Is My Heel Pain After a Workout Actually Plantar Fasciitis?

Pain after a workout is normal. In fact if you’re not feeling any pain after your workout then you are most definitely doing it wrong. It’s really just your body’s natural reaction to what you’re inflicting upon it.

When we’re working out, what we’re doing is basically breaking our body down so that it has to heal itself. Especially in the case of bodybuilding, we are putting our muscles under strain until they tear.

When this happens, our body will naturally fuse them back together but they’ll be stronger and more effective then before. This is the most basic science behind exercise and everyone who goes to the gym probably understands this at least on some level.

So pain is to be expected. What you’ll most likely feel is something commonly known as Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS). When your body is healing, it increases the inflammation to the affected areas and this is where the pain comes from.

This is also why it tends to occur a couple of days after you exercise as opposed to during the workout itself. Once you’ve worked out enough and you are familiar with how your body responds to things, you will begin to recognize these sensations.

You will also become somewhat accustomed to the pain over time. You’ll still feel it of course, because you are still deliberately causing damage but while early on it might inhibit your daily life, you will become more used to dealing with it.

DOMS are the right kind of pain and it’s important that you do become familiar with it because there are very bad kinds of pain associated with working out too. If you’ve clicked this article, the one that you’re probably worried about is in your heel.

Before we get into the specifics here, the answer to the above question is probably yes. Heel pain is not that common because it’s not really that’s a part of any major muscle groups people would regularly work on.

So the chances are that if you are feeling pain in your heel after working out, then it’s probably plantar fasciitis. And yes this is also the case for runners, who are among the most commonly affected by plantar fasciitis.

Running will hurt your feet and your legs, this is no secret and it’s completely normal but if you are getting a stabbing and persistent pain in your heel then it’s something that you should be taking note of.

The reason why this happens is because the bottoms of your feet are made up of a network of connective tissue which is designed to expand and contract with each step, and sometimes we can end up overworking it.

This leads to tiny tears in the fascia in your feet which causes inflammation and will hurt like hell with every step that you take. As said, it happens quite often when you spend a lot of time running, but it can also happen as a result of certain exercises.

Specifically the ones that put a lot of pressure on your feet, so things like squats, standing shoulder presses and deadlifts which basically involve holding very heavy weights while putting your weight on your heels.

It’s a tricky problem to solve, mainly because your body will generally heal muscles while you sleep. And the trouble with plantar fasciitis is that your feet are naturally relaxed when you’re lying down and so the muscles that need healing aren’t stretched.

Because the fasciitis doesn’t affect you until your feet are flexing, your body kind of forgets about the pain when you’re sleeping and doesn’t do anything about it. It sounds kind of insane but it’s how our natural healing properties operate.

But understanding why you have this pain is one thing, what you really need to know is what you can do to fix it. Because the fact that it won’t heal like DOMS normally does, doesn’t mean you just have to wait it out.

There are things you can do. With the fact that your foot isn’t going to be in the optimal position for healing in mind, you can use a night splint. This will go around your lower leg and stretch your calf muscle so that your toes will point upwards.

This will ensure a gentle stretch of the plantar fascia which will allow it to heal. It would probably be best to wear this for a couple of months just to ensure that you’re fully healed, putting stress back on damaged tissue will re-aggravate it.

You can do your own stretches during the day too. Aim for stretches of your calf muscle, loosening those can ease the pain of fasciitis. This is best achieved by extending your legs backwards when leaning against a wall.

You can also just stretch the plantar itself by holding your toes in one hand and extending them back towards your shin. Stretching your foot using an elastic foot band is also a good method which will work in the same way.

If you can, seeking out massage therapy for your feet will be very effective. Trained reflexologists will have seen this a thousand times and will know exactly how to help ease the pain.

Also, consider altering some of the exercises to avoid causing this problem in the first place. You might need to change your running style or get a different pair of shoes. Or maybe switch from a barbell to dumbbells.

This could help to evenly distribute the weight so that you’re not putting so much pressure on your heels when you’re lifting.

Plantar fasciitis can be excruciating and it can seriously get in the way of not just your exercises, but also daily life in general. And while it’s difficult to manage, it’s not impossible and you can also take certain steps to prevent it entirely.