Plantar Fasciitis Unchecked Can Knock You Off Your Feet For Months
Plantar Fasciitis Running And Foot Pain
Running and foot pain... If I had a dollar for every runner I knew who had a foot running injury, I'd have a fat bank account!
Plantar Fasciitis, the most common running injury of the foot, may cause the heel to hurt, feel hot or swell, is inflammation of the plantar fascia, a thin layer of tough tissue supporting the arch of the foot.
Repeated microscopic tears of the plantar fascia cause pain. Sometimes plantar fasciitis is called 'heel spurs', but this is not always accurate, since bony growths on the heel may or may not be a factor.
Diagnostic testing, such as X-rays, usually is not necessary to diagnose plantar fasciitis, although it may be useful to rule out other potential causes of running and foot pain. Typically with plantar fasciitis, the pain is worse when first getting out of bed, or is noticeable at the beginning of an activity and gets better as the body warms up. Prolonged standing may cause pain, as well. In more severe cases, the pain may worsen toward the end of the day.
What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?
There are a number of possible causes for plantar fasciitis. The most common cause of running and foot pain is very tight calf muscles which leads to prolonged and/or high velocity pronation of the foot. This in turn produces repetitive over stretching of the plantar fascia leading to inflammation and thickening of the tendon. As the fascia thickens it loses flexibility and strength.
Other causes include high arch or low arch feet and other bio-mechanical abnormalities which should be assessed by a podiatrist or physiotherapist who are specialists in running and foot pain.
Plantar Fasciitis Symptoms
There are a number of symptoms for PT. Some of the most common are:
The tell-tale sign for me is 2nd one above - pain with initial steps. When I have had severe PF, I had excruiciating pain when taking the first few steps in the morning getting out of bed, or getting up to use the bathroom in the middle of the night!
What Is The Best Treatments For Plantar Fasciitis?
Symptoms usually resolve more quickly when the time between the onset of symptoms and the beginning of treatment is as short as possible. If treatment is delayed, the complete resolution of symptoms may take 6-12 months or more.
Treatment will typically begin by correcting training errors, which usually requires some degree of rest, the use of ice after activities, and an evaluation of the patient’s shoes and activities. For pain, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (e.g. aspirin, ibuprofen, etc.) may be recommended.
Next, risk factors related to how the patient’s foot is formed and how it moves are corrected with a stretching and strengthening program. If there is still no improvement, night splints or Strassburg Sock (which immobilize the ankle during sleep) and orthotics (customized shoe inserts) are considered. Cortisone injections are usually one of the treatments of last resort, but have a success rate of 70% or better. The final option, surgery has a 70-90% success rate.
For the first 30 years of my running life I only had a couple of episodes with plantar fasciitis. What worked for me for mild PF was taping the foot using sport tape.
KT Tape is one ofthe best on the market right now. You can get it online or at a retail sporting goods store such as Sports Authority.
Here is an video demonstrating KT taping for Plantar Fasciitis. I kept the strapping on for the recommended week, (even leaving it on to bathe) and I was able to run pain free. After the one week, I didn't need the taping anymore. It really works!
But with severe cases of plantar fasciitis, taping, (in my experience) doesn't help much.
So, I had been relatively fortunate with plantar fasciitis over the years.
However... this all changed a few years ago. PT hit me hard and it has been the worst running and foot pain I ever experienced.
Initially, I tried to 'run through it' and that made things worse.
The pain in the arch and heel was so bad that even after 6 months off, I still could not run!
(If you haven't had a severe case of this, count you blessings.)
So, the first thing to do is to STOP running right away. You might get lucky and have a very short healing process. But at least it will be a much shorter time off from running than trying to 'run through it'.
This simple, yet effective arch stretch Plantar Fasciitis helps relieve pain.
When I was at the peak of PF suffering, I did the stretch, holding for 10 seconds for 10 reps. I would do it in the morning before getting out of bed and it really helped diminish some of that horrific 'first steps' pain.
With severe PF, none of the usual suggested treatments, i.e. stretching, massage, taping, Strassburg Sock, therapy, icing, etc., didn't help me at all.
However, when I discovered the Foot Log - I finally found something that really helped me. I still had problems, but I had made considerable improvement and was able to start running again.
So, what is a Foot Log?
The Foot Log is a scientifically designed foot massager and exerciser that is specifically created to help with the rigid jarring our feet experience each day.
Visualize a kitchen rolling pin with rubber spikes on it and you will have it. Standing on the Foot Log and rolling it on the arch and especially the heel does a great job of getting in there and breaking up that scar tissue. It hurts like hell as most deep massage does, however it really helps.
For a measly $20, you can get rid of your foot pain with Foot Log and get back on the road to recovery!
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