Adventures In Running

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Plantar Fasciitis Fun

I've been struggling with a new injury all summer - plantar fasciitis. This first started in my left foot, then also started bothering my right foot, then decided it was happy enough just hurting the left foot.

What is plantar fasciitis? Not to go into a long technical explanation, but it ends up with the heel of your foot being very painful when the plantar fascia is contracted. First thing in the morning, starting up after sitting for a while, all seem to be the worst times. Treatment includes sleeping in a night splint (or stretching in the morning) that keeps the calf muscles stretched (instead of pointing your toes as most of us do when we sleep). Rolling your feet on a frozen bottle of water helps to keep inflammation down. I've also invested in some Birkenstock sandals with a high arch so I don't walk around barefoot, avoided my Vibram FiveFingers, using arch supports in shoes, and trying different arch supports to see what helps. You can also see me hanging my heels off stairs to keep the calves stretched. I have good days and bad days.

I was glad to get the right foot under control fairly quickly, but being slightly overweight, getting old, and not working on my flexibility enough means I go through phases when the left foot is hurting and other times when I think I have the PF under control. It has given me a new appreciation for people suffering from Plantar Fasciitis. I hope I can get it under control and lose the pain and not have to deal with this constantly. I guess we shall see.

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