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Since backpacking, the soles of my feet hurt when I first put pressure on them. When I get up in the morning and walk around, or if I've been sitting a long time, it feels as if they're very badly bruised. They grow accustomed to it and after walking around for a while there's minimal or no pain. Appearance is normal and there's very slight swelling if any (they were really swollen when I first got back). Is there any reason I shouldn't run?

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Sounds like my feet felt when I waited tables in terrible shoes on a concrete floor.

How long have you been back? Its improving, yes? I'm imagining they are healing themselves from the stress they have been through this summer. Might take a bit to be 100% again, then reacclimate to running. You might take it easy on the running, maybe ease back into it and as long as it doesn't hurt. If it hurts it may be too soon. Maybe ice bath those dogs when you get back.
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Sounds like plantar fasciitis, although it could be something else. I would advise you to NOT walk barefoot in the morning whatsoever. Step into shoes with good arch support (or orthotics) first thing in the morning (don't shower with them). Get your heart rate up without doing anything too stressful on your feet. You might also try moist heat for 15 minutes on the soles of your feet followed by gentle stretching of the toe flexor muscles. You simply bring all your toes toward your nose while sitting up in bed. You definitely should not run if your feet hurt during the run. Otherwise, you'll probably be okay. If the soles of your feet hurt AFTER the run, then you're living on the edge. In any case, given that you have the problem, I would ice (cold pack for 15 minutes) the soles of your feet after running, and certainly after backpacking. It is likely that the extra weight from carrying the pack stretched and tore fibers in the plantar fascia, a thick, fibrous tissue that runs from your calcaneus (heel) to the balls of your feet. Calcaneal (heel) spurs will be the end result if you do not take care of this. Calf stretching is also helpful, but only after you're warmed up. Don't stretch cold. Don't hang over the edge of a step on a stairway as some doctors suggest. It is too risky. Instead, stretch actively rather than passively. Google Aaron Mattes of Florida, the master of the active stretch technique. Orthotics are an expensive near-last resort. They are a brace, and you should try to develop greater strength in your arches, by strengthening the flexors of the toes and by performing one-legged stability exercises when you're ready. Clearly, you carried too much weight on your feet when you went backpacking. If you're overweight, lose the weight. Otherwise, carry a lighter pack. What shoes were you wearing during your hikes? Try a different pair next time maybe. I am a NOLS graduate and a better pair of boots makes all the difference in the world. Oh, yes, almost forgot. Stay on flat terrain for a while when running until you're healed. Uphills and downhills could hurt a lot. If it is plantar fasciitis, you must take care of it. Some end results are surgical. Good Luck! -Your friendly neighborhood chiropractic physician (yes we are "real" doctors, at least the good ones are...)

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