How I’m Treating My Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar-Fasciitis

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I’ve had a few requests for an update on my plantar fasciitis.

I don’t see many posts about your plantar fasciitis and would like to see more (how you are caring for it, what shoes you’ve been wearing, what stretches you recommend). That condition is extremely common, which I just recently found out, but it’s been hard finding bloggers who are open to discussing it so I can see how other people are treating theirs.

The reason I haven’t shared more about how I’m treating it is because nothing seems to work. If I had a miracle cure, I’d be shouting it from the rooftops.

Here is the back story. I’m a fairly new runner. I took up the sport about three or four years ago, sheerly by accident. Well, that’s not entirely true. I’ve tried to run several times throughout my life, but it never stuck till now. I used to find running boring. That was back before I had kids. Remember those days? It seems like another lifetime to me! When I finally caught the running bug, I think the lure was in the freedom to be alone. I joke that the only time I can be alone is when I’m running . . . because the kids can’t catch me!

I had no running coach, no experience to draw from, and no running partner so I was pretty much going it alone. I started experiencing knee pain, and after doing some research and reading the book Born to Run, I started running in Vibram Five Fingers — shoes that are supposed to simulate barefoot running.

My knee pain dissipated, and I loved “barefoot running” for a while but then I started having these pains in my right heel when I got out of bed in the mornings. This was the summer of 2012.

I ignored it for a long time but in the spring of 2013, I finally decided to see a doctor. After x-rays, I was diagnosed with heel spurs and plantar fasciitis.

JOY!

On the advice of my strength trainer, I sought the help of a chiropractor who is an athlete and sympathized with my desire to continue running. I also switched to more traditional running sneakers.

I believe the chiropractor enabled me to get through my half marathon in the fall of 2013 without major injury. My plantar fasciitis did worsen during my training, but it was never completely debilitating. His therapies included manipulations as well as physical therapy exercises and electrical stimulation.

He also gave me good running advice as I trained for and ran my half marathon.

The half marathon didn’t do me in. In fact, the irony is that my feet felt really good the week after I ran the race.

But then the plantar fasciitis symptoms came back full force — pain in my heel and arch of my foot, not only in the mornings but throughout the day as well.

My insurance only covers a limited amount of chiropractic visits for a particular issue and I had maxed out, so I sought the help of an orthopedist several months ago.

He told me to stop running (I stopped . . . sorta; every few weeks I get desperate and go out for a short run to clear my head) and prescribed physical therapy 2-3 times a week (which I’ve been doing) plus an anti-inflammatory (which I have yet to take) as well as heel cups (which I still have to get fitted for) and a bone scan to rule out a stress fracture (which I have scheduled for tomorrow).

I love my physical therapist, and I feel like she’s doing all she can, but it’s not working. Every time I think I’m turning a corner, it comes back in full force. It is frustrating to say the least. I thought I was getting back to running last week, but I have had to stop again.

I’ve been trying to stretch the dickens out of my foot when I’m not in therapy. Stretching definitely helps. I have a heel rocker that I use whenever I happen to trip over it (which is often throughout the day) and I do a towel stretch every night before getting into bed and every morning before putting my feet on the floor. I sleep in a Strasburg sock. When I think about it, I roll my foot on a golf ball. I do eccentric calf raises on the steps. My PT uses KT Tape to support my foot in between visits. I have spent my kids’ college funds on supportive and somewhat fashionable shoes this past fall, and I wear Crocs around the house.

I’m telling ya, I do everything I can think of to beat this nasty beast!!! I’ve even started using Young Living essential oils in hopes that they might help alleviate my discomfort. They do seem to help briefly, but they certainly haven’t removed the issue. If anything, my feet are just as painful now as they have ever been.

So that’s the latest. I wish I had some great news to report, and I wish I could tell those of you suffering from the same thing that there is one cure-all, but there just isn’t.

After my bone scan rules out a stress fracture, and my PT is pretty confident it will, I’ll request a cortisone injection.

JOY and RAPTURE!

Cuz you know how I love a needle.

I’m trying not to let it get me down. I’m thankful for my general good health. I do know one thing, though. I HAVE TO GET OUTSIDE. If the injection doesn’t fix me, I will take up biking.

Here’s hoping it won’t come to that!