Heel pain from rowing

General discussions about getting and staying fit that don't relate directly to your indoor rower
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Jenniferzville
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Heel pain from rowing

Post by Jenniferzville » August 25th, 2006, 1:44 pm

Anyone out there developed heel pain/plantar faschia (probably spelled wrong there) from rowing? If so, why? If so, what did you do to get rid of the pain? I think I got this from changing my stroke for the better about 2 weeks ago without lowering my workout time for awhile, and it's quite painful. Need help on how to get rid of it, and how long it's going to take.

naiveguy
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Post by naiveguy » August 25th, 2006, 2:19 pm

I developed slight pain in my right heel a few weeks ago when I started doing high intensity intervals on the erg. I finally figured out that I was lifting my right heel slightly just before the drive, which meant repeated impact against the foot rest. I'm now careful to keep my feet flat on the foot rests through all stages of the stroke, and the pain has disappeared.

Tim

paul s
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Post by paul s » August 25th, 2006, 2:42 pm

I had that problem for quite a while. I think going too far forward beyond vertical shins didn't help. I just did not have the flexibility. The following site was quite helpful, especially the message boards. One thing that definetly helped was getting a pair of Birkenstock sandals and wearing them a lot. The deep heel cup really helped lessen the pressure of the heel. They were all I wore around the house, even in the winter with socks. Custom orthotics also helped.

http://heelspurs.com/_intro.html

Cheers, Paul Salata

Jenniferzville
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heel pain from rowing

Post by Jenniferzville » August 26th, 2006, 5:55 pm

I think you both may be onto what happened to me. I've learned a few things since I posted yesterday, and now I am quite sure it's not plantar facisitis after all. I do lift up my heels but reallly try not to, but I have a strong feeling that when I changed my stroke to keep under 30 I ended up going past vertical. So I will re-adjust my stroke once I take off a little bit of time for healing. I think I'll have to take time off, since I got pain when I went running as well. Did either of you have to take off any time, or just adjust and the pain went away?

paul s
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Post by paul s » August 26th, 2006, 8:58 pm

If it hurts the most with your first few steps when you get out of bed, then loosens up as you walk, it is probably plantar faciitis. As to how long it took to get over it, hmmmmm. Unpleasant things tend to fade away as time goes on. I know that the Birkenstocks helped, as did walking on a cushioned treadmill. Do not walk around barefooted. Be patient. This is a slow healing injury.

Paul Salata

Jenniferzville
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heel pain from rowing

Post by Jenniferzville » August 27th, 2006, 2:59 pm

It does not hurt in the morning and all the pain is on the sides of the heel, just below the ankle bone. So it appears to be my tendon. Better than plantar, from what I'm reading but it seems I do have to stop working out completely for a few weeks. Anyone know how long full rest should take for tendonitis?

Alissa
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Re: heel pain from rowing

Post by Alissa » August 27th, 2006, 6:22 pm

Jenniferzville wrote:It does not hurt in the morning and all the pain is on the sides of the heel, just below the ankle bone. So it appears to be my tendon. Better than plantar, from what I'm reading but it seems I do have to stop working out completely for a few weeks. Anyone know how long full rest should take for tendonitis?
Jennifer, that sounds like a little like a problem I had a couple of months ago. However I didn't connect it with rowing... I also had no pain in the morning, and all of the pain was on the side of my heel, about half way between the back of the heel and the ankle bone (so a little displaced from where yours was...) Pain was intermittent and could only be reliably induced by flexing my foot, when my leg and knee were fully extended. (On the other hand, it would hit me out of the blue from time to time during just about any activity...)

I eventually saw a chiropractor who specializes in working with dancers who was able to help. He diagnosed a strained tendon, combined with tightened calf muscles on a Friday. He treated it then with manipulation, ice, electric stim, and heat, and then sent me home with instructions to alternate ice & heat and to stretch the calf. He had me come back on the following Monday to see if I was making progress & gave me a second round of treatment, concluded that I could come back if I wanted, but that he thought I had it under control. So I didn't go back and I haven't had any trouble for a while!

I took it easy rowing for a couple of weeks, but didn't stop (movement is good, just not straining movement).

Good luck!

Alissa

Joedoc
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Re: heel pain from rowing

Post by Joedoc » September 4th, 2006, 10:12 pm

Jenniferzville wrote:It does not hurt in the morning and all the pain is on the sides of the heel, just below the ankle bone. So it appears to be my tendon. Better than plantar, from what I'm reading but it seems I do have to stop working out completely for a few weeks. Anyone know how long full rest should take for tendonitis?
Rest will help 1-2 weeks, but will not provide you with long term relief if you do not also incorporate a stretching program for your heel and foot. A good pair of stretches to try are as follows. Find a staircase with a handrail, stand on the bottom step on the ball of your foot and let your heel drop off the step, keep your knee straight. Raise your other leg off the ground and allow your whole body weight to slowly stretch the foot and leg. Hold for 20-30 seconds then repeat with the other foot. Then try the same stretch with each leg, but with your knee bent about 20-30 degrees. You can begin these stretches immediately. Some will notice a slight increase in their discomfort for the first week or so, but stick with them and your pain should resolve.

Better shoes and orthotics can also be of help as have been previously suggested. A quicker fix is to just try a gel heel pad, it elevates the heel slightly to take pressure off the tendons and cushions the heel as well.
If your symptoms persist you should consult a local physician for further evaluation.

Joe Alhadeff, MD
Joe

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Citroen
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Re: heel pain from rowing

Post by Citroen » September 5th, 2006, 6:17 pm

Jenniferzville wrote:I do lift up my heels but reallly try not to, but I have a strong feeling that when I changed my stroke to keep under 30 I ended up going past vertical.
Have you tried rowing strapless (don't tie your feet down) to get your stroke rate down? It can iron out some of the problems for some folk. [Take care on the first stroke or you'll be off the back.] I did lots of strapless to get my stroke rate down from 28 to 20.

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