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I have been dealing with plantar fasciitis, off and on now, for about 4 months. It wasn't until 3 weeks before my goal race that it really kicked in and prevented me from running much those last 3 weeks prior to the race, and a DNF for the marathon. Prior to those three weeks, it just was kind of sore and would pretty much feel fine when running.
I have heard and read so many conflicting ways to treat PF; stretch the calf and/or foot, don't stretch the calf or foot, roll the foot with a tennis ball, don't roll it as it irritates the fascia, etc.
So, I thought I would throw this much talked about topic out there again and ask for real world experience. If you have had PF, what has worked for you??
I realize I may get a wide range of answers as well. I doubt that one approach works for all. However, if you had PF and you did something specific and it lessened and went away over a few weeks or so - what was it??
BTW, I have gone to a podiatrist, and her suggestion was to do stretching and ice 3x/day, and a steroid shot in the foot. I have done this, and it is still a nagging issue and I cannot yet run without experiencing enough pain that my stride and form is negatively impacted. So, I swim for cardio for now .... and I hate swimming.
PF is a really nasty one. I had it for a long time. It's gone now. I stil have some heel pain - but it's not PF. When it was at it's worst I would try to describe for my PT what I was feeling. One day, out of desperation, I said in a very exasperated tone: "IT FEELS LIKE MY FEET ARE ON FIRE!"
In my opinion there are two broad categories that need to be addressed to truly get over it:
* You have to heal the tissues in the foot that have been damaged and causing the pain. This is where you get into the icing, stretching, ibuprofen, night boot, etc. Personally I would not stretch and I would not use ibuprofen. Using a foam roller is great. You have to loosen the calves to take tension off the heel, which in turn takes tension off the plantar fascia. I used *flexible* orthotics *temporarily* to give the foot support and encourage healing. However after things felt better I slowly got out of them. I also did ASTYM (Gua Sha and Graston Technique are similar) to cause the tissues to go into a healing response and, consequently, rebuild themselves. If your PF has been going on for a long time (more than ~4-6 weeks) you probably are in pain because of tissue DEgeneration, not inflammation. This is where the fasiosis term comes from.
* You have to look at what is going on from your overall body perspective that caused the tissues to become damaged in the first place. I think in most cases there is some neuro-muscular problem that causes a chain reaction down the leg and causes the foot to get mashed around - like at the end of a whip. Maybe your core and glutes aren't working well. If the glutes don't work well the femur/knee rolls toward the midline which can then cause a mashing of the foot. That's just one example. For this second phase a good PT, IMHO, is invaluable. In my case I was having lots of trouble keeping my helps activated and working well.
It's a bugger. Best of luck in getting over it.
"Kick off your high heel sneakers, it's party time."
-- From the song FM by Steely Dan
I had plantar fasciitis for more than a year and... I am over it now -yes!!!
Well it is a tough one to get over especially if you are a runner.
From my experience the best treatment technique is individual. There aremany treatments just because there are many causes. What works for one will notalways work for the other. So my best advice for you is be active with thetreatments and try, until you will find the one that makes you feel better.
I think that there are 2 phases of plantar fasciitis. The first is verypainful and restricting and the second is getting back to normal. There is nostrict border between the two phases but the way that the patient view it. Thefirst phase needs more rest treatments and the second needs more activetreatments.
Personally I have found taping as the best treatment since it does threethings:
There is some more info about taping for plantar fasciitis in this link:
Thats it for nowand I hope you will get better soon
Sorry to hear about your injury.
Plantar fasciitis is one of the more common injuries that I see in my practice. I get great results within 2-4 sessions using the combination of deep tissue fascial massage, self massage using a foam roller and soft ball (article below), and corrective exercise. I highly recommend finding a highly qualified fascial therapist with experience treating plantar fasciitis, and investing in a foam roller, lacrosse or soft ball.
Here is an article with exercises and description for self treatment of plantar fasciitis.
I hope this helps. Let me kno w if you have any more questions.
Jesse James Retherford
I posted this to another forum regarding Shin Splints. But it equally applies to Plantar Fasciitis. It's similar to JJReth's use of the Golf Ball but on a more forgiving surface (Tennis Ball). In addition to Shin Splints I had mild Plantar Fasciitis and this is also gone completely after doing these for the last 4 weeks (everyday 3 to 4 times mind you).
I'm new to the running scene - 10 weeks in training and counting. I read plenty before I started because I have a personal goal to run the Boston Marathon at some point. I'm currently signed up for a 1/2 Marathon (Rock n Roll Providence - 19 Aug) and a full Marathon (Baystate Marathon Lowell - 21 October). Needless to say - I've got a lot of training to do.
I started out slow in the gym on walking, treadmill, stationary bike and elliptical for 6 weeks at moderate pacing to get my wind, build some base and also do some Strength and crosstraining along the way. Weekly mileage during this period was 5 to 10 miles spread across all the above. I started a Marathon training plan based on Jack Daniels great book "Daniel's Running Formula, Second Edition". I am using a Polar RCX5 heart rate monitor, stride sensor and GPS to track my progress to my plan. This also gave me a basis to formulate my starting point based on V02Max fitness levels and heart rates.
Now on to the Shin Splints - much to my dismay when I finally started to move my running only (i.e. treadmill or outdoors) to the 45 minute mark or approx 4 miles I began to experience severe Shin Splints. For me not so much while I was running but afterwards - scale of 1 (not much) to 10 (very painful) - I was getting 8 to 10's. I really didn't want to abandon my new goals so quickly - so I researched the heck out of it. I also backed off the treadmill and outdoor running for 2 weeks while I researched and just did bike/ellipticals/strength/walking.
Two things I found to do (other than always properly stretching) was 1) do a routine for strengthening the hip muscles, quads, calfs and hamstrings and 2) a foot reflexology exercise. Now of these two things I added - the one I think really solved the problem was 2).
The videos are by Ralph Haven Mission Hills Physical Therapy. It involves using a tennis ball on the bottom of both your feet.
I started doing these 3 to 4 times a day on both feet (especially before a run). On the first week my pain went from 8-10 to 6-7. By the second week I was quickly moving to 2-5. By the third week I'm 0-1 at all times and I continue these exercises religiously (cause I couldn't stand the pain and I don't want that back).
So I hope it helps others like it did me and kept my training intact as I'm now running 20 mile weeks pain free as I continue to build base mileage with pace quality to come!
I wasn't that far into running when I got plantar faciitis. I had no clue what it was. I thought it was a bone spur, because even walking hurt, and it felt like there was a rock in my shoe all the time. I ditched running for the winter and started lifting heavier leg weights instead. I built up my legs. Doing calf raises, slowly with increasingly heavy weights in the early winter, with little running seemed to help me. With the warm winter in the Northeast I started running again, twice a week, after working my legs at the gym. In the spring I slowly started decreasing the leg lifting at the gym, and started to run more. So far I am running 5-6 (fairly hilly) miles every other day, and still doing fairly heavy legs at the gym twice a week. I haven't even had a twinge in that area. Not saying it will work for everyone (or anyone), but it worked for me.
I also saw some talk on shin splints, which I had a couple of years ago (and quit running for a while). Now for a warm-up I walk on my heels with my toes as high as they will go, for about a minute before I run. That, some lunges, and some legs swings and I'm ready to go. Good luck getting back out there.
Jim's advice at the top is from a guy who has been on quite an odyssey while troubleshooting his own PF. It turns out curing PF can be a lot like curing hiccups. Lots of proposed solutions but comparatively little success. Don't give up; it can be solved.
My comment about steroids is that they may seem like a miracle pain cure for a while, but they will not be useful down the line. Steroids and other anti-inflammatory strategies only appear to sweep the problem under the carpet. The cause is still there. Furthermore, they can interfere with the actual collagen matrix of which your fascia is composed, leaving it weaker in the long run. Solve every bio-mechanical or nutritional long-term cause you can find first. Otherwise, you will be playing whack-a-mole with this for as long as you run.
There was a study of a specific stretch for PF developed at the University of Rochester, that showed promise, and one of the few stretches I actually like, probably because of its particular specificity. See if it works for you, while pursuing all other angles mentioned above for maximum efficacy.