After six weeks of following my Everything-but-the-kitchen sink Plantar Faciitis Treatment Plan my foot still hurts.
This is a real bummer.
Briefly, my six week Everything-but-the-kitchen sink Plantar Faciitis Treatment Plan was:
- Ice pack treatment 2x/day (no longer than 10 minutes each per my doctor friend)
- Ibuprofen when there’s arch/heel pain/inflammation (per my retired PT friend)
- Wearing shoes with arch supports such as SuperFeet all the time–even at the beach
- Calf strengthening exercises: positive heal rises 3 sets of 20 and negative (off a step) to exhaustion, for each leg every other day
- Stretching my calves, hamstrings, glutes–everyday
- Cross-training everyday by either swimming, road cycling, or 30 minutes on the elliptical machine with weight training of my upper body everyday
- Survive a pain and straight-talk session once a month with my gifted and no-nonsense Rolfer who keeps repeating “Don’t run for two months!”
- Wearing a night splint (which keeps my arch stretched while sleeping), etc.
- Complain about it and my inability to do my favorite athlete past time ever: run
So, six weeks later, my heal wasn’t hurting at all and I found myself with an hour to myself on Santa Cruz Island at the bottom of my very favorite running trail that meandered to the top of the bluffs. This beautiful trail gives a 360 degree view of the island’s windswept hills, sea lion and seabird nesting areas on the rocks below, it’s still native chapparel-covered peaks, and a soaring view of the mainland across the Santa Barbara Channel and open ocean with seagulls and pelicans flying by.
I jogged up the hill.
Thirty-five minutes later back at the bottom of the trail, my heal hurt. A lot. Damn.
The soreness went away a few days later so when I found myself at Moonlight Beach, site of my very first full triathlon (Bud Light Series, Olympic Distance, 1988) I thought that a barefoot run on the hard packed sand might be good for it.
I was wrong. After thirty minutes of trying to jog like a Kenyan or Tarahumara (landing on the forefoot, heals flicking up and faster turnover), my heal hurt. A lot. Again.
Okay, so here’s my new Kitchen Sink Plantar Faciitis Treatment Plan:
- See an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in feet, has been recommended by a former patient or medical doctor and who is athletic; the appointment is tomorrow and I’m anticipating it with both hope and fear (What if he can’t do anything for me or recommends expensive options such as custom-made insoles that don’t work?)
- Ice pack treatment 2x/day (longer than 10 minutes each per myself)
- Take two Advil when there’s arch/heel pain/inflammation
- Wear my new Brooks T5 Racing Flats with the disco shoelaces with a pair of SuperFeet high arch (green) insoles when I’m not icing my feet, showering, swimming, riding my bike or dreaming.
- Do calf strengthening exercises every other day (positive heal rises 3 sets of 20 and negative (off a step) to exhaustion, for each leg)
- Stretch everyday (calves, hamstrings, quads, glutes, lowerback)
- Cross-train everyday (Swim, bike or do 30 minutes on the elliptical machine with some free weight training of my upper body)
- Wear a night splint (which keeps my arch stretched while sleeping)
- Avoid wearing flip-flops, shoes with no arch support or walking barefoot whenever possible
- Tweet about my Plantar Faciitis woes on Twitter in hopes that some one can offer me some good advice, encouragement or at the very least, commiserate (misery loves company)
Since I’ve been complaining about my running injury on Twitter, a lot of people have kindly shared advise or words of encouragement. So many people have tweeted me that I am really feeling good right now. My heal still hurts but everything feels great. Especially my heart.
Here’s some of the Tweets I’ve received about treating Plantar Faciitis or offering encouragement:
“How is the foot? Been able to do any BF running? Would love your thoughts on new post http://bit.ly/HPlxg” (Direct Message)
“Thanks for the follow. Have you tried Active Release Therapy on your calves for your Plantar Faciitis? Worked instant wonders for my wife.” (Direct Message)
Thank you everyone. Just knowing that there are people out there (fellow runners, parents, triathletes, non-athletes–people) who care enough to take a minute to Tweet me a word of encouragement or healing advice for my plantar faciitis really rocks.
It makes me feel better.