PF Club

(No relation to Fight Club)

Plantar Fasciitis Blows! It seems like you mention PF to any runner and either they've had it, they have it, or their friends have it and they have been dealing with it for far too many months for my taste. I saw an ART guy at Rev3 last weekend and he mentioned PF is like a club. I told him that is not a club I want to be a part of :) Unfortunately I seem to have joined the club and I am joining the ranks of those that will try anything to get rid of their heel and arch pain!

Of my friends that currently are treating, dealing, or dealt with PF solutions offered up included rest, ART, Shockwave therapy, stretching, massage, laser therapy, ice massage, golf ball rolling, night splints, toe exercises, heel supports, orthotics...the list goes on and I am trying most of these things minus orthotics or heel supports, I feel like they might cause a compensation injury so I want to avoid them at all costs. I'm also holding off on the shockwave therapy as a last resort if my foot doesn't respond to ART. It is pricey and painful (not that ART isn't, but I like that with ART I have someone actually digging around in there and finding all the junk, not just pointing a laser at my heel) and the quick fix sounds too good to be true to me, after all I have been slowly making the foot worse since May, unlike other injuries I have given myself over night, it seems it might take some time to fix something you have been damaging for awhile.

So I took 8 days off running, the most I have taken off in ages it seems. I wanted three pain free mornings before I'd run again. Wanted to get rid of the constant inflammation. The timing on this for my body was good because I was clearly just running out of steam mentally and physically and getting burned out. The foot was a good excuse to get some much needed recovery from hard training.

I also went out and bought a night splint to prevent me from pointing my toes at night and inflaming the foot first thing in the morning.

I got in for some free ART on the foot at REV3 and the next morning was my first pain free morning which was followed by a not pain free morning (ironman spectating involves being on your feet) then 2 pain free mornings which I called good enough even though the whole days weren't pain free as the ART guy seemed to think I could do some easy running without making things worse. He said I basically had a lot of adhesion/scar tissue in my foot that needed to be worked out, and until they are I will have problems with it. Basically my heel feels like a rock and it is supposed to feel malleable!

I'm getting ART twice a week until the foot is pain free every day. My second ART appt and first with my local guru was painful but followed by two blissfully pain free runs. This is a good sign that my foot will eventually heal! YAY! This Mondays ART session was also followed up with a pain free run. We'll see if I can get a second one today.

All of my ART days were followed up with long nights on my feet at social outings which I think is counter productive for the foot, but this morning rolling it on the golf ball seemed to negate the damage done bouncing around at the Foo Fighters concert last night. So I will continue the self massage!

I have an awesome ice cup thingy my buddy Lloyd gave me when I gave myself tendonitis playing Dance Central, and I have been using that to ice/massage the foot after runs. I think now that it is a chronic issue the ice doesn't really help at other times as it actually keeps blood flow from getting to the foot, but that is one thing (ice vs heat) I have never gotten a really good handle on. I just know if the foot is inflamed from the run the ice makes it feel better (aka numb!).

I borrowed my aunt and uncles $1600 laser and have been "treating" my foot for 10 minutes a day. I feel nothing while I am doing it and I have no idea if it is voodoo, but if it helps awesome, if it doesn't I'm out ten minutes a day. The theory is it helps direct blood flow to the heel which doesn't get much blood flow, more blood flow = faster healing.

While brushing my teeth every day I am doing toe raises and what I am calling foot crunches where I use my toes to try and grip the ground in the hopes of strengthening my foot.

I broke out the foot spa and I am going to try and get in epsom salt baths for the feet as often as possible, the warm water seems to loosen it up.

I'm yoga-ing and stretching my calves so that once the foot is healed hopefully I don't mess it up again.

Any magic PF cures you folks have that I should be trying? Clearly I am willing to try just about anything to quit this darn club!


Janet Edwards said...

Yeah I will take a pass on that club! Well you seemed to fare well on today's run! Gosh, this all sure sounds like an awful lot you are putting yourself through! I really hope this club will be short-lived in your future!

Carmen said...

I had terrible PF over the winter and my orthopedist had me doing physical therapy, ultrasonic therapy and wearing a heel lift. All was covered by insurance.

They don't like to use a heel lift long term but he said it would help alleviate the pain short term while I was healing.

The physical therapy was most productive though. They video taped me running and saw that I had irregular form which caused the PF.

The irregular form was from a muscle imbalance stemming from my whole "little cancer leg" problem.

Now that my muscles are more even, my PF has all but disappeared.

My ortho (who also works with the Browns) suggests that most running problems result from minor stength and flexability imbalances.

It may be worth getting an analysis done since this is getting chronic.

iliketoast said...

I don't think there is a miracle cure but I did find with my last injury that getting the correction to running technique a real bonus. I'd also encourage all the work to break up the scar tissue for a long term and permanent resolution. You just might come back faster and stronger from all this!

iJuls said...

Had it. Hated it. And, sorry, I don't have any miracle cures for it.

JenC said...

I used to put ice and water in the foot spa and soak for 20 minutes. Seemed to help.

I also was part of a PF study done by the Cleveland Clinic. They told me to wear stability shoes and told my friend Nic to wear motion control shoes. Ever since I started wearing them, the PF hasn't returned (knock on wood). Oh also, I gave up on wearing high heels. Makes me sad, but it is worth it to be able to run.