Ironman Fireman gets back to running

When Ian Laidler came to see us at The North East Foot Centre, he had had to stop running and it was having a major impact on his triathlon training. 

As a serving fire fighter and competitive Ironman triathlete, this was a major problem that was impacting on his day job, and his motivation. 

So what was the problem? 

Ian had a sore right heel, which upon examination was diagnosed as plantar fasciitis. He had tried to self medicate by resting, and taking painkillers, but it hadn't got better. It is often suggested that by resting, plantar fasciitis will go away of it's own accord. This can work, but for anyone like Ian, who is extremely active and competitive, simply resting was frustrating, so he looked for an alternative solution. 

He booked in to see our lead podiatrist David Eardley, who took a thorough case history and undertook analysis of gait using a mixture of pressure plate analysis, dartfish analysis (running on the treadmill) and using his own experienced eye to look and see what the problem was. 

Detailed Investigation and Analysis. 

Ian underwent a number of tests the results of which were as follows: 

Static Non-weight bearing examination key points:

  • Tight right Hamstring at insertion on leg extension-which made it tight across the knee,
  • Right midfoot stiff dorsiflexion.
  • Right big toe stiff dorsiflexion

Walking key points:

  • Righty foot push off was supinated compared to the left, this was due to the stiff big toe.
  • The right side pronated slightly more

 Running key points:

  • Right foot started to pronate more, this was evident barefoot, but appeared to be reversed in trainers.
  • Right heel reach was shorter.
  • Overall a very economic ‘quiet’ running style.

Pressure plate evidence:

  • Early and prolonged loading of the right big toe. Instability of right foot.


The tight right posterior knee hamstring and stiff right mid foot led to strain on the right plantar fascia

The Solution

Ian was prescribed a short term taping program to facilitate healing and soft semi-custom orthoses to moderate and reduce pronation, cushion and unload his right big toe. He was advised to also change his trainers to a well cushioned neutral shoe with 10mm heel height differential and given some recommended stretches. From this, Ian made great progress and was back to running within a few weeks. 

Ian said

"i was really impressed by how in-depth the investigations were - David was very personable, and knowledgable. after seeing him a few times, i was able to get back to training, which i was really happy about! it was great to have the problem solved, the pain taken away and not have to worry about it at work any more" 


Do you think you have Plantar Fasciitis?  

Why not make an appointment to come and see one of the team here at the North East Foot Centre, or check out our 'off the shelf' solutions in the shop: 

X Line Plantar Fasciitis Insole  (Unisex) 

Airplus Womens 

Airplus Men's 

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