Plantar Fasciitis: Don’t procrastinate with your care plan!

I’m an avid runner. I typically run about 3-5 miles four times a week. But about six months ago, I was diagnosed with plantar fasciitis. I saw a podiatrist and she prescribed a number of exercises, combined with wearing a boot at night. I did all the exercises and wore the boot, had lots of starts and stops, trying to get back into running. I was still experiencing pain in my foot and I decided, after hearing from other runners who had the same plight, to throw in the towel and have that dreaded cortisone shot.

diagram plantar fasciitisI set up a follow-up appointment with the podiatrist and we decided that the shot and extensive physical therapy would get me back on track. The shot wasn’t a big deal and it gave me almost immediate relief. I saw a physical therapist who just happened to be a marathon runner. He did a lot of measurements on my feet to show that I had significant tension in my hips, calves and feet. At that point I realized that everything was indeed connected. He also asked if I had experienced any headaches or vertigo, which I had. Often times, people get headaches and vertigo simply from inactivity.

The physical therapist walked me through a number of stretching exercises and recommended running in spurts and walking in between. This regimen would strengthen my muscles and help me ease back into a regular running schedule. I had also been “scraping” my foot with a tool I got from my friend who is an acupuncturist, which the physical therapist also did on both feet.

linda running lake calhoun bde mke skaTwo weeks after this appointment, I met with him again to report that I had been doing all the stretching and a variety of exercise, including swimming, weight lifting, the cross-trainer and running. His second set of measurements showed significant improvement in more relaxed muscles and better range of motion.

I’ve got one or two more follow-up visits, but I think I’m truly on the road to recovery. If I could give any advice to runners who are currently experiencing plantar fasciitis, I’d say that time is of the essence. If you continue to experience pain, have that shot and ongoing physical therapy support. You WILL be able to get back to running!