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  • Downward facing dog heel pain

    Anyone ever get heel pain on the outside of the heel from doing downward facing dog or any similar type possition with legs straight and foot bent up toward head? I went to the foot dr after 3 weeks of pain and he gave me Voltaris (sp) to rub on my foot to see if that reduces the inflimation (1 week so far and no pain relief) and he thinks i might have tweaked a nerve. 1 runs down your whole body to your foot in that general area.

    Just wondering if anyone else had this kind of pain and how they were able to make it go away?

    His next step is to pop a needle with steroids into my foot which I would prefer not to do but if the pain doesn't go away not sure what other options there are. He did mention that my achiles is very tight for someone my age (only 35).
    ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn

  • #2
    Outside of the heel where?

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    • #3
      In downward? Heel no!

      I'm a bit tight and have to work to get my heels on the floor, but I couldn't imagine heel pain in that position...

      Have plantar fasciitis?
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      • #4
        It's like on the outer side of the heel not right under the foot. Doc doesn't think it's plantar fasc he said it seems like a nerve problem which he said could take a couple months to heal I hope he's wrong and it heals faster was just currious if anyone else had this problem.

        The pain is sorta like needles or things are tearing on the outside part of my heel and burns really bad.
        ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn

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        • #5
          best bet, honestly, is to work without putting the heels on the floor.

          the biggiest issue in practicing this pose is that people forget that this is really about the rotation of the hips and the alignment of the spine, rather than whether or not the heels touch the ground.

          eventually, they do, when you have the flexibility for it (in the whole back of the body, including in the heels), then the heels will touch naturally, without any effort. so having the heels up and working on getting the back completely flat is the right way to go.

          also, you have to make sure you are lifting the arches properly when doing the posture, and lifting the ankles, as to not cause undue pressure in the foot, ankle, etc.

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          • #6
            I think you're pushing way too hard. There's a phrase Erich Shiffman uses- "playing the edge" to indicate how much sensation you should seek in any pose. Find the outside edge of your comfort zone, in other words, and flirt with going a bit deeper with your breath. But never do yourself this kind of injury. You improve very gradually, but improvement isn't even the main focus. Finding a kind of equilibrium with your current state is more the focus. And I agree with this even from my own Ashtanga standpoint, which I characterize as one of the more physical and muscular forms.

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            • #7
              I hear ya. Thing is i'm not even sure if it was Yoga that cause the injury I just noticed it while doing downdog but also feel it when I walk sometimes and other positions like one armed pushups etc.. Basically any time my leg is fully extended and foot bends up toward head.

              Will see how it goes in a couple weeks before I go back to doc.
              ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn

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              • #8
                Sound like you have pretty straightforward foot and ankle dysfunction preventing unrestricted dorsiflexion of the ankle. Simply put, the joints in your foot and ankle aren't moving the way they should stressing the surrounding structures.

                I'd bet those structures are likely the fibuarlis longus and brevis muscle tendons. They wrap behind the outside ankle bone (distal end of the fibula/lateral malleous), and these are likely the source of the pain you are feeling. Take a look at the following image and see if they are about where your pain is: http://catalog.nucleusinc.com/imagescooked/5406W.jpg

                I also don't think you would benefit from any sort of injection. One, it will probably not help you, and, two, it will only potentially weaken your tendons further. In my opinion you are better off going to a physical therapist that practices solid manual therapy to address your joint and soft tissue dysfunctions.

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                • #9
                  hi there. I have exactly the same thing! I started doing yoga intensely about 3 months ago. It started as a tingling feeling in the back of my heel everytime i did downward dog and then developed into what is now a burning sensation. I've had to stop doing yoga as it just hurts too much to do downward dog now. The pain isn't there unless I keep my leg straight and pull my toes back... if mg leg is bent and i pull my toes back (with no calf stretch) it feels fine. I'm wondering if you ever resolved this problem? I'm not sure whether it's a podiatrist or physio i should be seeing for this?

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                  • #10
                    Heal pain with downward dog yoga

                    Originally posted by MissChris View Post
                    hi there. I have exactly the same thing! I started doing yoga intensely about 3 months ago. It started as a tingling feeling in the back of my heel everytime i did downward dog and then developed into what is now a burning sensation. I've had to stop doing yoga as it just hurts too much to do downward dog now. The pain isn't there unless I keep my leg straight and pull my toes back... if mg leg is bent and i pull my toes back (with no calf stretch) it feels fine. I'm wondering if you ever resolved this problem? I'm not sure whether it's a podiatrist or physio i should be seeing for this?
                    I have just had the same thing happen! It was in yoga 3 weeks ago. You describe everything exactly like I have.i started yoga 4 months ago and then BAM it just happened. Acute tingling and burning during position. I walk fine.i swim fine except for the push off the wall on turning. Same as you. No pain unless my leg is straight and pull toes back. Am seeing an ART massage therapist.after 3 sessions he believes it is the Peroneus tendon. I'm resting it, icing,anti inflam amd fascia release.

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                    • #11
                      You don't need to put your heels down in downward dog, especially if it causes pain! It can take months or years to get to that level if you aren't flexible. I'm not flexible (really tight hammies and hip flexors) and I have never been able to get my heels down in that pose. I try to, but I don't force it because I know it will hurt! What's important in that pose is keeping a straight line from hands to tailbone, as well as from but to toes/feet.
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                      • #12
                        straight legs are secondary to straight spine/tailbone up, as straightening the legs can cause the tailbone to tuck under, and work against you.

                        but it depends upon the individual.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Nethru View Post
                          Anyone ever get heel pain on the outside of the heel from doing downward facing dog or any similar type possition with legs straight and foot bent up toward head? I went to the foot dr after 3 weeks of pain and he gave me Voltaris (sp) to rub on my foot to see if that reduces the inflimation (1 week so far and no pain relief) and he thinks i might have tweaked a nerve. 1 runs down your whole body to your foot in that general area.

                          Just wondering if anyone else had this kind of pain and how they were able to make it go away?

                          His next step is to pop a needle with steroids into my foot which I would prefer not to do but if the pain doesn't go away not sure what other options there are. He did mention that my achiles is very tight for someone my age (only 35).
                          YES! The only place on the web that has the same exact issue as me. This is probably not from Yoga, it's just prevalent during that move, etc. Mine started after a long golf trip walking and twisting my way through way too much golf. (Very fun). So, what gives? Does time heal this wound? Pinched nerve?

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                          • #14
                            All I am sure I have the issue that you are all describing. I only feel is when I do my stretches and specifically when I do the downward dog stretch. Burning pain heal to outside right ankle.

                            Any one have any feedback on what the best course of action is?
                            Would this be a Peroneal Tendon issue?

                            Cooincidendly I have an appt with orthopoedic for separated shoulder injury not related and I am going to ask him.

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                            • #15
                              Brad - Did you ever get an answer on this?

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