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Foot and ankle strengthening exercises

Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2, El Norte incompleto
#1
Camino(s) past & future
Some but not all, and other routes too.
#2
I just ordered a pair of Xero Shoes Terraflex trail shoes, and am now on their email list. Today they sent this email with a link to a blog post from a yoga instructor with exercises to strengthen the feet and ankles. I thought it it might be helpful to forum members. :)
https://xeroshoes.com/barefoot-running-tips/6-exercises-to-strengthen-your-ankles-and-feet/?_ke=dHJlY2lsZUBnbWFpbC5jb20=
Just had a try of these exercises, I have to say for an old man they're going to take a little getting used too.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015); Camino Norte/Primitivo (2016); Camino Frances (2017); Le Puy (June 2018)
#3
Are you planning to walk the Camino in them or use them as evening/shower shoes?
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés
De la plata
#4
I just ordered a pair of Xero Shoes Terraflex trail shoes, and am now on their email list. Today they sent this email with a link to a blog post from a yoga instructor with exercises to strengthen the feet and ankles. I thought it it might be helpful to forum members. :)
https://xeroshoes.com/barefoot-running-tips/6-exercises-to-strengthen-your-ankles-and-feet/?_ke=dHJlY2lsZUBnbWFpbC5jb20=
Anyone else have plantar fascitis? I think that is what I have. Can be agony and stop me walking. If that is what it is. :(
 

Velma

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Want to walk to coastal camino in Portugal
#5
I just returned home from walking the Portuguese coastal and was unable to complete because of plantar fasciatus/ heel spurs. Extremely painful.
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2, El Norte incompleto
#7
Are you planning to walk the Camino in them or use them as evening/shower shoes?
These are the shoes that I ordered https://xeroshoes.com/shop/product-category/terraflex/, they are not sandals, but full trail shoes. The first pair that I received was a bit short, so I've ordered a size up. They have a wide toe box, and those straps that the laces go through really snug down the midfoot and heel nicely.

They also make a boot.

terraflex.jpg
 
Camino(s) past & future
I would like to do the Camino in the spring of 2015
#8
Anyone else have plantar fascitis? I think that is what I have. Can be agony and stop me walking. If that is what it is. :(
I too developed PF on my third day out of Santiago, and it was awfully difficult to complete the Portuguese, but I did. I had an ultrasound in Vigo where I got the diagnosis then hobbled around Porto and Lisbon for a week.

Will take every precaution to not let this happen again as there will be other Caminos - 3 more before my 80th.

I read there is a PF sleeve that can be worn but know nothing about it, and will purchase thick gel inserts - will not give up.
MK
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#9
Here is a repost of what I have previously written and posted for those concerned with Plantars Fasciitis:

Top Exercises to Help Avoid Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is a common type of chronic heel pain. It seems to affect young male athletes and middle-aged obese women more than any other group, but that does not mean other groups are immune to it. The inflamed tissue around the heel seems to cause a stabbing-like sensation, which is worse in the morning. This condition may be prevented, and the following exercises will help you do that.

Arch Stretching
Stretching your arch muscles is not too difficult, but the exercise is a little peculiar. The first thing you need to do is take off your shoes and get barefoot, and then place a towel on the floor. Now, simply place your foot on the towel, and curl your toes to clench the towel. Pull the towel toward you, and that is it. Place the towel in front of you again, and repeat. Be sure to do the same for your other foot.

This exercise is typically suggested by professionals for those who actually have plantar fasciitis already, but it can definitely be helpful to everyone. You should try and do this several times a week, but make sure to not overstretch your feet while you’re doing it.

Calf Strengthening
The calf and the tendons surrounding your heel need to be strengthened. A simple exercise that may help you do this is calf raises. What you want to do is stand straight on level ground. You should be barefooted for best traction, but it is not absolutely necessary. Now, all you have to do is lift your heels off the ground so that you are standing on your toes. Stay in this position as long as you can before returning your heels to the ground, and just repeat this at least nine more times.

Another way to do this exercise that works great is to stand at the edge of a stair or curb. You want your toes to be what keeps you on the stair or curb. Then, raise your heels up so that you are on your “tippy toes” and then back down again, but allow your heels to go lower than your toes past the edge of the stair or curb. This exercise allows for a fuller stretch.

Alleviate Pronation
Pronation is a natural part of your foot’s movement. This refers to how the foot rolls and applies pressure when the heel finally hits the ground. Pronation may be normal, but that does not mean the constant shock it receives when you walk or run does not have an effect on it. One way you can alleviate the pressure is to try doming. To do this, just place your foot flat on the ground, and then press your toes on the ground while keeping your heels firmly on the floor. This should create a dome between your heel and toes. Maintain this position for 10 seconds, straighten your foot, and then just start again.

Work the Interossei
The Interossei muscles help support your arch muscles thus preventing this issue. All you have to do is place a large rubber band around your toes for resistance. Then, stretch your toes and hold for 10 seconds. Squeeze your toes for another 10 seconds, and repeat these steps about five to 10 times.

What to Do When Your Feet Are Hurting?
Whether or not you’re at risk of getting Plantar Fasciitis, you’re going to come across a time where you’re feet are going to hurt. Maybe you were standing all day at work, ran a marathon, or whatever. If your feet are hurting, take a break and rest, stretch, and recover. Get off your feet for a little bit and either ice or heat your feet. If you notice any swelling or severe pain, then ice it. If it’s just sore, then apply heat with a hot bath. Then, make sure to rub out the tension and to do some basic exercises. You can try the ones above or do some other types. One popular one is to roll a tennis ball underneath the feet. This helps to preserve the arch and massage it at the same time
 

Montana Jayne

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
September 2015 - Camino Frances
? Camino Ingles
#10
I had PF doing the C.F. in 2015. I was fine from SJPP til Burgos, then the pain became progressively worse. I did intermittent bus trips which allowed my husband to keep going. Not what we planned, but that became "my" camino. We both made it to SdC, but... differently. The pain really was awful. On returning home I wore a Futuro Night FOOT sleep support EVERY NIGHT for a month and, day by day, the pain decreased and I haven't had it again. I want to say that I did do many of the exercises people have mentioned both on the camino and when I got home. I believe they help.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2016)
#11
Here is a repost of what I have previously written and posted for those concerned with Plantars Fasciitis:

Top Exercises to Help Avoid Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is a common type of chronic heel pain. It seems to affect young male athletes and middle-aged obese women more than any other group, but that does not mean other groups are immune to it. The inflamed tissue around the heel seems to cause a stabbing-like sensation, which is worse in the morning. This condition may be prevented, and the following exercises will help you do that.

Arch Stretching
Stretching your arch muscles is not too difficult, but the exercise is a little peculiar. The first thing you need to do is take off your shoes and get barefoot, and then place a towel on the floor. Now, simply place your foot on the towel, and curl your toes to clench the towel. Pull the towel toward you, and that is it. Place the towel in front of you again, and repeat. Be sure to do the same for your other foot.

This exercise is typically suggested by professionals for those who actually have plantar fasciitis already, but it can definitely be helpful to everyone. You should try and do this several times a week, but make sure to not overstretch your feet while you’re doing it.

Calf Strengthening
The calf and the tendons surrounding your heel need to be strengthened. A simple exercise that may help you do this is calf raises. What you want to do is stand straight on level ground. You should be barefooted for best traction, but it is not absolutely necessary. Now, all you have to do is lift your heels off the ground so that you are standing on your toes. Stay in this position as long as you can before returning your heels to the ground, and just repeat this at least nine more times.

Another way to do this exercise that works great is to stand at the edge of a stair or curb. You want your toes to be what keeps you on the stair or curb. Then, raise your heels up so that you are on your “tippy toes” and then back down again, but allow your heels to go lower than your toes past the edge of the stair or curb. This exercise allows for a fuller stretch.

Alleviate Pronation
Pronation is a natural part of your foot’s movement. This refers to how the foot rolls and applies pressure when the heel finally hits the ground. Pronation may be normal, but that does not mean the constant shock it receives when you walk or run does not have an effect on it. One way you can alleviate the pressure is to try doming. To do this, just place your foot flat on the ground, and then press your toes on the ground while keeping your heels firmly on the floor. This should create a dome between your heel and toes. Maintain this position for 10 seconds, straighten your foot, and then just start again.

Work the Interossei
The Interossei muscles help support your arch muscles thus preventing this issue. All you have to do is place a large rubber band around your toes for resistance. Then, stretch your toes and hold for 10 seconds. Squeeze your toes for another 10 seconds, and repeat these steps about five to 10 times.

What to Do When Your Feet Are Hurting?
Whether or not you’re at risk of getting Plantar Fasciitis, you’re going to come across a time where you’re feet are going to hurt. Maybe you were standing all day at work, ran a marathon, or whatever. If your feet are hurting, take a break and rest, stretch, and recover. Get off your feet for a little bit and either ice or heat your feet. If you notice any swelling or severe pain, then ice it. If it’s just sore, then apply heat with a hot bath. Then, make sure to rub out the tension and to do some basic exercises. You can try the ones above or do some other types. One popular one is to roll a tennis ball underneath the feet. This helps to preserve the arch and massage it at the same time
Thanks for that! Printed it out. :)
 

Ian L

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances summer 2017 (SJPP to Fromista)
Plan on returning in 2019 (Fromista to Santiago)
#12
I just ordered a pair of Xero Shoes Terraflex trail shoes, and am now on their email list. Today they sent this email with a link to a blog post from a yoga instructor with exercises to strengthen the feet and ankles. I thought it it might be helpful to forum members. :)
https://xeroshoes.com/barefoot-running-tips/6-exercises-to-strengthen-your-ankles-and-feet/?_ke=dHJlY2lsZUBnbWFpbC5jb20=
I was also going to try the xeroshoes, but there are no stores in my area that carry them. I just bought a pair of Altra trail runners instead, which seem to be a similar concept with the zero drop foot shape design.

Most of the stuff I have read about these minimalist shoes says you should only wear them for a short amount time at first, to allow your feet to adjust and get stronger.

The strengthening exercises seem like a good idea also, thanks for the link!
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2, El Norte incompleto
#13
I was also going to try the xeroshoes, but there are no stores in my area that carry them. I just bought a pair of Altra trail runners instead, which seem to be a similar concept with the zero drop foot shape design.

Most of the stuff I have read about these minimalist shoes says you should only wear them for a short amount time at first, to allow your feet to adjust and get stronger.

The strengthening exercises seem like a good idea also, thanks for the link!
There aren't too many retail outlets for Xero Shoes. My feet are hard to fit - the Altras didn't work for me - so I usually end up having to order my shoes anyway. The Xero Shoe people are great about making exchanges for free.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#14
I have the Xero Z-Trail sandals, and they are pretty comfortable. Using the website and following the directions for printing out the foot outlines to get a measurement of size worked well for me. The online ordering went fairly straight forward.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances starting SJPdP Sept/Oct 2015, April/May 2017
#15
Didn’t know they made trail shoes. Yet another interesting and potentially useful thing that I’ve learned from you, @trecile. My only query is about the depth of the tread. I’ve walked the CF in early Topo Athletic trail runners that had very shallow treads. I felt every pebble, sharp or smooth. Wasn’t all bad though because it cured my plantar fasciitis and it hasn’t come back.
 
#16
Alleviate Pronation
Pronation is a natural part of your foot’s movement. This refers to how the foot rolls and applies pressure when the heel finally hits the ground. Pronation may be normal, but that does not mean the constant shock it receives when you walk or run does not have an effect on it. One way you can alleviate the pressure is to try doming. To do this, just place your foot flat on the ground, and then press your toes on the ground while keeping your heels firmly on the floor. This should create a dome between your heel and toes. Maintain this position for 10 seconds, straighten your foot, and then just start again.
I have read this post before and found it very helpful. Now, having walked about 1000 km in Altras and re-reading it, I am wondering if you think this paragraph answers my question about my adaptation to Altras. Here's what happened -- at the beginning, I got pain across the top of my foot, which I have had before on other caminos and which was easily cured by loosening the lacing. But then my heels were sloshing around. I found, though, that as I walked more in the Altras, I could lace the shoes tighter. At the end, they were laced normally, no adjustments, no top-of-foot pain, no heel sloshing. My theory is that maybe my foot strike had to adjust to the unique no-drop feature of the shoe and that had something to do with pronation.

Does that make sense to the experts?
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2, El Norte incompleto
#17
Didn’t know they made trail shoes. Yet another interesting and potentially useful thing that I’ve learned from you, @trecile. My only query is about the depth of the tread. I’ve walked the CF in early Topo Athletic trail runners that had very shallow treads. I felt every pebble, sharp or smooth. Wasn’t all bad though because it cured my plantar fasciitis and it hasn’t come back.
The lugs on the soles are pretty deep, about the same as the New Balance trail runners that I wore on the Camino before.
Screenshot_20180520-071708.jpg
 

Ian L

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances summer 2017 (SJPP to Fromista)
Plan on returning in 2019 (Fromista to Santiago)
#18
I have read this post before and found it very helpful. Now, having walked about 1000 km in Altras and re-reading it, I am wondering if you think this paragraph answers my question about my adaptation to Altras. Here's what happened -- at the beginning, I got pain across the top of my foot, which I have had before on other caminos and which was easily cured by loosening the lacing. But then my heels were sloshing around. I found, though, that as I walked more in the Altras, I could lace the shoes tighter. At the end, they were laced normally, no adjustments, no top-of-foot pain, no heel sloshing. My theory is that maybe my foot strike had to adjust to the unique no-drop feature of the shoe and that had something to do with pronation.

Does that make sense to the experts?
I'm no expert but it makes sense to me! Years of wearing shoes that restrict our foots natural movement would take its toll. I'm hoping a little pain making the transition now will payoff with less injuries in the future.

I've never had any major foot problems, except for wanting to cry when trying to climb a bunk bed ladder after walking 20 miles. But I've seen and heard enough to make me want to avoid them.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#19
Didn’t know they made trail shoes. Yet another interesting and potentially useful thing that I’ve learned from you, @trecile. My only query is about the depth of the tread. I’ve walked the CF in early Topo Athletic trail runners that had very shallow treads. I felt every pebble, sharp or smooth. Wasn’t all bad though because it cured my plantar fasciitis and it hasn’t come back.
That is a reason that most trail runners now incorporate a "rock plate" or shield within the midsole. It is a lightweight thermoplastic, or a few use carbon fiber, plate within the midsole. It is flexible while being able to take the brunt of the 'blunt force trauma' of feeling trail debris and rocks.

You can do a quick retrofit of any shoe that you already have and find comfortable. The easiest is to purchase a third party insole with a rock plate, or with a firm bottom plate to insert into the shoe.

The most inexpensive, effective McGyver'd solution is to use your existing insole to trace its outline onto the plastic material of a milk container. Then adhere that plate into the interior bottom of each shoe with a few dabs of silicone caulk or construction adhesive. Just enough dots of the stuff to keep the plate in place. Your existing insole goes on top of that. Et voila... a homemade rock buffer for your feet.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#20
I have read this post before and found it very helpful. Now, having walked about 1000 km in Altras and re-reading it, I am wondering if you think this paragraph answers my question about my adaptation to Altras. Here's what happened -- at the beginning, I got pain across the top of my foot, which I have had before on other caminos and which was easily cured by loosening the lacing. But then my heels were sloshing around. I found, though, that as I walked more in the Altras, I could lace the shoes tighter. At the end, they were laced normally, no adjustments, no top-of-foot pain, no heel sloshing. My theory is that maybe my foot strike had to adjust to the unique no-drop feature of the shoe and that had something to do with pronation.

Does that make sense to the experts?
It makes sense, since how foot mechanics deal with each strike on the ground can determine foot movement in a shoe. Obviously, your new footwear keeps the foot movement to a minimum front to back, which is why some folks, as you did previously, have to compensate by tightening laces.

If you had, or ever go back, to a shoe similar to your non-Altras, that problem can be eliminated by adopting a zoned tension when tying shoes. For example, I will keep a loose tension on my laces until about where my instep begins to arch upward. At that point, I will tie a square knot. Then I will continue lacing up the shoe. This allows me to quickly tighten my laces to keep my feet from sliding forward and banging my toes on the front of the shoe while on downhill stretches. When I am no longer going downhill, then I can relax the tension again. In both cases, my forefoot, which needs to have as much width as possible, is never pressured or pinched, yet the overall motion to the foot going forward in the shoe is able to be controlled as is needed.

I am glad for you that you have a good shoe and your feet can be happy :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
'Portuguese' ' Frances' ' Norte' 'Salvador_prim' ‘le puy’ ‘Inglés’ ‘CDM’ ‘Invierno’ ‘Fin_Mux’
#21
Here is a repost of what I have previously written and posted for those concerned with Plantars Fasciitis:

Top Exercises to Help Avoid Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is a common type of chronic heel pain. It seems to affect young male athletes and middle-aged obese women more than any other group, but that does not mean other groups are immune to it. The inflamed tissue around the heel seems to cause a stabbing-like sensation, which is worse in the morning. This condition may be prevented, and the following exercises will help you do that.

Arch Stretching
Stretching your arch muscles is not too difficult, but the exercise is a little peculiar. The first thing you need to do is take off your shoes and get barefoot, and then place a towel on the floor. Now, simply place your foot on the towel, and curl your toes to clench the towel. Pull the towel toward you, and that is it. Place the towel in front of you again, and repeat. Be sure to do the same for your other foot.

This exercise is typically suggested by professionals for those who actually have plantar fasciitis already, but it can definitely be helpful to everyone. You should try and do this several times a week, but make sure to not overstretch your feet while you’re doing it.

Calf Strengthening
The calf and the tendons surrounding your heel need to be strengthened. A simple exercise that may help you do this is calf raises. What you want to do is stand straight on level ground. You should be barefooted for best traction, but it is not absolutely necessary. Now, all you have to do is lift your heels off the ground so that you are standing on your toes. Stay in this position as long as you can before returning your heels to the ground, and just repeat this at least nine more times.

Another way to do this exercise that works great is to stand at the edge of a stair or curb. You want your toes to be what keeps you on the stair or curb. Then, raise your heels up so that you are on your “tippy toes” and then back down again, but allow your heels to go lower than your toes past the edge of the stair or curb. This exercise allows for a fuller stretch.

Alleviate Pronation
Pronation is a natural part of your foot’s movement. This refers to how the foot rolls and applies pressure when the heel finally hits the ground. Pronation may be normal, but that does not mean the constant shock it receives when you walk or run does not have an effect on it. One way you can alleviate the pressure is to try doming. To do this, just place your foot flat on the ground, and then press your toes on the ground while keeping your heels firmly on the floor. This should create a dome between your heel and toes. Maintain this position for 10 seconds, straighten your foot, and then just start again.

Work the Interossei
The Interossei muscles help support your arch muscles thus preventing this issue. All you have to do is place a large rubber band around your toes for resistance. Then, stretch your toes and hold for 10 seconds. Squeeze your toes for another 10 seconds, and repeat these steps about five to 10 times.

What to Do When Your Feet Are Hurting?
Whether or not you’re at risk of getting Plantar Fasciitis, you’re going to come across a time where you’re feet are going to hurt. Maybe you were standing all day at work, ran a marathon, or whatever. If your feet are hurting, take a break and rest, stretch, and recover. Get off your feet for a little bit and either ice or heat your feet. If you notice any swelling or severe pain, then ice it. If it’s just sore, then apply heat with a hot bath. Then, make sure to rub out the tension and to do some basic exercises. You can try the ones above or do some other types. One popular one is to roll a tennis ball underneath the feet. This helps to preserve the arch and massage it at the same time
Hi Dave
A good thread by @trecile - I’m always looking out to put my feet in the best shoe/boot for my body ..
Thanks for your input Dave and I’m wondering if one can actually get rid of heel spurs? Or whether I try the treatment for plantar fasciitis above. I am told that heel spurs are caused by plantar fasciitis left too long ??? Would this be right.

I’d really like to get cracking on getting my feet into better condition.

Once again , Thankyou for your posts.
Annie
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#22
Hi Dave
A good thread by @trecile - I’m always looking out to put my feet in the best shoe/boot for my body ..
Thanks for your input Dave and I’m wondering if one can actually get rid of heel spurs? Or whether I try the treatment for plantar fasciitis above. I am told that heel spurs are caused by plantar fasciitis left too long ??? Would this be right.

I’d really like to get cracking on getting my feet into better condition.

Once again , Thankyou for your posts.
Annie
Hi, Annie; thank you for your kind words. :)

There is an association with Plantar Fasciitis (PF) and Heel Spurs, but the association does not mean that they are caused by PF. Because the same types of conditions which cause PF can also be responsible for the increased calcification which builds up a bone spur, it is difficult to assign blame to PF as a sole causative agent. There are, after all, a lot of folks with Heel Spurs who have no PF.

However, I would imagine that if one develops PF, that the inflammatory response could increase the likelihood that Heel Spurs might develop.

There are some identifiable risk factors associated with Heel Spurs (HS). These same risks can also be found to be associated with PF, so you can understand why things can be blurred as to whether one condition can be responsible for the other problem.
  • Motion control issues abnormalities with walking, like pronation, which can put abnormal stresses on the heel bone, ligaments, and nerves near the heel
  • Heavy foot impact exercise like running, especially when done on hard surfaces like pavement and concrete and hard-packed dirt and gravel.
  • Shoes which fit poorly and footwear that is worn down.
  • Footwear which does not properly support weak foot structures, like the arch.
  • Being over weight and obese.
Many of the same exercises to help with PF prevention and PF relief are also ones that can be used to try and treat Heel Spurs. Surgical intervention in cases that become increasingly aggressive is more frequently done than a surgery to deal with PF.

It is interesting to note that a good percentage of the population has some level of Heel Spur development, and that most cases do not produce symptoms which are bothersome. Which brings me to a bit of a controversial observation.

Bone Spurs are most often diagnosed by X-Ray imaging. X-Rays are often done when a patient complains of foot pain symptoms that are shared by both HS and PF. It has been debated that because both BS and PF are frequently diagnosed at around the same time, that Podiatrists and Orthopedists will wrongly attribute heel discomfort -- in many cases -- to HS, when the sole cause is more likely the PF.

And those on the other side of the debate will vigorously uphold HS as a pain causing agent.

I am one with HS's that showed up on X-Rays when my feet were examined for issues dealing with the metatarsals. The podiatrist asked if my heels were having pain, to which my answer was "no". Given that the HS's were more than just minimal, he expressed a bit of surprise. Later as I spent time looking at HS's and reviewing the existing literature, I became convinced that I was just like a lot of folks with this condition and could just ignore it. If my heels get painful and PF is nonexistent, then I'll be concerned. :)

Unless there is significant interference with normal functioning even with some mild discomfort, one can afford to be conservative in their approach to dealing with HS. So, with your provider clued in to your condition and concerns and in agreement with your plans, you can use the aforementioned exercises to initially treat the HS. Also look at those things which create a risk for both HS and PF and focus on remediating them.

If that doesn't help resolve the issue, or at least keep it from becoming more aggravated, you can always get more aggressive treatment later.

My best wishes on things getting better for your feet :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
'Portuguese' ' Frances' ' Norte' 'Salvador_prim' ‘le puy’ ‘Inglés’ ‘CDM’ ‘Invierno’ ‘Fin_Mux’
#23
Hi, Annie; thank you for your kind words. :)

There is an association with Plantar Fasciitis (PF) and Heel Spurs, but the association does not mean that they are caused by PF. Because the same types of conditions which cause PF can also be responsible for the increased calcification which builds up a bone spur, it is difficult to assign blame to PF as a sole causative agent. There are, after all, a lot of folks with Heel Spurs who have no PF.

However, I would imagine that if one develops PF, that the inflammatory response could increase the likelihood that Heel Spurs might develop.

There are some identifiable risk factors associated with Heel Spurs (HS). These same risks can also be found to be associated with PF, so you can understand why things can be blurred as to whether one condition can be responsible for the other problem.
  • Motion control issues abnormalities with walking, like pronation, which can put abnormal stresses on the heel bone, ligaments, and nerves near the heel
  • Heavy foot impact exercise like running, especially when done on hard surfaces like pavement and concrete and hard-packed dirt and gravel.
  • Shoes which fit poorly and footwear that is worn down.
  • Footwear which does not properly support weak foot structures, like the arch.
  • Being over weight and obese.
Many of the same exercises to help with PF prevention and PF relief are also ones that can be used to try and treat Heel Spurs. Surgical intervention in cases that become increasingly aggressive is more frequently done than a surgery to deal with PF.

It is interesting to note that a good percentage of the population has some level of Heel Spur development, and that most cases do not produce symptoms which are bothersome. Which brings me to a bit of a controversial observation.

Bone Spurs are most often diagnosed by X-Ray imaging. X-Rays are often done when a patient complains of foot pain symptoms that are shared by both HS and PF. It has been debated that because both BS and PF are frequently diagnosed at around the same time, that Podiatrists and Orthopedists will wrongly attribute heel discomfort -- in many cases -- to HS, when the sole cause is more likely the PF.

And those on the other side of the debate will vigorously uphold HS as a pain causing agent.

I am one with HS's that showed up on X-Rays when my feet were examined for issues dealing with the metatarsals. The podiatrist asked if my heels were having pain, to which my answer was "no". Given that the HS's were more than just minimal, he expressed a bit of surprise. Later as I spent time looking at HS's and reviewing the existing literature, I became convinced that I was just like a lot of folks with this condition and could just ignore it. If my heels get painful and PF is nonexistent, then I'll be concerned. :)

Unless there is significant interference with normal functioning even with some mild discomfort, one can afford to be conservative in their approach to dealing with HS. So, with your provider clued in to your condition and concerns and in agreement with your plans, you can use the aforementioned exercises to initially treat the HS. Also look at those things which create a risk for both HS and PF and focus on remediating them.

If that doesn't help resolve the issue, or at least keep it from becoming more aggravated, you can always get more aggressive treatment later.

My best wishes on things getting better for your feet :)
Double like !! That answer makes so much sense.
I think I’m in your camp. I had never really had pain or discomfort from PF. Starting caminos at 63 and carrying too much weight (pack mainly but also me)., was the start of leg and foot probs. All different. Over 10 years before caminos , I had a knee reconstruction., then 4 yrs later ankle fracture ., all on the right side. Walking 1st camino I had ankle swells and sore shins , not many blisters but the ones I got were on heels . A fall on Norte in 2014 which pulled my ankle as I’d managed to tether both feet together (lace on one boot latched into hook of other boot / laces on my boots are not long loops anymore ).. 2016 Le Puy ., 2 corns in between last toes. All injuries on right side !! This is the side of the larger more notice HS. So combination I guess of weaknesses on right side may be contributing factor?
However, like yourself., once I’m warmed up., and in correct footwear it’s not as noticeable.. I do wear boots with widest toe box (keens)., but am checking out latest posts on zero drop trail shoes etc.
Also HS was also only pointed out when I visited doctor in return with really sore feet after the corns developed .... I was sent for x-rays. This is where I found out I had HSpurs.

So Thankyou for giving me a few possibilities in your reply. I can now make a more informed decision. I know you don’t give advice saying it’s the only answer Dave ; but it’s much more helpful and understandable than what I’ve got from other research., at my doctor, even my podiatrist!!
And google hasn’t zoned in to what I wanted.

I’ll let you know how I go after my next camino.

Annie
 

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