During a race a couple weeks ago, I started to feel a sharp stretching pain in my left arch and now I'm almost certain that it's a mild case of plantars fasciitis. Since the race, the pain hasn't been too bad but it's still noticeable. I've decreased my run training and only done a couple long runs since then, and fortunately I'm a little ahead of schedule for my run base during my IM build period. Does anyone have experience dealing with plantars fasciitis during build training that could offer me some advice?
I suffered awfully from this- and had all kinds of treatment- physical therapy, prednisone, sleeping with the boot, etc etc.
But the one thing that has cured me completely is a yoga stretch called toe breaker- and I've used it ever since whenever I have a twinge and have been completely problem free.
Here's a description:
Kneel on the floor and sit back on your heels. Bend your toes so that the pressure of your weight pushes down on them. It is a great stretch for the soles of your feet. Of course, you don't want to actually break your toes, but that is difficult to do. Don't bounce on them, but apply steady pressure. Splay your toes to give them each their own space and to intensify the stretch. Hold the pressure for about 30 seconds, then raise your pelvis off your feet and lay your toes out flat. Sit back down to stretch the tops of your feet. Repeat as necessary.
Here's a good photo- in case the written description doesn't make sense (just ignore the tricep stretch pictured): http://www.fitsugar.com/1051418
Two words - custom orthodics. Find the best place your medical plan will allow. Get one pair for your work shoes, one for your running shoes. Do not walk around barefoot unless you are on carpet or a mat.
I had a similar pain, went to doctor who gave me stretch and strengthening exercises. I think the stretch that lcbrown recommended above would help, and strenthening exercise I did was the one where you are barefoot and you put your heel on the edge of a towel and scrunch the towel to you using your foot. Biggest thing that I think helped me was I bought a couple pairs of Sole insoles (about $37 per pair) and put them in my running sneakers and my work shoes. I noticed immediately that it filled the gap between my arch and the shoes so that my arch was supported and did not seem to be bottoming out every step. This may be similar to, but not as much of a custom fit as, the orthotics if the Sole insoles fit your foot well. My pain has gone away completely.
I read your post and the replies to it and would like to give you some input. The physical therapists here at Sports & Spinal PT often see runners and non-runners with plantar fasciitis, and it can often be a very frustrating experience. One of the most important things is making sure that that is what's going on before trying to treat that pain. Classic symptoms include increased pain with weight-bearing in the morning (especially just getting out of bed) and when barefoot. Obviously, changes in footwear or overly aggressive training can cause issues, but it doesn't sound like that was exactly the case.
If you have some of those symptoms above, then I agree that targeted stretching of the plantar fascia can help. Lcbrown's post included a stretch that would effectively do that; my caution would be that the 'toe breaker' stretch may be too aggressive if you are experiencing pain. Stretching can be most beneficial in the morning (I would self-massage and stretch your gastroc and soleus calf muscles as well), and regular icing can be beneficial. Avoiding barefoot walking is helpful.
Custom orthoses can be helpful, but some studies have shown that over the counter orthoses can be just as effective as custom at a much lower cost.
As you may know, SSPT offers free 30 minute screens for DCTri Club, so let us know if you'd like one of the PTs here help see you to answer your questions so you don't miss your training!
I dealt with PF for a year, and at the end of the process stopped by to see the folks at SSPT to get advice on keeping it at bay. They were very helpful, gave me good exercises and stretches to do and discovered that I needed even more customized orthoses than I had from my podiatrist (needed a "bump" in the middle of the foot to give me more toe flexion). Since getting those and following SSPT's advice I've not had a problem with the PF. I would highly recommend them for PF issues.
PF - I cringe - can't even read all the write ups bc I have suffered from chronic PF for 4 years - In addition to the writeups above, the one ortho that was helpful told me to do 100 calf stretches a day. I got up to 80 before becoming completely bored. Also, keep a frozen water bottle handy and run your foot over it any time you get. I keep one in the fridge at work and do it at my desk. Good luck - PF is a
my PF is mild (but annoying) and I don't have a ton of experience with it, but I keep racquetballs under my desk and couch and roll the bottom of my foot....many times a day. That and ankle stretches seem to keep it away.
Thanks for the help everyone! The PF is still killing me but I'm hoping that one of the many suggestions I've received will help with time.