Plantar Fasciitis

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    Aug 08, 2007 6:53 PM GMT
    Has anyone ever developed plantar fasciitis in their foot? I think I got it from just one short 4 mile run. I overpronate and since it was a short run I went out in my new "cute" shoes instead of my motion stability ones. I was fine all day, but that night my left foot started hurting and now it hurts to work on. Been about a week now.

    I've got an appointment with the podiatrist tomorrow, but websites say this can take up to a year to heal. ARG.

    I'm sure the podiatrist will tell me what to do, but anyone got any sports tips on how to make a quicker recovery?
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    Aug 08, 2007 7:21 PM GMT
    Plantar Faciatis is also one of those overly generalized diagnosis describing only a sympton, and not even very specific at that...

    Inflammation of the plantar sheath can mean irritation of the fiberous tissue or specific muscle over use syndrom, and that means ANY number of small muscles attaching to your metartarsals and toes, etc..

    OR, prolonge irriation can also cause the calaneous, your heel bone, to grow a bone spurr... This will, of course, dig into ALL the soft tissue structures beneath, that include both muscles and the plantar facia.

    Just as the condition of plantar faciatis is multi factorial and complex, so are the primary casues and treatment options...

    The causes can range from improper loading of the foot due to a fallen arch or other physical deviations, improper flexiblity ratio of lower extremit musculature, improper gait pattern, poor shoe fit, muscle over use, etc, etc..

    Treatments include gait training, orthotics (good ones), improving flexibility of the plantar facia AND the gastroc/soleus complex, good shoe fit, soft tissue management such as ART (which is VERY effective for plantar faciatis), and finally, cortisone shots and surgery. The latter 2 are not recommended as this is a weight bearing area, and any further trauma will induce the area to produce temporary inflammatory response (yes, even with corticol sterpoids you can get this) and this will lead to increased build up opf inflexiblty scar at the junction, worsening the problem...
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    Aug 08, 2007 7:51 PM GMT
    Soft tissue release works well. It can be somewhat painful to experience, but the results are worth it. A simple way to do this is to place a golf ball on the ground and gently roll the bottom of the foot over the ball. Be sure to hit all areas, not just the arch. It can be quite painful, especially if your foot is already sensitive so take it very slow and easy.

    Posts: 29

    Aug 08, 2007 8:02 PM GMT
    Been there! bud.

    Trust me on this: You need to stretch you soleus.(calf muscle)It will help!

    Also, go get an arch support from the drug store, it will help take the pressure/pain from the heel. Dr. Sholes works great. It even states that on the packaging! "helps plantar fasciitis".

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    Aug 08, 2007 8:31 PM GMT
    See, everyone who had it is sayig the same thing...

    Dont lete it becoem chronic and end up with a bony heel spurr, then you will always have pain...
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    Aug 08, 2007 8:33 PM GMT
    Had it bad, too, but yours sounds worse. I used drugstore arch supports and got decent if not complete relief. A friend who had it when to a foot store and had special arch supports made, which helped her very much.
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    Aug 08, 2007 8:36 PM GMT
    I had it for at least 6 months -- got it from the Stairmaster, which is notorious for giving it to people. (My understanding is that there was a class action suit filed against the maker, it was so common.)

    I did all kinds of bodywork/massage with no good results. Then I got arch supports and started using a lot of ice. It was gone within a few weeks.
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    Aug 08, 2007 8:40 PM GMT
    The reason is Stairmasters has a fixed ankle platform, but its range of motion of the lower extremity requires a bit more range of motion on the foot platform, hence causing over use and shortening of the calve and under foot musculature.. AND it is high duration, repeatitive motion.. Remember the 4 parameters of fatigue? Duration, load, range of motion, and velocity... Voila! Stairmasters = pain!
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    Aug 08, 2007 9:21 PM GMT
    I've got some Smart Feet in my cycling shoes. I'll take those out and put them in my work shoes.

    Hopefully the doctor will give me good tips too.

    I definitely want to take care of this quickly.

    Guess I'm not running that half marathon in October. :(
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    Aug 09, 2007 12:04 AM GMT
    My boyfriend has it, and it causes him a lot of discomfort. I usually end up rubbing them for him and applying a whole heck of a lot of pressure trying to massage them out. He always tells me that "It hurts so good."

    He says it helps, so I keep doing it...
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    Aug 09, 2007 3:03 AM GMT
    I get this in my right foot. Mine came with lots of ankle pain and a limp. The podiatrist did an MRI and said I also had some tissue growth in the ankle resulting from a poorly healed injury. He recommended surgery. He also got me some shoe inserts - which helped a little.

    I spoke with a chiropractor who taught me the golfball trick to loosen up the tendons on the bottom of the foot. She also used a little clicker tool that applied pressure to pinpoints on my foot. I don't know if the clicker helped, or the heat, or the electrical stimulation - but the golfball was magic. I went from a limping several days a week to maybe one day every three weeks.

    Then I went to the Good Feet store. They tested my gait and noted that I pointed my toes out and that my arches were more collapsed than appropriate. They then recommended a set of their patented 'Good Feet' arch supports for $500. I left the store and concentrated on walking with my toes pointed more 'in' and decided to postpone purchasing the inserts. This had the best results of all for me. I stopped using my other inserts and only need to use the golfball trick about once every 6 weeks.

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    Aug 09, 2007 7:48 AM GMT
    I got it after I broke my foot. After I got out of the cast it was absolute hell! its taken a while for it to go away but I have noticed just working out and streching out the calves, flexing the foot back and forth helps out alot. I read it in a USA Today insert in a my local newspaper. Hopefully that helps a little. Mine acts up every now and then but its pretty rare now.
  • UStriathlete

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    Aug 09, 2007 2:09 PM GMT
    lower leg flexibility is KEY!!!

    i heard the heels cups work to, that you can order online. and the stretch thing you wear at night on you foot-look at the back of runners world magazine.

    for runners and walkers, learn to pick your feet up, like a march, instead of a toe off push. relax your lower leg. chi runners will know what i'm talking about.
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    Aug 09, 2007 2:47 PM GMT
    GW-NYC and US had good responses!! Listen to them. Good luck.
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    Aug 09, 2007 9:31 PM GMT
    I don't have this. Ends up I have tendonitis in the tendons that run down the side of my ankle and foot. As suspected I got it probably from going for my run in the wrong shoes ... the one time. The podiatrist this morning said "Wow, you do have pretty flat feet".

    She gave me a couple things I can do including warm/cold bath soaking it and icing it. She said if I do that nightly it should go away in a few weeks. If not then she'll recommend physical therapy.

    And she had me go get more Smart Feet from REI and wants me to wear them in my work shoes.

    I'll probably look into getting orthotics too if my insurance covers it.

    Few weeks is much better than a year recovery. And the good news is cycling still should be OK.
  • UStriathlete

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    Aug 10, 2007 12:12 AM GMT
    if you do the orthotics, go with a company that uses cork or dense foam. the hard pastic one's are not for athletic activites, even though dr's say so. I can give you a list of my athlete's and their friends who either got worst injuries or other injuries. i know works with all athlete's and professional who make a living using their feet highly recommend them.

    good luck with the contrasting foot baths. you might want to try traumeel cream, it's all natural, antiflammatory. it's even dr. recommeded. you can use the foam roller on lower leg to help relax the muscles.
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    Aug 22, 2007 3:59 PM GMT
    I've had a slight problem with this for a couple of years and it only bothered me for a few minutes in the morning, so I never did much about it. But in March I started having pain that lasted all day.

    I usually run 2 miles each day, four or five days a week. I stopped running altogether and nothing changed. My GP put me on meds for six weeks and nothing changed. Then he shot xylocaine directly into my heel and told me to rest it a week and then I would be fine.

    I rested a week, then started my running again and I had one great week...and then on Friday I had pain like I never had before that. I stopped running, went back on the meds and gave it another month. I started running again but only a mile a day and it really isn't giving me the workout that I need and the pain is slowly coming back.

    I have also switched shoes. I now wear thick soled lace-up shoes to work, instead of the nicer loafers that I used to prefer. And at my GP's behest, I put heel cups in all of my shoes (except my running shoes). I can't tell that the heel cups have done a thing.

    Are these arch supports better than the heel cups? And do you also put them in your running shoes? I hate to put things in my running shoes because they cause blisters.

    As for the golf ball idea, my GP told me that pressure on the foot (especially the heel) only adds to the problem.

    I am so glad someone started this thread because this has been ruining my workout for the past year. I have gained 10 pounds due to lack of good cardio and I can't run in any races. I've got to get this fixed soon!
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    Aug 22, 2007 4:05 PM GMT
    Female dancers get it ALL the time from pointe work.

    They usually are told to stay off pointe, and being dancers they never listen, to stretch the lower part of the leg more, and to wear sensible shoes when not dancing.

    I guess it pretty much echos what athletes are told... well except the staying off of pointe part.
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    Aug 22, 2007 4:36 PM GMT
    I had plantar fasciitis on both feet, years ago. In the longer term, the problem was fixed when I had a sports medicine podiatrist build me two sets of orthotics to equalize a leg length for training runs, and one for racing.

    In the short term, yes, ice, stretching, the soft ball rolling technique described by others work to some extent. But for both feet, what really did the trick is taping. This is the 1/2" adhesive athletic tape you can buy over the counter.

    Cup your foot (meaning, arch your ankle). One strip of tape goes along one side of the foot from the toe to the heel, and anotehr strip from the small toe to adjoining the first strip at the heel. Then, with your foot still cupped, three shorter strips of tape across the bottom of the foot sideways. (I also put one or two on top).

    What you've done is create a "faux" orthotic. It will feel uncomfortable at first, but will gradually loosen a bit. It's primary effect is to reduce the amount of rotation or flexion at the join of the heel and the tendon to a minium, reducing inflammation.

    I wore it all the time, but I changed it at night , and this is important, while you are in the shower. The taping is tight enough so you can rip skin if you try to remove it without softening the adhesive with hot water....the shower does the trick. And I did change it each night.

    Finally, in both cases, the effect of this taping was miraculous. Within one week, most of the pain had subsided. Subsequent x-rays show that I have two small bone spurs pointing towards the front of the foot from both heels...but, these cause no problem...they appear streamlined on the x-ray. I think they represent the body's attempt to bridge the distance between the heel and the tendon, so that the tendon doesn't pull.

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    Aug 24, 2007 1:07 AM GMT

    X Rays often show heel spurrs, and many times it is just incidental finding, and this does not always correlate to actual symptons.

    The plantar facia is a very tough and thick layer of tissue, and it takes repeatitive stress over a while to creat infalmmation at this site.
    Heel bones spurrs has to be pretty large and in a certain orientation with a certain kind of gait with a certain deficient thickness and pliability of the plnatar facia to create symptons..

    What you have just described is a home made splint/posting.. It basically allows the plantar facia tissue to be in lax postion, preventing it to be stretched, and to allow it to heal.

    We do this with tapes in clinic and it does work when one can be compliant with it... Most patients had something sticking on the soles of their feet all day long... So it is a compliance issue...

    But it is sure worth trying. I did not mention this in the earlier posts as it is sort of a hassel for most people to do...
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    Aug 24, 2007 1:13 AM GMT

    Female dancers get this because more so of the pointe shoe soles and shank, especially if they wear 3/4 shanks... The hard structure jus keep digging into the sole of feet..

    I know this because I was a pro ballet dancer for 10 years before I was a free lance personal trainer and now physical therapist/clinical instructor (trained from the Joffery School initally then scholarship with David Howard for 5 years.)

    And once they have it, the constant turn out with the feet in pronation (yes, flat, human anatomy does not allow 90 deg turn out from hip in standing..the rest from your knees and feet, like it or not) just stretches the plnatar facia constantly and not letting it heal.. They basically have to splint it or wear sneakers with orthotics to let this heal...
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    Aug 24, 2007 1:23 AM GMT

    Hate to tell you this, GPs have very little training in ortho and musculoskeletal conditions... We see vauge and wrong diagnosis and horrible treatment plans all the time form GPs, all the time...

    The arch support is a better solution because it will change the mechnical loading patern of your gait.

    Yes, cushioning the heel would feel better, but this, like injections, is a COMPENSATORY treatment. The cause of plantar faciatis is multi factorial and it includes poor balance of soft tissue flexibiloty/pliancy, poor foot loading 2nd to foot joint structures, abnormal gait, and poor shoe wear... And what your GP gave you as an injection was just numbing agent, it wasnt even cortisone... It is like putting an anethetic to a sore but not treat the sore with sutures or anit-botics...

    I recommend what Fastprof and many other memebers already said.. Go to a specialist... Dont go to a GP..
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    Aug 24, 2007 2:46 AM GMT
    Thanks for the advice, John and NYC.

    John, the bandaging that you recommend sounds like something I was contemplating, rather than wearing the infamous "boot" to bed. I may give it a try.

    NYC, I agree completely about GPs. I was giving him a shot to get it fixed but he missed the mark on it. Right now I am at the point after the new fiscal year for my insurance (hence I haven't yet met my deductibles), so I may have to wait a while to see a great podiatrist.

    It sounds like you guys have so many great ideas that have worked for you. I will be trying John's taping idea and the arch supports.

    Are there any arch supports good for running shoes?
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    Aug 24, 2007 2:53 AM GMT
    There is no ONE good arch support/orthotic for everyone... Everyone has different feet and different gait pattern... The best is custom made by a GOOD orthotist or other clinicians who are specialized in athletes... The degree of differences between well made and "shake and bake" orthotics are HUGE... You would not get the same result if you go to someone who only sees geriatric Charcott Diabetic Feet...
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    Aug 24, 2007 3:27 AM GMT
    Yes, listen to NYC on the arch supports too. For some reason, people (not you) often think they can skimp on medical applicances like that...and by Dr. Scholl's whiz bang versions.

    Each person is an individual...and each person's biomechanics are different.

    You're an athlete...and you should take this seriouisly. Get thee to a well-qualified sports podiatrist...


    Good luck.