Hello all! I am brand new to this forum and look forward to learning alot. I have a question about a case of plantar fasciitis I'm dealing with. I am by no means up to long runs yet (running 3 1/2-4 miles 4x a week) and have worked my way up to this after 3 months of easing into it. I am trying to eliviate the pain by rolling a golf ball on my arch and also by stretching my foot and calf 4 times a day. I recently bought a pair of new balance minimus shoes but has only used them twice. Should I alternate between the minimus and my old shoes untill I get used to them? And should I let my foot heal completely before running again?
Work on strengthening and stretching the calf and achilles, also picking up marbles with your toes. I would stay away from the Minimus until the PF is gone - too little support and the low heel puts more stress on the achilles and thereby the plantar facia.
Did the pain start after you began running? It's difficulty to determine what causes plantar fasciitis and every individual responds differently to different treatment. I developed plantar fasciitis a few years ago that I'm pretty sure was caused by a shoe/insert combination that didn't work well with my foot. I tried a number of treatments that didn't really do much to resolve the pain. The symptoms went away after I started wearing a wider variety of shoes--some supportive, some flimsy.
If this was the reason my plantar fasciitis resolved I can only guess why it helped. Mayb the different types of shoes shifted the areas that were under pressure in the bottom of my foot, allowing the injured part to heal faster. Using the less supportive shoes may have also allowed the muscles of the arch to get stronger.
I second what Len said that low heel of the Minimus will stress the achilles more so if you haven't worn minamilist footwear before you need to take your time adjusting to them. The NB website says to limit using the shoes to 10% of your running workouts initially and gradually increase time and distance.
Thanks guys for the responses. I think It started a couple of years ago playing softball actually. I was running a ground ball out and when I stepped on first base all my weight came down on my heel. Never experienced foot pain like that before. I have been wearing new balance zips and love them but it was time for a new shoe. I decided to go with the minimums and think I really over did it. When I wear the zips (just casually) the pain goes from about a 6 to a 2. I'm pretty sure that switching to the minimus is what caused this pain. Should I try to run through it with the zips or should I wait and let it heal? I'm really new to the running game (except for in sports) and don't want to screw myself up before I even really get started.
It is only the last few months that I dare to say that I am over my plantarfasciitis. I had it for about 3 years on and off.
The last stage of my treatment I decided to go minimal with the shoes (Nikefree) and I can sy it was very successful. But I started using the minimalshoes gradually only after I felt my pain is under control. At the beginning Iused them only for walking 1 or 2 miles each time and only then started runningwith them gradually increasing millage. I believe that this is what finallymade my feet stronger to get rid of the heel pain.
There is a good post on running and plantar fasciitis in: http://www.plantar-fasciitis-elrofeet.com/Plantar_Fasciitis_Running.html
The less/no support concept is clearly "hot" and has the reputation of helping cure as well as keep away long term various foot problems. And while I believe it is true (less / no support does make your feet stronger and healthier and less prone to injury) the HUGE part of the equation that is often left out is the method and time used to get there. Is weightlifting good for your arms? Absolutely. But it can be BAD for your arms if they've been in slings for a long time and are not used to moving. So it's good for the arms as long as it is done gradually and allows time for the arms to get used to the new activity and get stronger without getting injured.
So support (via shoes, arch supports maybe, etc.) is probably in order temporarily to let things heal. Once they feel well gradually introduce new movement via less supportive shoes and maybe some liimited barefoot walking. I agree with Len's suggestion of marble pickups. Having loose calves is HUGE, however stretching may not be a very effective way to accomplish that. Foam roller and massage I think do more to loosen things up. Most of our calves are really not used to having a zero-drop environment (non-elevated heel) so the calves and Achilles get stretched when we get out of the elevated heel. To me this fits into the "take it gradually". As you introduce the zero-drop scenarios the body will adapt - you just need to be very senitive to what your body is telling you.
"Kick off your high heel sneakers, it's party time."
-- From the song FM by Steely Dan
BTW, PF isn't a "newbie" injury. As you can see by the above posts, it is just as much an affliction of the well-seasoned runner.
I would second the advice to go easy on stretching, as in don't do it, especially from a "cold" state. You can do more harm than good really easily. I have found that rolling several times a day works wonders on my calves, and that working the plantar fascia itself by rolling a tennis ball under my foot feels great. Such rolling gives you very good control of pressure and duration, too.
Barefoot / Minimalist Runner
...not maintaining this these days..
07/29/2012 Marsh Creek Raptor Run 10 Mile Trail Race
07/15/2012 Quadzilla 15K Trail Run, Trexlertown, PA 1:37 (2011, 1:49)
04/29/2012 Lehigh Valley / St. Luke's HM, 1:43:15 (2011, 1:54:20 )
03/19/2012 Kutztown Fool's Run 10 Miler, 1:18:15 (2011, 1:30:20)
02/26/2012 Ugly Mudder 7.2 Mile Trail Run, Reading, PA 1:20
11/27/2011 Dirty Bird 15K Trail Run, Birdsboro, PA 1:40
10/08/2011 Lehigh Gap Nature Center 10K Trail Run (6.38 miles), 59:20 (10/07/2012)
Started running (again) May 5, 2010
I must admit I'm not a big proponent of stretching myself, and I don't do a whole lot of it. But it seems to help some people so I don't think you can count it out. And some exercises, like toe raises (on the edge of a step, for instance), have a stretching aspect built into them. At the very least, avoid stretcing a cold muscle.
Hey, I would stay away from the Minimus shoes until the PF heals. I run 40-60 miles per week in them, but it took me almos a year to get to this point. If you are a heal striker you will not like the Minimus shoes at all. However, if you land on the middle to ball of your foot you will actually strengthen yor feet and lower legs with the Minimus shoes. At 46 (6'6" and 225lbs) I have less leg/foot pain and am running some of my best time. I have run marathons and Xterra Tri's in both on and off road minimus shoes and had no problems.
3 years ago I had double knee surgery and had to quit playng basketball. After I healed I started running to avoid buying new pants. Not long after I developed PF because my feet were not ready for that kind of pounding. Ice, rolling on a tennis ball as I sat at my desk and landing more in the middle of my foot helped me aleviate the pain after 6 weeks or so.
Eventually I switched to Minimus shoes and at first wore them only on short runs during the week. Because they are virtually flat you need to take care not to strike hard on the heel. It is very tough on your joints. The best part for me is that there is no arch. I am finding as I age that shoes with high arch support, particularly on the foot where I experienced PF, are irritating. Keep running, listen to your body, enjoy the experience. Most of all do what works best for you.
Ease into the minimus shoes over time. wear shoes with good arch supports during the day. Naproxen will help with pain and alleviate some of the stress. Stay on pavement. manually massage the ankle area after running or when it gets tight. Roll on a forzen water bottle. And try the strassburg sock at night as it worked wonders for me.
Definitiely not a newbie injury and it will heal. Good luck.