As mentioned in my previous post, I seem to have incurred a case of plantar fasciitis. Although I have not had an official diagnosis, I am completely convinced after reading about it and talking with friends who have had it. I was shocked recently when I mentioned this to a group of runners who I regularily run with and almost all of them responded their own PF battle stories. Another friend is a hair stylist who had it for almost a year and a half. The good news was that they had some great advice and it is working.
How to deal with PF. Notice that I do not say ‘cure’. Apparently, PF goes away when it wants to regardless of what you do. You can however, minimize the affects of it. Especially the pain. In fact, after taking their advice, my case of PF is virtually a non-factor and I am running more now than I have in months with no pain whatsoever.
Here are the three things that have worked so far…
1) Strassburg Sock
This thing looks awkward but it works. One of the main characterisitics of PF is that your heel is sore when you first get out of bed. The reason for this is that your body works on healing your PF in the evening while you sleep. Your foot and ankle are typically in a relaxed positon during when you sleep. When you wake up and step out of bed, you stretch out the muscle and ligament. The pain you feel is the result of tearing the tissue that your body had repaired and, in effect, undoing the healing that had occurred.
By wearing a Strassburg Sock while you sleep, you stretch out the damaged muscle tissue while the healing takes place. Then when you step out of bed, the repaired tissue actually relaxes and no tearing takes place. Thus, little or no pain. This also greatly improves the recovery time since you aren’t continually undoing all of the healing that had taken place.
2) Padded slippers
Get a pair of slippers with some padding in the heals and wear them at all times when you are not wearing shoes. Put them on immediately when you get out of bed, when you take off your shoes, when you step out of the shower, always.
3) Shoes with good cushioning
For running, I bought a pair of shoes made by Hoka who famous for their heavily padded shoes. They feel like pillows when I run downhill in them but they are also extremely lightweight and still provide great response when I want to run fast.
There are some addition treatments that can also help but so far, these three alone have completely eliminated the pain. How long I will have to continue this for is anybody’s guess but at least I have no pain and can run without any trouble. This is a big relief with marathon training starting in two weeks.