Sunday, August 14, 2016

Recovery from Plantar Fasciitis

I suppose this could probably be classified as a Jess Goes Running post, but in addition to affecting my running life, plantar fasciitis has also had quite an impact on my work and home life over the last couple of weeks.  It has now been a few weeks since my diagnosis and the start of treatment.  I have gone back to my 50 hour workweeks with only slight soreness at the end of my shifts, and running longer distances with no problems at all.  I am lucky to be feeling great!  I figure it may be helpful for me to share what has worked for me over the last few weeks in relieving issues related to PF.  NOTE: I am not a doctor, and if you are concerned you should see one.  I am just a runner and human interested in helping others!

Stretching.  I have been stretching several times a day.  I find I get the most success when stretching not only my foot and heel, but my achilles' tendon and my calf as well.  Today, I felt really loose early on in my run which I contribute primarily to all of the stretching.  This website is a great resource for stretches and ways to relieve symptoms from PF.  I was pleased to find that I was already doing things on the list.  Don't forget to stretch out both legs; the doctor reminded me to do this so I didn't become unbalanced and potentially develop PF in my other foot.

Icing.  I have been icing my heel regularly since last Thursday.  It does a great job of relieving any slight soreness or tightness I might be experiencing.  I have an ice pack, but I have also been rolling a frozen water bottle under my foot.  This is probably my favorite way to deal with PF and I find it does a good job of both relieving any inflammation I may be having and helping me become stronger.  I highly recommend this!  (The same kind of principle of applying pressure and stretching out the fascia can be achieved with a tennis or lacrosse ball.  I have never tried these methods, but I presume it would feel quite similarly!)

Insoles.  Per the recommendation of my doctor, I went to Dick's Sporting Goods and picked up a pair of Superfeet Green insoles.  They were expensive, but worth it; I put them in the shoes I wear to work most often and though it took me a few days to adjust, there is a noticeable difference.  I'd recommend them!  I will probably get a pair of insoles for the pair of shoes I bought for work, but I may look for something a little less expensive but still high quality.  Arch support is key, especially if you have flat feet like I do.  Don't be afraid to do your research and find the ones that work for you!

Night Brace.  When I had been dealing with the pain for almost a week, I had started doing research and thought I might have PF.  In a way, it was a relief to have my assumption be confirmed with the very same diagnosis.  Knowing that I seemed to be more likely to have pain in the morning, I felt like even if it wasn't PF, I would be a good candidate for a night brace.  I found one at Target and have been wearing it ever since.  I definitely struggled with it in the beginning because I would wake up and find that I had taken it off (completely without recollection!) in the middle of the night.  I have gotten much better about leaving it on and my foot feels flexible and pain free when I wake up.  It may not be the most glamorous of additions to my sleep life but it definitely helps!

I also was given a cortisone shot at my doctor's appointment and I believe that helped to immediately relieve a lot of the inflammation in my heel (which was pretty bad according to the doctor).  I have been taking Aleve when I am concerned about inflammation but have generally been able to keep the pain and soreness under control without the use of medication.  Please, as I mentioned above, make an appointment to see a doctor if you are worried!  These are just things that have helped me to get back a pain free work and running and personal life.  As a runner training for her first marathon, I am grateful to have gotten this issue under control and am constantly listening to my body and monitoring my foot for the first sign of pain or concern.  I feel pretty great to be on what feels like the other side of this.  Here's to being healthy!

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