Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Plague of Plantar Fasciitis

I've been in pain from plantar fasciitis for about 4 weeks now.

From Runner's
Drastic or sudden increases in mileage, poor foot structure, and inappropriate running shoes can overload the plantar fascia, the connective tissue that runs from the heel to the base of the toes. It may look like a series of fat rubber bands, but the plantar fascia is made of collagen, a rigid protein that's not very stretchy. The stress of overuse, overpronation, or overused shoes can rip tiny tears in it, causing pain and inflammation, a.k.a. plantar fasciitis.
 There are lots of risk factors - doing too much too fast, improper shoes, faulty foot mechanics, etc. I know what was the main cause of mine, and I am kicking myself for it. I got new shoes after my half marathon in October. I tried a few different shoes and ended up with the same pair I'd been wearing in a half size larger. For some reason when I got those new shoes, I decided I didn't need to wear the over-the-counter orthotics I had been using on the recommendation of my Foot and Ankle Doctor. Why??? I have no idea. I noticed my feet were cramping on my runs, and I was having my soreness. Suddenly, a little soreness grew into a lot of pain.

What am I doing to fix it? I've spent the past few weeks learning everything I possibly can about plantar fasciitis. I took an entire week off from running and am altering my schedule moving forward. After lots of reading, this is what else I am doing to facilitate healing.
Yes, my foam roller is pink. Yes, my son fights me for it.
 1. Stretching and Strengthening
Stretch, stretch, stretch. I am stretching my feet, my calves, and my whole leg in every way imaginable. Me and the foam roller are pretty tight. There are a myriad of stretches that can be found in some of the resources at the end of this post. I am also slowly strengthening my feet, ankles, and calves while trying not to irritate them further. Here are some helpful stretches.

2. Massage
I am doing manual massage as well as rolling my foot on everything from a tennis or golf ball to a frozen water bottle. Sometimes I even just grab a toy ball from my kids' playroom. I need to do this pretty much constantly. I need to set an alarm on my phone.  This helps break up the tissue and release the muscles.
I wish that was the ice bucket that greeted me after runs.

3. Ice
After each run, I am putting my feet in a ice bath for 15 minutes. Additionally, I am aiming to ice my feet on ice packs for 15 minutes at a time up to 10 times daily. Again, I need to start setting an alarm on my phone to help with this.

4. Rest
I am trying to avoid standing unneccesarily for long periods of time, but I also have to avoid sitting for long periods of time unless I am wearing a splint (see below). I am wearing supportive shoes most of my waking hours, even around the house which drives me a little nuts. I am a barefoot girl.
looks comfy, right?

5. Night Splints
Pain is worst in the morning because the foot tightens up overnight. I am using the Strassburg Sock for at least part of the night to keep my foot stretched and prevent the tightening. It makes my big toe go numb and even bruises it so it's really annoying, but I try to use it as often as I can.

6. Orthotics, heel cups, and Kinesio Tape.
I am wearing the orthotics originally recommended to me again. I am also looking at getting a set of heel cups designed for plantar fasciitis but have not figured out which ones yet. I'm also using KT Tape on my runs.

7. Nutritional Supplements
I am making sure I get sufficient Vitamin C, Zinc, and Fish Oil to help my body having the nutrients it needs to heal. I am also hoping Santa will bring me some of this Tissue Rejuvenator in my stocking!

Plantar Fasciitis Resources at Runner's
Plantar Fasciitis Treatment
Plantar Fasciitis
Heel Pain and Plantar Fasciitis

Next up: Marathon Training Plan Take 2!


  1. I know this is an old post, but I thought I'd comment anyway. I've dealt with a bad case of plantar facsiitis recently, and after doing a bit of research too came across a website where the author recommended going barefoot as much as possible. I've been doing that over the last month +, and the pain has lessened a good deal. I'm home with my five children, though, so it's easy for me to leave the shoes off. Hope you're doing better with this.

  2. Hello! Check out for more information about plantar fasciitis :) Thanks for posting this article, lots of good information in it!

  3. Plantar fasciitis doesn't have to plague you anymore! Please stop bracing, and inhibiting such a crucial muscle. The sensor is malfunctioning.....when your sensor on your car reads bad stuff, you check the sensor don't inhibit the engine, or replace check the sensor....for more information find me through my website...look for my latest blog.

  4. I was suddenly hit with PF about 20 years ago. I sat down at a dinner table to eat lunch. When I went to stand, I dropped quickly to the floor.


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