Plantar fasciitis (Read 2588 times)

    I am not doubting your experience or Muse's advice, but it is baffling to me. All of the things that you mentioned made my PF worse. Perhaps there are different reasons why PF appears, and different treatments to address the underlying cause.

     

    I just mention this in case going more minimal is not working for someone.

     

     

    I agree with this.  Any of those things made it much worse when I had it.  It's been 4 years now since mine went away.  What fixed it?  A visit to the podiatrist and some custom orthotics.  I wear them ALWAYS.  Bought two sets, one for just everyday use, one for sports.  My feet and legs haven't felt this good in 10 years.  My issue is flat feet.  Walking around without shoes made the symptoms significantly worse.  Mine was at the point where the ligament partially tore away from my heel while playing soccer.  EXTREMELY painful (felt like someone whacked me on the heel with a hammer).  Personally, I'd recommend visiting a podiatrist.  They'll be able to tell you what do to target your symptoms based on the anatomy of your foot.


    just a simple cat

      I've been battling PF since October 2010. I'm just getting back to running after missing most of this year. My injury was a tear resulting from a race, not a gradual overuse injury. Here's Pete Magill's article that has some helpful stuff. I find the towel stretch to help a lot. 

       

       

      From March until August of 2005, I kept a crutch at my bedside. That way, when I woke up in the morning, I didn't have to crawl to the bathroom. Plantar fasciitis is nasty, and it's a bane of us older runners.

      The plantar fascia runs from our heel, along our arch, to our toes. Plantar fasciitis can be felt as pain in the heel (often mistaken in the early stages for a heel bruise), as pain where the heel meets the arch, or as pain along the arch - or even throughout the foot. And left untreated, it can linger for months ... or years.

      Not sure if you've got it? Okay, here's what you do. Take your opposite thumb to the inside front part of the heel - right where it begins to slope into the arch - and dig in hard. If your scream wakes the neighbors, congratulations, you've got PF.

      OKAY, STOP RIGHT HERE: If your PF pain came on suddenly during a very recent run, you need to stop running right now. Forget about the exercises below. Take a week off. Or two. If you've got a tear, you don't want to risk injuring it further. Because trust me, this is one injury that just won't go away!

      If you're still reading this, then I'm guessing that means you've had your PF for awhile. I had mine for two years. Raise your hand if you tried rolling your foot over a golf ball? Over a ice cold can of Coke? If you wore a "night sock" to keep the fascia stretched? If you tried taping? And RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation)? And anti-inflammatories? And prayer? ... And when prayer didn't work - cussing? Because I tried it all. And none of it worked. And I decided, forget it, I don't need this!, and I threw my running shoes in the trash - hadn't used them for months anyway. Sheesh, after all that time off, my legs probably wouldn't work right anymore anyway ...

      And that's when it came to me, right then, like a bolt of lightning: maybe my plantar fasciitis isn't an injury, maybe it's a symptom of a foot, ankle, and lower leg that simply aren't working properly. I did a little research, cobbled together the simple exercises you're about to review, and I was running 7 days a week the very next week.

      And it wasn't just me. I passed on the exercises to Rich Burns (see his Event Training entry for 1500 meters on this blog), who had terrible PF. And they worked for him. And when Tom Dalton, a 5-time USATF Masters X-Country Runner of the Year complained about his PF, well, the exercises did the trick for him too. All in all, I've been teaching these exercises as a cure for PF for 3-1/2 years now. About 50% of the people I've taught had a full recovery. Another 25% got some relief from the pain. And the final 25% got nothing - sorry.

      Here's hoping you'll be in that 50% ...

      EXERCISE 1: TOWEL TOE CURLS

      1. Sit barefooted in a chair with a towel spread on the floor in front of you (like David Olds in the photo at the right).
      2. Using your toes, drag the towel toward you, arching your foot until you've reeled in the entire towel (just slide the towel behind your heels as it bunches beneath your arch).
      3. Do the whole towel 2 or 3 times.
      Hint: Remember that this isn't a competition! Don't curl too hard or too fast. Also, setting a shoe on the far end of the towel prevents the towel from rebounding with each toe curl.

      EXERCISE 2: FOOT ORBITS, FOOT GAS PEDALS, & FOOT ALPHABET

      1. Use 1 of the 2 positions modeled by masters runner Grace Padilla. Either lie on the floor, one leg flat, toes pointed up, with the opposite leg raised, bent 90 degrees at the knee (and propped by your hands). Or else lie with one knee bent, foot flat on the floor, and the other knee drawn towards you and held just below the kneecap.
      2. Perform 1 or 2 of these 3 exercises:

      • Foot Orbits - Rotate each foot clockwise and then counterclockwise 20-30 times.
      • Foot Gas Pedals - Point and flex each foot 20-30 times.
      • Foot Alphabet - Draw the letters of the alphabet with each foot.

      Hint: Hold the knee immobile. Limit motion to the ankle and foot.

      EXERCISE 3: BEACH TOWEL CALVES

      1. Lying on your back with one knee bent, foot flat on the floor, and the other leg raised and straightened with thighs parallel, hook a rolled beach towel around your forefoot and gently pull back your toes.

       

       

      2. Hold for 30 seconds, then repeat with the opposite leg
      Hint: Flex the raised thigh for maximum release (and flexibility) in the calf. Don't force this stretch! It's about loosening the calf, not stretching it like taffy.

       

      EXERCISE 4: BEACH TOWEL HAMSTRINGS

      1. Lying on your back with one knee bent, foot flat on the floor, and the other knee raised and straightened, hook your rolled beach towel around your arch and pull the leg vertically, while pulling back gently on the foot.
      2. Hold for 30 seconds, then repeat with the opposite leg
      Hint: Only pull the raised leg to your natural - and comfortable - limit of flexibility.

      And guess what? ... That's it!

      Do these exercises every day after you run - before you run if you're suffering from PF right now and need some relief just to get out the door. And do them every day for a couple weeks. And then make them part of your regular post-run routine.

       

       

      Okay I have had PF now for a few weeks and I've been trying the TOWEL TOE CURLS described here......and it is working!!  My PF has gotten so much better (instead of the worse it was getting each day)   I was actually pain free this morning.   Cool

       

      EGH3, I love you, man!!

       

       

        Using arch support allowed my feet to recover, so that then they could get stronger. Building strength is always a matter of stress and recovery--if the problem of weakness is excess stress, then it makes sense to look to the recovery side of the equation.

         

        My buddy Trent had great success with his PF by running barefoot. Maybe that's because his was not brought on by training stress but by poor form or something like that so that switching foot strike helped. Who knows. What worked for him did not work for me.

         

         

        This is very interesting. I was the same as Jeffster. I used the arch supports to allow it to heal. Only then did I start strengthening the foot (including some barefoot mumbo jumbo). I feel fairly sure that had I tried to TREAT it by going minimal, it would not have worked. YMMV. PF is probably the most difficult running injury to treat/cure.

          Just started experiencing it in my left foot and it's more of a nagging injury then one that would sideline me. I still managed a 5 miler PR last night. I just need to warm up more than usual to help lessen the pain and loosen the foot up.

            It starts like that for a lot of people - I would start working on it now, or before you know it you'll have full blown pf.


            day after day sameness

              Are there therapies / exercises that work best when the pain area is focused in the heel and not into the arch or forefoot ? 


              For me, it seems like the problem is coming from tight calf leading to a pulling on the Achilles area of the heel, or maybe from my bad knee forcing more heel strike on this foot. 

              I've done my best to live the right way; I get up every morning and go to work each day...

                It starts like that for a lot of people - I would start working on it now, or before you know it you'll have full blown pf.

                 

                +1

                 

                nagging soreness is one thing. but a "nagging injury" of this sort is another.  do you want to take a chance of an injury that could take years to heal?  you might want to give that some thought. 

                In an infinite universe, the one thing sentient life cannot afford to have is a sense of proportion

                http://htwins.net/scale2/scale2.swf?bordercolor=white&fb_source=message

                 

                 

                 





                Douglas Hegley


                  Lots and lots of good stuff in these posts. I blogged about this topic a couple of years ago, and some have found the post to be helpful.

                  http://notesonarunninglife.blogspot.com/2009/03/plantar-fasciitis.html

                  Others have already indicated that this injury can respond differently in different people and at different times. Good luck to all who are forced to deal with it. Know that you are not alone.

                    and sometimes barefoot running is what lands you with PF.

                     

                    http://running.competitor.com/2010/05/features/the-barefoot-running-injury-epidemic_10118

                     

                    I think there may be something to healing, then working on building up appropriate foot strength, and THEN going minimal. 

                    In an infinite universe, the one thing sentient life cannot afford to have is a sense of proportion

                    http://htwins.net/scale2/scale2.swf?bordercolor=white&fb_source=message

                     

                     

                     






                    A Dance with Monkeys

                      Had a bad case of PF Sunday morning after my marathon.  I ran 2 miles totally bare of foot.  PF went away.  YMMV.


                      Fat butt on couch

                        Are there therapies / exercises that work best when the pain area is focused in the heel and not into the arch or forefoot ? 


                         

                         

                        I drank a lot more since I got PF and it's gone away mostly, therefore that must work.

                        "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

                         


                        Prince of Fatness

                          Had a bad case of PF Sunday morning after my marathon.  I ran 2 miles totally bare of foot.  PF went away.  YMMV.

                           

                          Were you drinking?

                          Semi-retired.


                          A Dance with Monkeys

                             

                            Others will recommend going more minimal to strengthen the foot. This did not seem to work for me (maybe because I run pretty minimalist already.) I avoided walking barefoot in the house and tried to keep some slippers with arch support by the bed in the morning. In my case, this seemed to help take stress off of the PF and allow it to heal. 

                             

                             

                             

                             

                            The slipper/flip-flop, and a golf ball worked for me.  I felt worse trying to walk around barefoot, but a pair of these Sperry flip-flops brought instant relief.  http://www.zappos.com/sperry-top-sider-santa-cruz-thong-tan.  I used a golf ball every morning just to get out of bed in the morning, and then used it throughout the day periodically to massage the foot.  It's a weird problem.  There were times I could run 10 -20 miles without feeling it, and then when I stopped at the end of the run I was instantly crippled.  By "crippled" I mean I once crawled on my hands and knees from my driveway into my house after a 20 mile run with no symptoms. 

                             

                            Thankfully my problems only lasted a few months and I haven't had to deal with PF since.

                            former runner


                              Had a bad case of PF Sunday morning after my marathon.  I ran 2 miles totally bare of foot.  PF went away.  YMMV.

                               Just have to chime in:  if your case of PF occurred on a Sunday morning, it's not the same thing I'm dealing with at all.  My PF has occurred from January 2010 to the present, and it manifested itself gradually over the course of many weeks, during which I wish I had taken it more seriously.