Photo taken by Randall Levensaler

Friday, May 9, 2014

The Pleasure of Plantar...

Well, there is no other way to put it, plantar fasciitis (PF) is the pits. For those runners lucky enough not to have encountered such a delight…it is a dull pain focused in one’s heel, which can also at times extend into the arch of the foot. Most victims will experience a “nail being driven through your heel” pain when stepping out of bed in the morning.  Definitely made me rethink about making that morning cup of coffee that I dream about.  

From all the web research I’ve conducted, it seems the most common cause for PF is: an increased work load (more mileage), quickly increased intensity, and simply from tight calf muscles.

So…how do you make it go away? Unfortunately, there seems to be no exact solution.

There are many remedies you can try, which may or may not work. They will affect each individual differently, in my opinion.

1.     Self massage your heel, achilles, and arch. I use some arnica gel to reduce friction, and for the anti-inflammatory benefits.  I personally believe the massage is good because you are forcing blood flow to the affected area. More blood flow means more red blood cells to help repair.
2.     Roll your heel/arch on golf ball prior to activity, and on a frozen bottle of water after activity.
3.     I use a roller massager, or a foam roller to “mush out” the knots in my calves. This happens to be my trouble spot…so rolling is quite painful.
Pro-Tec Athletics' Roller Massager and Kinesiology Tape

4.     Once your foot feels warmed up, strengthen your lower leg muscles by doing some gentle calf raises, and scrunching up a towel with your toes.
5.     Use kinesiology tape your plantar before engaging in activity.  This will help provide support to the plantar fascia.
6.     Shoes!!! Get your feet into shoes that are well cushioned to soften the pounding feeling when running. AND invest in a firm insole (Footbalance, etc), that can provide you support. I’ve been wearing the HOKA Stinson Trail along with a Footbalance insert…and have been able to train through this stubborn aliment. 
Thanks Dave Mackey and Darcy Piceu for the recommendation!

7.     Wear a splint to lightly stretch your plantar and achilles during rest periods. I prefer Pro-Tec Athletics’ Soft Splint. It is a hybrid version that combines a boot and compression sock. 
Woot woot for the Soft Splint!!!

I’m no doctor, just a pro trail runner passing on some tips for what has been working for me J

I had to sit the side line for the Lake Sonoma 50 mile in April, so I’ve changed my race plans and am headed to the Ice AgeTrail 50 mile in Wisconsin this coming weekend. I’m hoping these recovery techniques, adequate rest, and proper nutrition will aid me in a successful race J

1 comment:

  1. Had that. But only shock wave therapy made the trick.