Uncool foot stuff going on over here.
On Tuesday last week, I went for a run (we had fun, and even crawled under a tree – see here). Everything was dandy.
On Wednesday, I did spin/yoga. My usual combo, and felt pretty normal.
On Thursday morning, my left heel felt a little funny. So I skipped my run and stuck with BodyPump/Hot Yoga. Also, extra stretching and tennis ball rolling.
On Friday morning, my left heel felt really funny every time I took a barefoot step (much better with shoes on). And I don’t mean “funny” in a “ha, ha” way. So I sat for most of the day and didn’t do any working out.
On Saturday, it stopped being funny (oh, wait, it never really was), and hurt even more than on Friday. After a day of rest. I call shenanigans. KMN and I had planned to go for a long run, but I conjured up enough wisdom to know that was a royally bad idea.
Folks, I fear there’s a touch of plantar fasciitis in the house (errr…apartment?).
This is a major bummer. Things were rolling along so nicely, and after months of tedious, careful, slow building, I was finally getting my miles up close to where I want them to be. I didn’t do anything majorly stupid or irresponsible. Not cool, foot. Not cool.
But, enough moping. Let’s start with this, for my non-running friends: What’s plantar fasciitis? Better yet, what’s your plantar fascia? Why, I thought you’d never ask!
The plantar fascia is the long, tough piece of connective tissue that connects your toes to your heel – basically, it creates the arch of your foot. Sometimes, this tissue gets irritated – usually where it attaches to the heel – a condition called plantar fasciitis. This causes discomfort/pain right here:
Plantar fasciitis is commonly caused by extra stress on the arch of the foot – for example, in runners who increase mileage too quickly, in overweight individuals, and in those without proper arch support in their shoes. This extra pressure on the arch results in stretching of the plantar fascia, which then becomes inflamed at the point where it connects to the heel (see photo above). Very tight Achilles tendons/calves can also contribute to plantar fasciitis (everything in the legs and feet is connected).
Most textbooks would tell you that plantar fasciitis is worst in the morning, after sitting for extended periods, and after extended periods of standing/walking/activity. This leads me to wonder when it’s not aggravated…? (While you’re sitting.) Anyway, this is my first personal encounter with plantar fasciitis, and I am by no means an expert – but I haven’t yet correlated any of the aforementioned things to more/less discomfort yet. In the meantime, I’m pursuing a standard treatment plan:
1. No running.
2. Ice and massage:
3. Supportive shoes. Going barefoot definitely hurts, but in sneakers, or even my Adidas “Inside Sandals”, I often don’t feel any discomfort at all:
4. Calf Stretching: More on this in a separate post.
5. Ice cream.
On Saturday, we tried out Neli’s, a gourmet ice cream shop pretty close to where we live.
On Sunday, we popped over to City Square Mall. Guess what’s there? DAIRY QUEEN. Dairy Queen is the ice cream of my childhood, and as artificial as it is, I love that stuff. I treated us to Blizzards:
6. South Indian food. We were in Little India on Sunday, and stopped for masala dosai (huge savory Indian pancake, folded over and stuffed with seasoned potatoes). *gobble*
OK, so maybe 5 and 6 were more for my mental health, than my physical health. But 1-4 are legitimate plantar fasciitis treatments.
By Sunday, there was some noticeable improvement, and moreso on Monday morning. Plantar fasciitis can become quite a problem (like, requiring months to fully resolve) for some people, but I’m hoping that I’ll be rewarded for catching this mild tweak very early and treating it appropriately. Time will tell. In the meantime, I’ll try not to whine and mope too much. Deal?
Anything I’m missing on the plantar fasciitis treatment front?
[I do respectfully request that you keep your horror stories to yourself for the time being, though.]