Wednesday Night Edits: I prolonged this post hoping to include Shockwave therapy, however I decided I'll save that for another day when I have some video and some more treatments under me to give better description of my experience. Scattered in this post you will see links to various products that I reference that I have used or have read about. If you purchase directly through one of the links provided, it supports this blog in a small way and I appreciate that! I also, of course, hope it can help you (even more than it helps me!)
I'm hoping to start a segment called “Tuesday Tips” where I can review products, or talk about drills, or share life experiences to not only reflect for my own personal gain, but also to help anyone out there that might be going through something similar to me.... of course I’m sitting here Tuesday night realizing I probably should write on Monday’s... but... you can expect “Tuesday-ish” tips moving forward.- Today I’m doing a quick review on some of the tools I have tried to combat Plantar Fasciitis. Yes, I’m still somewhere in between injured and healthy... If you’re reading this, you want something that is Guaranteed to Work, and unfortunately I don't know anyone that can provide that (if you do know someone, tell them I'll pay a lot of money for their Guarantee!). BUT since I have been dealing with some form of lower extremity injury for nearly 2 years now, I have tried a lot and have my experience to share. While none of these typically "fix" a problem, they can give you relief and still help you achieve your goals. Everyone is different, so what didn't work for me might work for you and vice-versa. Note: I am not a doctor, a PT, or have any certification to give medical advice. I am simply sharing the pro's and con's I experienced in case they can serve you in any way.
First, you need to know what Plantar Fasciitis is:
From what I understand as someone who has it and has asked a million questions to various experts, The Plantar Fascia is a band of connective tissue that basically connects from the ball of the foot to the heel of the foot. It has the job of supporting the arch, taking some of the force while landing, and also aids in take off. It's pretty damn important for running! The "itis" is swelling. So you need to consider what is causing your itis. Small microtears can happen when the Plantar Fascia gets overstretched. Often the pain is worst in the morning because it's tried to do some healing at night and has shortened and then BOOM! first step out of bed you fully loaded it and all those microtears that were trying to heal at night are rehashed. Some common related injuries are achillies tendonitis, calf strains, shin splints, and peroneal tendon injuries. Are you so shocked? Literally every injury I've had for 2 years!
With 20 years of running experience I've heard about this monster but never experienced it for myself. Pregnancy and postpartum hormones completely changed the structure of my feet and my body has not adapted. Add in the fact that I began working on concrete floors 8 weeks after I delivered the baby, and you've got a recipe for disaster. I continue to work to improve it each day, and hope my experience can help you make decisions for what is best for you.
Whenever you have an injury, Physical Therapy is a good place to start. In fact, even if you have an injury that is likely to end up needing surgery, most of the time you will be referred to PT by the Orthopedic first to ensure it can not be fixed without less invasive means... I'm extremely fortunate to live in an area with some of the best PT's out there and one of the best PT schools in the country. I have been going to the same Physical Therapy Facility for a really long time and have a really good rapport with everyone there so it makes it easy to come back. One of the best indicators of what causes a runners injury is their previous injury so going to (and sticking with) a physical therapist is important. Just like anything else, there is a learning curve so don’t be quick to throw in the towel.
Speaking if KT tape, lets talk about that for a moment. From what I understand (again, not an expert) KT tape is designed to lift the muscle away from the bone and blood vessels etc. under it to allow more blood flow and also to take pressure off of the pain receptors. More blood flow promotes more healing, pressure off pain receptors means less pain. I have also read that it can add some proprioception to sort of “remind” certain areas to do their job. It also can offer some support, just not in the old school method of taping (which restricted both movement and blood flow)...
Those are some pretty heavy hitter cons but I keep getting the KT tape so that's how much I believe I works for me. Unfortunately I am still injured, but again, I believe it's most effective for mild cases or temporary injuries... and I'm not that.
I don't think I need an intro for this one. I do not know a single runner that doesn't have some sort of roller for their foot. I do not discriminate with rollers. I will buy every single one on the market and have no loyalty to a single brand. Just take all my money foam rolling industry!
Spenco is a brand that makes "over-the-counter orthotic" or an Arch Support as well as other products such as sandals that offer that same level of support. I was on a run once and over heard a guy walking in flip-flops say to his wife "I wish I could have insoles for my sandals"... and I turned around to tell him about Spencos. My husband worked many years in the Spenco booth at the Boston Marathon and absolutely loved the products and got me some sandals the year I was pregnant. I wore them everywhere and it is probably the only reason I was able to run pregnant. I wore sandals all summer. When I returned to work I went back to cute flats or unsupportive boots and I've been injured on and off ever since. I wear Spencos in my shoes now that I wear sneakers at work, but I do feel like a lot of damage was already done and I've been trying to correct it ever since. For me, personally, it's a very small price to pay to try it out and see if it works.
Some people swear by them, some people swear against them. Night splints are basically a boot or a device that keep the foot in a particular angle overnight to prevent the fascia and achillies from shortening overnight. So that first step out of bed is usually a lot better since that shortening didn't happen so the sudden overstretch doesn't occur either.
So there are some tools for you to consider and some Tips for Tuesday... (err.... Wednesday/Thursday)... Leave a comment below if you've tried any and have had success so future readers can see, Or if there are other treatments and tools out there that were effective for you LET ME KNOW! I will hopefully post about Shockwave Therapy soon. I had my first treatment today and PRO: It definitely did something to the painful spots CON: It didn't hurt so good. It just HURT! But some good research I've looked at supports it! More soonish!
Check Back soon for a Throwback Thursday. Haven't decided what I'm sharing from my old blog yet. Stay Tuned!
Welcome to my blog! I blogged my entire pregnancy in 2017 and I had high hopes for where I could take my running after baby number 2, but my body had other plans. At some point I got too discouraged to write and recently realized that it is essential for my personal growth and development to keep putting feelings into coherent(ish) thoughts. I still hope to run sub 2:45 in the marathon one day, but for now I’m trying to focus on the process and I’m learning to enjoy it. You can come along for the ride, apologies in advance for grammatical incorrectness!