marcel
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Location: Nagoya, Japan


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