Is it ok to run if my feet hurt?

I've been very very slowly recovering, my coordination is pretty good at this point (at first I couldn't control my muscles enough to physically make the movements of running). Now I can, though slowly, but my feet hurt. Do you think it would slow my recovery, or be a bad idea, to run even if my feet are sore? I would love to try a slow short run but don't want to make things worse...thank you for any thoughts!

I was diagnosed in March and am recovering also, feet still not back 100%, and I was a avid runner before. All I can say is take it slow, be careful and work your way back. I can run about 1/2 mile now at a much slower pace but feet are numb… start walking first… I hear the feet come back am doubting it but working through it.

I applaud your efforts! Listen to your body and don't push it, but it probably won't make things worse to try running. (My feet hurt all the time also, so I don't even think about running, but I don't think it would be injurious to do it.) You might want to try something that doesn't slap your feet on the ground, like cycling or swimming.

Good luck!

edit: I just remembered -- gel insoles help a lot!

I started walking on a treadmill when I was in rehab and progressed to running when I got home. My feet were really sensitive/numb, so I ran in bare feet for quite awhile. I think this helped desensitize and strengthen them. My tips would be:

  1. Start slow. Build up your pace and distance very slowly. It’s good to challenge yourself, but not good to over exert yourself. It’s a balance, but people tend to not push themselves enough or to way over do it, and neither will do you any good. If running is not happening, start out walking on an incline and build up your muscles first.
  2. Be safe. If your balance and coordination is still a challenge make sure your holding rails, have the emergency stop on, or have a spotter.
  3. Be patient. Your body has a lot of nerves and muscles to rebuild. It will take time, but it will happen if you keep working. Make sure you’re doing other exercises to build muscles (squats, lunges, etc.).
  4. Feed yourself to recover. Your body is rebuilding, and will need fuel to do this and run. Make sure you’re eating a healthy diet and supporting nerve and muscle regrowth.
  5. Get a lot of sleep!

I have to answer this. But first I'll tell you bit about myself. I have run over 30 full marathons and an vice president of a running club in New York City. A year ago I was diagnosed with CIDP

but I'm going to answer this question the same way I would if you were on the form of my running club.

Ask your doctor

Thank you everyone for your great suggestions and replies. I am resting quite a bit (this has been a lesson in resting for me as I'm normally SO active - work, 2 young boys, exercise, home etc) but it's been good to learn to slow down. I eat really well (with wine and chocolate thrown in for good measure) and am taking it slowly. My neurologist said I could do whatever I felt physically able to do (i.e. run a bit) but I did wonder if anyone had had bad experiences with it...

I did run today. Well, I have named it the "great-granny shuffle" as it turns out I don't have enough muscle control to actually jog at this point. But I shuffled very slowly about 3/4 of a mile and it felt SO great to be outside and moving. I don't feel any worse at all tonight having done it so am thrilled. That said I won't "shuffle" tomorrow and will get extra rest etc. But so far it was ok.

And...ooh Gel insoles, that's brilliant, thank you! I tried an exercise bike at the gym last week but that felt bad on my bum - which is a combination of still totally numb and uncomfortable. This illness is almost impossible to explain to someone who hasn't had it, isn't it? The sensations are so bizarre. Thanks for your suggestions! I'm going to get gel insoles just for walking as my feet hurt all the time too.

Thanks again everyone!!

Heather

And thanks to

LanceB said:

I applaud your efforts! Listen to your body and don't push it, but it probably won't make things worse to try running. (My feet hurt all the time also, so I don't even think about running, but I don't think it would be injurious to do it.) You might want to try something that doesn't slap your feet on the ground, like cycling or swimming.

Good luck!

edit: I just remembered -- gel insoles help a lot!

I know EXACTLY what you’re going through!! I was training for a marathon last fall when I got GBS. So no running for 6-7 months was a killer for me.

I just started running again about 3 weeks ago and I’m still having issues with my meet tingling, feeling numb, and my big toes feel like they’re gigantic.

Anyway, here’s my suggestions;

  1. If ur balance and coordination aren’t fully back, I’d wait. Too risky for turning an ankle or worse.

  2. I haven’t had any negative effects from running. My feet are just as annoying whether I run or not!

  3. Go SLOWWWWW!! I felt great on my first short jog. The second time I went out, I pushed too hard and pulled a calf muscle. Our muscles are sooooo weak after going through this, that you have to build back up.

  4. Go to the gym first. Do some really light weight work on your legs. And even though I absolutely hate ellipticals, I think that’s ur best option for you right now. It’s much easier on the feet and you’ll be stable on there. So that’ll build some endurance and muscle without much risk.

  5. Don’t be afraid to give different things a try. You said your run (shuffle) went pretty well. In my opinion, the MENTAL benefits of getting out and doing something you love are HUGE milestones in recovery.

  6. Finally, remember that rest is still a must. I struggle with this, now that I’m able to do more stuff. But if I push too hard, I definitely notice the fatigue come back on.

Good luck!!! Sounds like you’re having a great recovery! And the patience we’ve learned through all this is a benefit that few people will ever get!! When I run, I appreciate it more than ever!!

I recall during my rehab that the lady told me not to over do it. I have read that also, regarding GBS. I would check this out before you get into doing something that is strenuous ... Nebretta

If it hurts, I would be careful about the activity. You may need to try less aggressive activity on your body like the elliptical, swimming, or stationary bike. You may have to slowly work back to running. I have been able to do that but find that I really have to cross train to keep from injuring myself. If I do too much, I get weird nerve pain in my feet. That's when I make sure to do other activities for a while and remember to mix up my activity more. Right now for some reason, maybe my medication (Gabapentin), I am off with my coordination. Hopefully I can work this out over my vacation and get back to running again. Maybe you can walk/run at first a little just to see at times when your feet feel better. Just take it easy. How far are you in your recovery?

I, too, was an avid runner and promised myself on the day I was diagnosed with GBS (1/13/2014) at nearly 60 years of age, that I would return to it. My coordination and balance started to return but my doctor was worried about proprioception, so I returned to running very slowly. I did not realize how badly my gait was off due to muscles still recovering and pulled something in my hip that made even walking painful. I decided to stick with walking, bicycling, and 30 squats - the squats have made a serious difference! I look at runners now and wonder if I will ever get back to it fully. The answer is yes. I am now 61, but in my heart I know I will someday be that old lady in the 10k race who finishes with everyone else. And I plan on being around for a long while!

I would love to have a separate section on this site for people with GBS/CIPD who are working back to their once fully exercised bodies. When I was diagnosed my doctors told me that having been a runner would greatly improve my chances of a full recovery. It would be nice to check in with others to give and get support in this!


Yes you will do it! I really believe if we have the attitude of knowing we will fully recover, that it really helps out actual recovery. Attitude is everything! It is frustrating and I'm sorry it's taking a while for you to be able to run again but you'll do it! And I'll do it too! I was aiming for a half marathon this month, but I'll have to settle for half MILE instead :) But we will get there! Thanks for your words of support.


Patricia said:

I, too, was an avid runner and promised myself on the day I was diagnosed with GBS (1/13/2014) at nearly 60 years of age, that I would return to it. My coordination and balance started to return but my doctor was worried about proprioception, so I returned to running very slowly. I did not realize how badly my gait was off due to muscles still recovering and pulled something in my hip that made even walking painful. I decided to stick with walking, bicycling, and 30 squats - the squats have made a serious difference! I look at runners now and wonder if I will ever get back to it fully. The answer is yes. I am now 61, but in my heart I know I will someday be that old lady in the 10k race who finishes with everyone else. And I plan on being around for a long while!

Thanks for your comment. I'm fairly new to this forum but am finding it so helpful because it's such an odd illness for others to understand. It has helped a lot hearing from fellow runners - for me it's about the physical but even moreso I think the mental benefits of running that I miss so much. I'd love to hear more stories of recovery. Thanks!



Patricia said:

I would love to have a separate section on this site for people with GBS/CIPD who are working back to their once fully exercised bodies. When I was diagnosed my doctors told me that having been a runner would greatly improve my chances of a full recovery. It would be nice to check in with others to give and get support in this!

That must have been so frustrating! I wasn't training for a marathon but understand a bit as I have always run - about 2x a week - but just a few months before i got GBS I had gotten really serious about it, running 5-6x a week and feeling fantastic. I was just loving each run so much and then - bam - nothing! I can't complain too much as I was only diagnosed 2 months ago. But I don't know when I'll be able to really run again, I still don't have the coordination yet. Thanks for the advice on doing different activities etc. I do need to do that. And it's probably safer at the gym, as you say, because I can hold on when using their machines. Just sad after a hard New England winter to have to be indoors at the gym, but that's the way it is for now! The big danger for me is what you mentioned - overdoing it now that I'm able to finally do a little bit. I'm working later today so going to force myself to rest all morning. Not easy. Thanks again and so glad you're able to do more and more with time!

ah1979 said:

I know EXACTLY what you're going through!! I was training for a marathon last fall when I got GBS. So no running for 6-7 months was a killer for me.

I just started running again about 3 weeks ago and I'm still having issues with my meet tingling, feeling numb, and my big toes feel like they're gigantic.

Anyway, here's my suggestions;

1. If ur balance and coordination aren't fully back, I'd wait. Too risky for turning an ankle or worse.

2. I haven't had any negative effects from running. My feet are just as annoying whether I run or not!

3. Go SLOWWWWW!! I felt great on my first short jog. The second time I went out, I pushed too hard and pulled a calf muscle. Our muscles are sooooo weak after going through this, that you have to build back up.

4. Go to the gym first. Do some really light weight work on your legs. And even though I absolutely hate ellipticals, I think that's ur best option for you right now. It's much easier on the feet and you'll be stable on there. So that'll build some endurance and muscle without much risk.

5. Don't be afraid to give different things a try. You said your run (shuffle) went pretty well. In my opinion, the MENTAL benefits of getting out and doing something you love are HUGE milestones in recovery.

6. Finally, remember that rest is still a must. I struggle with this, now that I'm able to do more stuff. But if I push too hard, I definitely notice the fatigue come back on.

Good luck!!! Sounds like you're having a great recovery! And the patience we've learned through all this is a benefit that few people will ever get!! When I run, I appreciate it more than ever!!

I did make it to a 5k last December. I had only hoped to drag myself across the finish, did better than I thought, and won a medal for 4th place. The high-fives at the finish were great! I was much slower but it was amazing to actually do that when I could barely walk 6 months previously. I relapsed in February this year and am struggling again with many symptoms so I have backslid quite a bit. I have been able to jog again for about a mile and a half at times but my symptoms are so up and down. You guys give me hope again. The big thing for me is getting back in the game and accepting how small the steps and failures are along the way. I have to face those who have seen me at my best see me struggling to rebuild. I have to accept seeing myself struggle to rebuild. That's so hard to do. I have to admit I've broken down a few times. I do best when I ignore any stares, as well as my own judgments, and pat myself on the back for the steps no matter how small then keep building on that. I'll try again today, might fail, but you have given me the courage to try once again. Good luck to all!

THat's wonderful! I wouldn't get 4th place even before GBS :) I'm sorry you relapsed, I hear a lot of people talk about that. Do most people relapse? Ugh. Frustration all over again. But you know from experience that you can build back up and you will! Sounds like you already are off to a good start!

Tarhealing said:

I did make it to a 5k last December. I had only hoped to drag myself across the finish, did better than I thought, and won a medal for 4th place. The high-fives at the finish were great! I was much slower but it was amazing to actually do that when I could barely walk 6 months previously. I relapsed in February this year and am struggling again with many symptoms so I have backslid quite a bit. I have been able to jog again for about a mile and a half at times but my symptoms are so up and down. You guys give me hope again. The big thing for me is getting back in the game and accepting how small the steps and failures are along the way. I have to face those who have seen me at my best see me struggling to rebuild. I have to accept seeing myself struggle to rebuild. That's so hard to do. I have to admit I've broken down a few times. I do best when I ignore any stares, as well as my own judgments, and pat myself on the back for the steps no matter how small then keep building on that. I'll try again today, might fail, but you have given me the courage to try once again. Good luck to all!

A few of my doctors said that I might've died if I wasn't in good physical condition I wrote a blog about it.

http://whatyourdonotknowbecauseyouarenotme.blogspot.com/2015/04/i-wasnt-lucky-and-i-definitely-wasnt.html


Patricia said:

I would love to have a separate section on this site for people with GBS/CIPD who are working back to their once fully exercised bodies. When I was diagnosed my doctors told me that having been a runner would greatly improve my chances of a full recovery. It would be nice to check in with others to give and get support in this!