Plantar Fasciitis - Treatment Options that worked for you (Read 300 times)

    Okay, I'm dealing with plantar fasciitis on my left foot.  Right foot had zero issues, not even a twinge but my left foot is getting progressively worse.


    I had some issues several months ago with what I think was my IT band and I've used "the stick" sporadically since then and that has gone away, but my PF is worse now than it was when I was training for my marathon.  I took a full week off after the marathon and have been logging pretty low miles since then and the low miles don't seem to help at all.


    I've been messing around massaging my foot and doing some sporadic stretching and it seems to help a little, but not a lot.  Also have iced sporadically and it feels good when I use the ice, but doesn't seem to really help avoid the pain later.


    I'm looking at getting a night splint of some type, I've seen several different brands and options mentioned, if anyone has a specific one that worked better or worse than others that they would like to mention that would be great.


    I'm pretty pain tolerant and right now I'm just running through it, but if it gets much worse I'm going to have to really start taking it seriously.


    Everything I've read says treatment is pretty individualistic, but I thought I would try a poll and just see if one method jumps out overwhelmingly as the way to go for most people.  Poll is probably not the best thought out, but just check the best option if you would.  If you have specific recommendations I'd love to hear them.


    Thanks, Nathan


    MTA - of course as soon as I post the poll I realize the option that fits me isn't even up there.  Currently having issues and no specific treatment seems to be working, although I haven't tried several of them yet.

    Age: 49 Weight: 202 Height: 6'3" (Goal weight 195)

    Current PR's:  Mara 3:14:36* (2017); HM 1:36:13 (2017); 10K 43:59 (2014); 5K 21:12 (2016)

    Little Blue

      I've never had it, but a friend did.  He has a relative who is a sports trainer, and she told him to tape it.  You can look on youtube, there are a number of methods.  He used wide (1.5") sports tape, and kept it wrapped for several weeks.  He absolutely swears by this method.  Also, he never went anywhere without supportive shoes.  He even put on running shoes to walk to the bathroom at night!   He had it for several months before he did anything, but he did this for the better part of a month, and it never came back.


      Good luck!

        How are you icing? I've had incipient PF a couple of times, never really bad, but what I was told, and helped for me, was rolling my foot over a frozen water bottle. Do it a lot.


        You probably want to get it worked on by a massage therapist or PT. Maybe ultrasound.

          Okay, my poll stinks but a couple pieces of great advice.


          Never thought about freezing a water bottle and using that, I had just been putting one of those flexible ice packs that we keep in the freezer.


          I've always been a walk around the house barefoot guy and I'm going to have to just break down and use an old pair of running shoes without the laces as slippers or something.  At least until I get this under control.


          I'll check into taping my foot.  Right now the pain isn't bad while I'm running, I can feel it, but not terrible.  I almost need a cane to get to the bathroom in the morning right now though! Wink

          Age: 49 Weight: 202 Height: 6'3" (Goal weight 195)

          Current PR's:  Mara 3:14:36* (2017); HM 1:36:13 (2017); 10K 43:59 (2014); 5K 21:12 (2016)


            I didn't vote because I'm still dealing with PF of my right foot, and am still sorting things out myself.  I rolled my ankle in February, and started having issues with PF (and achilles tendinitis) progressively since then.


            Things which didn't help:

            • I lowered my mileage when I first started feeling some twinges
            • I then progressed to having to take 2 months off completely, but still had pain
            • KT taping - no help whatsoever

            Things which may be helping:

            • I got serious with stretching - some improvement - I'm starting to be able to do some short runs.  I'm also using an acuball on the bottom of my foot.  I try to stretch and roll the fascia at least 3 times daily.   I'm also foam rolling my calves like crazy, and am going weekly for my massage therapist to "strip" them out.  I have a lot of adhesions and trigger points here, which may be contributing to my foot issues.
            • I bought a Strassburg sock last week - I find it very uncomfortable to sleep with, but the mornings after I wear it I do have less pain.  I'm still undecided on this one.  
            • During the very short runs I'm able to do, I'm leaning towards more cushioned shoes.  


            I have prescription orthotics, and have for over a year, so I'm unsure if they're helping or not.

            I've not tried the "low dye taping method" (likely what Little Blue referenced), only because it's sandal season (shallow, I know).  I do wear my orthotics with my sandals, so this isn't an issue.

            I try to ice, but honestly there are only so many hours in the day.


            All I can say is I feel your pain, Nathan.  I hope you find something which helps!


              I am also battling PF right now and I am rehabbing it like it's my freaking JOB, I swear.  This is only my second week having it and it's definitely improved a ton - especially over the course of the last 3-4 days.  I developed it after I tweaked my L knee doing a lunge.  I ran through the knee pain (which has since resolved), but overcompensated with my R leg as a result.  BAM: PF in the R foot.  My doc thinks the PF should clear up relatively quickly since the cause (the knee pain) is no longer an issue for me.


              Anyway, I'm doing a TON in order to run through it and I'm running a lot of miles on it (> 100, last week and this week too). It is getting progressively better, for sure, but HOLY HELL is it painful - particularly in the AM.


              This is what I'm doing.


              I am having Graston done twice a week.  That helps a ton.


              In between sessions, I massage/rub the heck out of the arch to get rid of the crunchiness like he does at Graston. This seems to really help.  The Graston guy said he usually can squash the PF issue in 5-6 sessions.  I've gone 4xs so far over the last 2 weeks (I was already seeing him for the knee thing).  I just ordered this ball as an alternative to the baseball I'm rolling my foot around on.  Someone recommended it to me, but I don't have it yet: http://www.amazon.com/Due-North-Foot-Rubz-Massage/dp/B002QEY6NK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1373158548&sr=8-1&keywords=plantar+fasciitis+ball


              I ice after my runs and as frequently as I can during the day.  I've spent a good chunk of the last 2 weeks with a bag of frozen peas lashed to my foot.  Heat does NOT help me.


              I use the Strassburg sock at nights. This gets rave reviews from most people who have used it in the past.  My foot is a lot less tight/less sore since I started wearing it.


              Immediately upon waking, before I get out of bed, I stretch (foot circles, point/flex) and then massage with a ball I keep on my  bedside table.  For my runs, I tape it and the taping makes a TREMENDOUS difference.  I know because I've forgotten to tape and the runs are TONS more painful than they are with tape.  I use Leukotape which is stronger/holds better than the KT tape I have.  I do this method - but not as sloppy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Z2XlqsuQSY


              I stretch the hell out of my calves before, during and after runs. Throughout the day.  The stretching is key.  Best stretches are the calf stair one - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nU5PMFDqu4Q - wall stretch with the back leg straight, and then with it bent - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5tgBgZBTXDY and both the prone straight leg calf stretch or the variation you can do standing/with your foot bent against the wall: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=giomu59t-5s Drawing the alphabet with my foot and also foot circles (rotating in both directions) help also, as does the flexing/pointing the toe bit.


              I tried heel cups in my shoes, but I don't think they made a difference.


              I foam roll the heck out of, well, all parts of my lower body periodically throughout the day (especially after my runs) and definitely focus on the calves.


              I'm massaging or having my hubby massage the trigger point areas (lower center calf, mid-foot and just about the heel, center) quite a bit too.


              I've done Epsom salt soaks too.


              Oh, and I wear shoes with support EVERYWHERE, at all times.  No going barefoot, ever.  This makes a big difference.


                I've taken two weeks completely off and had four treatments of 3-5 x injections of a bee venom combination thing (apitherapy). It's supposed to inflame the injection area and the body overcompensates in healing and sorts out the PF. I'd be completely skeptical if I hadn't gotten it first without knowing what it was and then seeing dramatic results two days later. Anyway, it's a super-weird thing but absolutely nothing else worked for me, including cortisone, custom orthotics, icing, ridiculous amounts of stretching, heel drops, foam rolling, baseball and golfball rolling, reducing mileage, acupuncture,  etc,. etc.


                I also use the Strassburg sock at night and that does seem to help but I have to leave it pretty loose or I'll wake up with the ends of my toes in horrific pain and have to take it off.


                My foot feels almost completely healed after five months of escalating pain and tightness. Going to start easing into training again and see how I get on this week.


                Also been hitting the weight room pretty hard and focusing on core. Tomorrow I'm going to a Chiro to check and see if there are any pelvic tilt issues or misalignment problems that could impact my stride and have it flair up again. If it does flair up badly again I'll quit running for good. No way I'm going to spend my entire day in pain just for the sake of some stupid 5ks/10ks.


                This has been a brutal experience that has sucked away every bit of motivation I had for running. Hopefully I'll finally have gotten this all sorted out soon enough.


                Good luck.


                  I get it on & off.  This help a lot: http://www.rei.com/product/706082/surefoot-foot-rubz

                    had pf pretty bad last 1/4 of 2010 while training for Seattle marathon.  got so bad would literally crawl to bathroom in am.  tried pretty much everything that has ever been mentioned here.  so this is what I ended up doing & somehow the combo worked.   * abc"s with feet/toes  in bed before getting out of bed in morning  (allowed me to at least walk  to bathroom)    *rolled feet with frozen water bottle   *light stretching with foam roller    *new shoes (same model-at time was trying to stretch out mileage to save $'s)    *new work shoes & added cushioned insoles (not superfeet or sole)     * cut out hill workouts & all speedwork    *cut back on mileage     *continued to run through it but any sign of discomfort of any kind would turn around & walk home.  some days 10 mns was it, other days 30-45 mns.  all easy stuff.   *calf raises with very very light weight.    5-6 mths of this & announced myself over PF, been good since but develped a more balanced training plan with a slow transition of heel striking to forefoot striking.  did not take any time off, kept running but easier & smarter.


                    oh & ran a greater % of runs on flat & softer trails


                      One thing cured my PF.  I wrap my foot with stretchy tape that is used on horses.  Tear off one piece long enough to make one wrap around your arch and up over the top of your foot.  It keeps the arch from bouncing downward too much while running and adds a little more support.  Here it is.  Give it a try.



                        I had it in both feet and managed to get rid of it completely!!!

                        took me more than a year.

                        Taping was great for me. I taped my feet all day long everyday and that's what made my healing process start. A good review of taping for plantar fasciitis you can find in the link.




                          I had PF so bad a couple of years ago that I had to stop running for about 2 months.     I went to a Podiatrist and he initially TAPED my feet for PF (there are a number of good PF Taping methods in the Web).       After it started feeling a little better, I started running again but wore some over the counter orthotics that gave me a lot of good arch support in my running shoes..


                          I still struggled with it but it was better...

                          One day when in CVS, I saw a pair of $10 PF soft orthotics and I bought a couple of pairs....  One of them I put in my normal every day dress shoes that I wear to work..........my PF went then went away just as quickly as it had appeared (literally in a week or two)..


                          Been clear for about 2 year now and think it was the combination of the three that finally corrected it all for me.....BUT,  the final success came when I started treating PF with the soft orthotic in my dress shoes and not ONLY when I was running.

                          Champions are made when no one is watching

                            Thanks so much for everyone's input.


                            I've been rolling with the frozen water bottle and that really seems to be helping the most.  Also wearing an old pair of running shoes as slippers that sit right beside the bed seems to help as well.


                            Putting on my dress shoes to go to work this morning and the pain is pretty steady now though.  Thinking back through my journey with PF and it may have started with the new pair of dress shoes that I'm wearing right now.  The are actually nicer dress shoes than I've been wearing, but they have more of a heal to them and maybe a little less cushion and I'm starting to think they may be the culprit.


                            Will check out CVS and Walgreens for some cheap orthotics to use with my dress shoes and if that doesn't help, I'll go back to the same brand of cheap dress shoes I've been wearing for the last several years.


                            I'm going to get this knocked out!

                            Age: 49 Weight: 202 Height: 6'3" (Goal weight 195)

                            Current PR's:  Mara 3:14:36* (2017); HM 1:36:13 (2017); 10K 43:59 (2014); 5K 21:12 (2016)


                              I'd add in the taping too, if you can, with the dress shoes.  The taping has been a God send for me.


                              Go figure

                                I looked through the posts and didn't see anything about the toe spreader things.  Those really work for me.  Other than that, I rub the heck out of mine with a golf ball every morning and night.  I've literally rubbed the cover off the ball.


                                Good luck getting through it.

                                Trying to find some more hay to restock the barn