Heel Pain

The problem with pain, is that is suggests dysfunction.  However, pain is perception of danger from the signals in to the body (simplistically).  Pain is not my area of expertise, as a Performance Trainer, as a Personal Trainer and as an educator I specialise on seeing movement, and then creating the experience and movement routes to help the client improve to the level they want or above!

In the references in here, I have put a few links on pain for you to look through.  There are far smarter people out there challenging concepts on pain and injury.  From everything I have read (a lot of the time, by following papers from blogs and review papers, and then the references from these papers), pain is about interpretation, so is a mixture of what is happening, where it is happening, how it is happening and how that is interpreted.  It is not as simple as tissue dysfunction or asymmetrical movement.  In fact it probably has nothing to do with asymmetrical movement at all.

If we consider Heel Pain to have been diagnosed as Achilles Tendinopathy (I cannot diagnose in real, so please make sure if you have pain in the heel that you get it diagnosed too).

This slide is from the resources (it has a set of lectures too) that go with our Functional Therapy course.  This has been written by Tracy who started as a student and now is our injury expert.  Click this link to read her blog and go see her in London for treatments.

achilles tendinopathy

The information on the sheet is supposed to be reflective of what happens and what your client goes through, and not to suggest that these treatments work, are recommended or should be used.  Taping and ice would be two techniques that you might want to read more on, I believe you might be shocked at how effective these are (or are not).

From a training perspective, FASTER would look at how we could get the injury out of the way and build exercises to work the rest of the body, in similar ways to the way the client would usually move.

Training the right leg as a standing leg, and the left leg in swing phase, while protecting the right ankle.

hip flexor swings

Obviously feel free to swing the left leg across different planes.  It is important to know that our trainer is not injured, and so put his foot down quite aggressively.  It would be more of a steady put down with someone who had the injury.   We are using TruFit equipment to suspend the foot in the air.

The goal would be that the clients body continues to maintain transferable strength and power, throughout the time that the client is recovering from their heel pain, with supervision from their physical therapist / physiotherapist.   As the injury is often one of over use, which is, in my opinion, a symptom of too much repetition in the clients life OR repeated poor execution of a skill, then these exercises should condition away from the over used site and so allow the rest of the body to pick up some more of the work on the clients return to fitness.   It would also be at this point, that we would want to start working on the clients skill levels, as a preventative measure to try and stop this injury re-occurring.


At faster, we break down movements in to 5 basic skills, then specify for our client.

Jumping is a

  • Change in direction, at pace (similar to turning, kicking or throwing)
  • Locomotion (sprint where the direction of the leg coming through changes the force from being horizontal to vertical)
  • Vertical displacement (where the emphasis is really on the down, with the result being the up straight after, continuing at pace enough that it takes the client from the floor)

Here is a selection of exercises for jumping.  We cover training the skills and adapting the skills to make them more transferable, in our courses.

As Promised!

Here is a massive 75% off of our live course in Doncaster in February.  http://bit.ly/1lJhIzY

Plus – If you want to do the speed course at the weekend, this week, then please contact john@fasterglobal.com and say why you want to be on the course, and what you would like to be in the course.   Then if accepted, I will see you on the weekend.  (the course will be at Bond Fitness, Hertford Rugby Club, Ware)