|Jul 11, 2011 11:37am||
I had been doing very well with my trail running and weightlifting routine, then bang – I got hit with Plantar fasciitis in my left foot.
Anyone else have experience with this?
Turns out I fit the “typical” criteria for getting this painful condition – overweight and over forty male trying to get back in shape … total bummer and it has significantly slowed me down.
Ah well, all the more reason to stick to my goal and get back in good physical condition – it’s actually a good motivator, as I’m not getting any younger :-)
For those of you unfamiliar with this – The plantar fascia is a thick fibrous band of connective tissue originating on the bottom surface of the calcaneus (heel bone) and extending along the sole of the foot towards the five toes. It has been reported that plantar fasciitis occurs in two million Americans a year and 10% of the population over a lifetime. It is commonly associated with long periods of weight bearing. Among non-athletic populations, it is associated with a high body mass index. The pain is usually felt on the underside of the heel and is often most intense with the first steps of the day.
|Jul 11, 2011 1:19pm||
I used to get this a lot when I practiced karate. I wasn’t particularly overweight at the time, but high impact in bare feet on hardwood floors combined with tight calves is a perfect recipe for it.
PF is basically just tendonitis of the foot, so anything you can do to reduce the inflammation will help with the pain. I deal with it by taking two Advil, elevating and icing for twenty minutes after every workout. Stretching your calves in the morning helps with the AM pain. Ideally I’d do all of the above 3 or 4 times a day if I have the time and patience, (aside from the Advil – once is enough, and only after an impact workout). If it’s bad enough though the only thing you can really do is take some time off – if it’s really hurting even when you’re not running/just woke up, that’s break time. Two weeks is about average for me.
As far as prevention, make sure you’re stretching your calves. When they get tight it puts tension on the Achilles which in turn stresses the plantar fascia, which just makes things worse if you’re already predisposed to it (if your PF gets really bad you’ll feel the pain spread up the Achilles a bit…not fun). And of course, good shoes are a must (assuming your activities don’t necessitate bare feet, in which case ask permission to train on a mat).
If your foot isn’t too tender a reflexology session might help for loosening up the muscles and getting things circulating properly.
|Jul 11, 2011 3:18pm||
I dealt with this the first time I tried to become a runner. I finally got over it using icing, a foot rubz ball, a Strasburg Sock or night splint (I like the splint better) and lots of stretching. These days if it starts to flare (usually from wearing flip flops too much after a hard week of running) I stretch, ice, foam roll and with worse once use the splint for a night or two. I have successfully trained for and completed a half marathon on this program and will do 2 more this year.
|Jul 12, 2011 2:27am||
Thanks to both madocaro and coskigirl for your great replies and suggestions – I fully admit, stretching is something I tend to neglect and it looks like it has now caught up to me. I have been on a hot streak for several months, with consistent running and fairly intense weightlifting workouts. I had been steadily increasing my calve routines and I suspect this repetitive strain without proper stretching played a large role in my painful plantar fasciitis.
Sounds like icing worked well for the both of you, I shall start doing that after my workouts. I’ve been off for a couple weeks and now plan to ease back into things. No running yet, just spin cycle and maybe the elliptical and go from there … slow and steady with a lot more stretching :-)
|Jul 12, 2011 5:20am||
You’re welcome :)
I just did my first half marathon in May. I had no trouble at all through the training, but I had PF really bad after the actual race. I realized later that it was because I’d sprained my ankle a few months earlier and the inflammation spread into my foot after the run. Fun times :s
|Jul 14, 2011 4:46am||
Heya.. I had the exact same problem with my left foot. It bothered me so much i got sent to a foot specialist and he told me to try walking around on grass more in barefeet or running with a shoe like the nike free run2 untill i can work my way down to something like a vibram,.. I also was given a sheet with stretches for my foot and calves. He told me that it is caused when the muscels in the bottom of the foot weaken from not being used and he said that built up running shoes with arch supports were the problem. I have no idea because im just starting out as well … just telling you what he told me. Nightly i lay a towel on the floor and while standing on one end i scrunch it up with my toes and then repeat 5-10 times. I was also told to take a 1 liter plastic pop bottle and to fill it with water and frreze it. I am then supposed to use it like a foam roller on the bottom of my sore foot..this way it ices and stretches at the same time. So far it has been working because i only have about 1/2 the pain i used too and i only started about 2 weeks ago. Its not fixed but it is getting better slowly =)
|Jul 14, 2011 10:06am||
If anyone decides to try barefoot or minimalist running please do your research. This is actually the first time I’ve heard anyone say that it’s good for PF. Most of the time PF patients are told not to go without shoes, ever. I forgot to mention that when I was in the worst stages I always wore a pair of Crocs in my house. I won’t get into the debate but my running coach would probably disown me if I went minimalist or barefoot.
|Jul 14, 2011 2:24pm||
Weak foot muscles can be a contributing factor but running around barefoot after you have PF is not going to improve things. Impact is a huge factor in both causing and aggravating it, and if you already have PF, impact without the shock absorption of shoes would do more harm than good.
Human feet (at least in the developed, shoe-wearing world) are not made for running around barefoot anymore. Unless you’ve been doing it since birth your bones, muscles, and tendons are not adapted to it, you can’t just one day decide to toss your shoes and go and expect it not to hurt. I suppose you could slowly train your feet to adapt to such conditions…but I doesn’t seem like a great idea to me and I can’t even imagine how it would help.
Speaking from my personal experience, I can tell you that in training I was using the muscles in my feet plenty – I spent 8 years training in bare feet on hardwood, mats, carpet, grass, even snow (that was hell) – and I still had vicious bouts of PF, and they didn’t even start until some four years in, by which point you’d think my feet would have been pretty solid without shoes. Call me crazy but if training barefoot not only doesn’t prevent but also causes PF I have a hard time believing it cures it. I know one thing – the last thing I wanted to do when my PF was at its worst was walk around in anything other than perfectly molded Birkenstocks.
All that being said, my own podiatrist also recommended crinkling exercises to strength my feet – only newspaper rather than towels, and rolling my feet for massage & stretching. I can see the logic, but I never found either terribly effective. But in my case, the PF was caused mostly by impact rather than weak muscles, and they were so horrendously tense that only professional massage seemed effective.
|Jul 14, 2011 8:49pm||
|Jul 15, 2011 2:28am||
chimo1975 – thanks, the towel scrunching idea works quite well, glad to hear it’s getting better for you. I have been icing a few days now right after my workouts and I’ve noticed considerable improvement.
madocaro – I’ve been thinking about your impact experience with PF and, in hindsight, my own PF developed right around the time I started some serious trail running – which was on old logging roads graded with shale and crushed rock … this resulted in multiple “impacts” on my arch from rocks of various sizes, which may be a significant contributing factor. When my foot feels 100% again, I do plan to get back to trail running but will choose a more woodland route with softer footing.
ezrida – A hearty congrats on finishing your olympic triathlon race and thank you very much for the website link, it is quite good information and gives a concise, clear explanation with great images. When it states “Athletes who overpronate (rolling in or flattening feet) are especially at risk as the biomechanics of their feet place more stress to the band.” I believe they are spot on with my situation – being overweight for my height and bodyframe likely causes me to overpronate on my longer runs, apparently a common problem for any newbie or lightly experienced runner starting on longer endurance type runs. I’m not sure if I would find taping comfortable, but I may give it a try – so far I’m noticing considerable improvement with stretching and ice after workouts, but it has not gone away.
Thanks again everyone – it’s nice to get good advice and words of wisdom, much appreciated.
|Jul 15, 2011 4:09am||
Heh sorry to start the barefoot running debate =) Its just what the specialist told me.. I know so far my feet are getting better but mabe its just from the rest ect and stretches.
|Jul 7, 2012 1:31am||
There is a new product out called FS6. It’s a foot compression sleeve and it works great! It’s not some big, bulky piece of junk. You can actually still go on about your day while wearing this!
Jul 8, 2012 3:07am
Does anyone know if I can continue my boot camp classes while I have plantar fasciitis? I have just recently found out I may have PF (have a dr. apt end of month) so I have stopped running, atleast for now. I stand all day at work but can’t do anything about that. I haven’t noticed my feet hurting during my bc classes but I don’t want to hurt myself further, but I don’t want to give up all of my reg work outs. I have been reading up on PF a lot and am going to start the stretches today. Any other input or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
|Jul 12, 2012 10:54pm||
@Msbanta, the PF will usually hurt at the start of activity after rest…think getting out of bed or start of your class (first 2 mins)…once you warm up it kind of goes away…that’s part of what makes it so insidious. I would definitely rest and do the stretches / exercises listed above for starters…good luck!
Jul 19, 2012 7:05am
|May 15, 2013 5:41am||
The thing I’ve found that works best for me is a product called FS6. It’s a compression foot sleeve that can be worn right under your sock any time day or night, is much cheaper than bulky night splints, and actually works! You should check it out and even if it doesn’t work for you, you can return it for a full refund. So, the only thing you have to lose is the pain of plantar fasciitis!