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Plantar Fascitis..............symptoms/solutions (Read 320 times)

    As I explained in a previous topic I have had heel issues in the past (definitely over the last 10+ years). I think it had to do with a combination of things:

    1. Failure to want to do anything athletic
    2. Fat butt
    3. Lack of motivation
    4. A distinct enjoyment of fast food

    That being said I was feeling pretty good over the 1st 3 days of my workout. That was until this past weekend. I may have pushed it a bit. So subsequently late yesterday and today I am experiencing some discomfort centered on the bottom of my heel and also at the curve of the back of my heel. It is the same feeling I have had in the past. In reading online I believe it to be symptomatic of plantar fascitis. Therefore I have questions:

    1. Are the symptoms I have outlined above PF?
    2. I know orthotics are generally prescribed, however I am looking at purchasing Spenco Total Support Original insoles. Does anyone have experience with these insoles?
    3. Is over the counter generally a good option to actually visiting the podiatrist and dropping a ton of cash on custom made orthotics?

    Any help would be most appreciated. thank you.

    JerseeJerry55


    Latent Runner

      I suffered with Plantar Fascitis for several years, and your symptoms sound nearly identical to mine.

       

      My orthopede recommended orthotics, first off the shelf ones, and then custom ones, and if anything, they made the issue worse.  Things got so bad I would need crutches to get up out of bed in the mornings just to make it to the bathroom.  In desperation I finally tried night splints, and even though said splits were decidedly uncomfortable (especially at first), the relief provided was so dramatic I stuck with them.  I ended up wearing the splits for a couple of years, long after any symptoms had been eliminated, as a hedge against a return visit of PF.  When the splints finally wore out (as in they physically broke), I stopped wearing them and haven't had a problem since (about 10 years now).

       

      A side note on orthotics; my unscientific poll of aquaintenances shows they are often more harmeful than beneficial.  In my case, I had to come to a quick stop one day, and even though my shoes were tied very tight, my foot slipped forward with so much force I jammed the big toe of my right foot to such a degree that now, nearly fifteen years later, I still have trouble with it.  Sad

      Fat old man PRs:

      • 1-mile (point to point, gravity assist): 5:50
      • 2-mile: 13:49
      • 5K (gravity assist last mile): 21:31
      • 5-Mile: 37:24
      • 10K (first 10K of my Half Marathon): 48:16
      • 10-Mile (first 10 miles of my Half Marathon): 1:17:40
      • Half Marathon: 1:42:13
      Jack K.


      I love sponge cake.

        I have been battling it for about six months. I use Super Feet inserts (I don't know if they help or not), roll my foot with a golf ball or bottle of frozen water, and do the eccentric stair stretch (youtube it).  I went to the doctor and he said PF is the "mystery injury" of the sports world because there is no one exact cause and really no cure for it. You have to try everything and see what works, if anything. I am fortunate because I can run through it and it doesn't hurt; it's just there. Good luck.

        2014 races

        Santa Anita Derby Day 5k - 5 Apr  

        Mountains to Beach Marathon - 25 May

          I suffered with Plantar Fascitis for several years, and your symptoms sound nearly identical to mine.

           

          My orthopede recommended orthotics, first off the shelf ones, and then custom ones, and if anything, they made the issue worse.  Things got so bad I would need crutches to get up out of bed in the mornings just to make it to the bathroom.  In desperation I finally tried night splints, and even though said splits were decidedly uncomfortable (especially at first), the relief provided was so dramatic I stuck with them.  I ended up wearing the splits for a couple of years, long after any symptoms had been eliminated, as a hedge against a return visit of PF.  When the splints finally wore out (as in they physically broke), I stopped wearing them and haven't had a problem since (about 10 years now).

           

          A side note on orthotics; my unscientific poll of aquaintenances shows they are often more harmeful than beneficial.  In my case, I had to come to a quick stop one day, and even though my shoes were tied very tight, my foot slipped forward with so much force I jammed the big toe of my right foot to such a degree that now, nearly fifteen years later, I still have trouble with it.  Sad

          Thank you for the reply. Question for you where can I purchase the night splits and what do they cost approximately? Thanks

          JJ55

            I have been battling it for about six months. I use Super Feet inserts (I don't know if they help or not), roll my foot with a golf ball or bottle of frozen water, and do the eccentric stair stretch (youtube it).  I went to the doctor and he said PF is the "mystery injury" of the sports world because there is no one exact cause and really no cure for it. You have to try everything and see what works, if anything. I am fortunate because I can run through it and it doesn't hurt; it's just there. Good luck.

            Jack,

            Thanks for the reply. What did you pay for the inserts and are they full, or partial length inserts? Thanks

            JJ55

            Jack K.


            I love sponge cake.

              I get mine at the LRS, they are $40 a pair and they are full. They typically last two pairs of shoes. I also tried a night splint but I just couldn't do it. It was driving me crazy and actually made me anxious. It was all mental. Strange, that.

              2014 races

              Santa Anita Derby Day 5k - 5 Apr  

              Mountains to Beach Marathon - 25 May


              Hobby Jogger Especial!

                Mine improves with working the trigger points in my calves.  Try this:

                 

                 

                http://sock-doc.com/2011/03/205/

                haroldIII


                  An Asics night splint and lots of calf strengthening got rid of mine. Heel raises, toe taps, and lifting up the front outside and inside of my foot; I go through the set of four 3 times, twenty reps each. I'd say the night splint did about 95% to get it feeling good, and then the exercises help maintain the lack of pain.

                  I dealt with it for about a year and a half. The night splint would make it go away and then it would return. The above exercises, squats and the lunge matrix have made it completely disappear for the last year


                  Feeling the growl again

                    My opinion and experience with PF is that there are many potential solutions/treatments, and what works for one person may be the worst thing for another.  Tick through the list until you find what works for you.

                     

                    You've been given many good ideas...none of which worked for me.  I needed to switch to very thick, cushioned dress shoes to alleviate the acute pain and get the inflammation down.  But after a few weeks I think those shoes kept the problem going rather than fixing it.  Next, after reading a lot about PF, I elected to try spending the whole day in very flexible, minimal shoes to strengthen my foot.  I decided on Merrill Tough Gloves (brown leather, passable in an office environment).  The improvement started in only a couple weeks, and within a couple months the problem was largely gone.  For almost a year afterwards, switching to any other shoe for daily wear would lead to a restart of the PF within days.

                     

                    I still wear the Tough Gloves almost daily, but I could probably go without them now for at least a few weeks with no issues.

                     

                    Ever since my recovery from PF I have an unconscious habit of curling in my toes and walking/running on them.  I have to consciously relax my feet.  I have no idea why but it started with the PF.

                    "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

                     


                    Latent Runner

                      Thank you for the reply. Question for you where can I purchase the night splits and what do they cost approximately? Thanks

                      JJ55

                       

                      If I recall correctly, I bought mine from Road Runner Sports, however, now that the internet has matured compared to the late 1990s, a simple search on "plantar fasciitis night splint" will yield dozens of vendors; prices range from $25(ish) to nearly $100.  I suspect if you shop around you'll find one which looks like it will be comfortable and cost you less than $40 per foot.

                      Fat old man PRs:

                      • 1-mile (point to point, gravity assist): 5:50
                      • 2-mile: 13:49
                      • 5K (gravity assist last mile): 21:31
                      • 5-Mile: 37:24
                      • 10K (first 10K of my Half Marathon): 48:16
                      • 10-Mile (first 10 miles of my Half Marathon): 1:17:40
                      • Half Marathon: 1:42:13

                        I wore orthotics for years.  They did cure my PF but caused other issues.  Ditched them in January and PF started coming back.  Lots of flexing my foot on a tennis ball and golf ball plus very low cushioned shoes seems to solve the problem.  Ironically, every foot doc I ever saw said I should pretty much plan to cut back my mileage or not run at all.

                         

                        Personally I think the night splints may take away the symptoms but not the root cause which is muscle knots in your fascia.  At least the golf ball and tennis ball break them up as you slowly strengthen your foot with other exercises or low cushioned shoes.  Orthotics weaken your foot, (a year ago I would have argued with this point but after doing a bunch of mobility tests it is pretty undeniable at least for me)  so while they may help cure PF, they cause other issues from lack of balance.

                          Going to try Spenco Total Support insoles. Ran in my new GT 2000's this morning. Had a minor bit of discomfort in the heel area after I did my run, however not as much as when I was wearing my Wave Inspire 8's. I have a sneaking suspicion that the EVA was too flattened out and that's what contributed to my heel issues. Evidently being heavier took it's toll on the poor Mizuno's. BTW on a side note does anyone recommend washing their running shoes if they get really dirty. Not sure if machine washing has an adverse affect on the EVA or not. When I used to manage my athletic shoe store back in the 90's I was apt to discourage machine washing as I felt it would prematurely cut the life of the midsole and outsole (would lead to outsole delamination). Thoughts???

                          JerseeJerry55

                            I had PF a few years ago and was so bad I could barely walk in the AM and was painful to run.   Went to a podiatrist and he 'strapped' or wrapped my feet which gave me some relief.    He wanted me to go to orthotics but I never did.

                             

                            A few months after it started flaring back up again and one day I was in CVS and noticed some DR Scholl's soft shoe inserts for PF (only $5:00)...so I bought a set....   I tried to run in them but they were a little bulky in my running shoes.    Then on the advice of my family Dr he said the PF might not be from running but from my other activities...   I started wearing the inserts in my normal shoes that I wear around daily either to work or just kicking around and the PF stopped hurting in a matter of a few day.    Its been 2 years now and no symptoms.

                             

                            So, what I'm saying here is don't focus totally on running, running shoes and running orthotics because the problem might have other causes as it did in my case......

                            Champions are made when no one is watching

                            jimmyb


                              PF will heal by itself. The key is to take the stress off of it, and to let it.  I still ran both times I had it (opposite feet). The first time took longer to heal, and I believe because I was stretching it with one of those socks and doing calf stretches. It healed after I stopped doing those things. The second time healed within a few weeks---no stretching (after the first bout of PF, I stopped stretching calves forever). I believe the second bout was caused by switching to a shoe that was too flexible. The first from overdoing it on training load.

                               

                              During the second bout, I started wearing Crocs around the house for extra support on the hardwood floors. Some people use Birkenstocks around the house. Just something that supports the arch and isn't completely flat.

                               

                              One thing for sure, everyone has a different story with PF. Remember that the body will heal itself, just get out of its way. Good luck.

                              Log    PRs


                              Latent Runner

                                PF will heal by itself.

                                 

                                Well, yes, and no, at least in my experience.

                                 

                                My PF would "heal" whenever I stopped running, however, as was explained to me by my podiatrist, part of the natural healing process would cause a small amount of calcification of the tendon, and each time the healing was "complete", the tendon was just a bit shorter and/or less malleable, and this would in turn cause the PF to flair up even worse the next time I started running again.  What tipped the balance for me was wearing a night splint during the healing process to keep the tendon elongated while the healing was under way.

                                 

                                I ended up wearing the splints for a couple of years (probably longer than necessary, but I was afraid of getting reinjured), and the good news is that I'm now over 11 years since I've had to wear a night splint, and so far at least, no more PF.

                                Fat old man PRs:

                                • 1-mile (point to point, gravity assist): 5:50
                                • 2-mile: 13:49
                                • 5K (gravity assist last mile): 21:31
                                • 5-Mile: 37:24
                                • 10K (first 10K of my Half Marathon): 48:16
                                • 10-Mile (first 10 miles of my Half Marathon): 1:17:40
                                • Half Marathon: 1:42:13
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