My Feet Hurt………Plantar Fasciitis – Part II

At this point in my life, I don’t get to watch many movies.   Since we have a screaming busy toddler running the house, it’s difficult to do anything that involves sitting and quiet.  However, I frequently find myself going back to an “old” movie, Forrest Gump (1994) for quotes that fit quite nicely into my life.  The quote that has been the forefront of my reality for longer than I’d like to admit is…… “My Feet Hurt”.  I can clearly see the scene with Forest sitting on the bench, waiting for the bus, and talking to the nurse telling her that “those must be comfortable shoes”…..and her quite simple reply being “my feet hurt”.  Simple.  True.  Powerful. Forrest Gump Quotes

Forrest Gump: Those must be comfortable shoes, I bet you could walk all day in shoes like those and not feel a thing.
Nurse at Park Bench: My feet hurt.
Forrest Gump: My momma always said you can tell a lot about a person by their shoes, where they go, where they’ve been. I’ve worn lots of shoes, I bet if I think about it real hard I can remember my first pair of shoes.

If you have looked at my shoes over the last 6 months, you might think that I only own one pair.   Running shoes.  I have been switching my trainers with an identical pair of retired running shoes and I wear them from the time I get up until bed.  I have been fighting Plantar Fasciitis for quite some time and  previously posted on it HERE.  The fight has been tough because I don’t want to stop running lose fitness.  I have cut back on my mileage by quite a bit, running only about 20 miles a week since crawling to the finish of the Chicago Marathon in October.  I have even had further complications with Mr. Michael life and therefore had to cut back to a mere two or three runs a week.  I can’t seem to get him to sleep without his feet propped up on my throat or his head on my heart my presence.  Since I am now limited to such a few number of runs, I have been trying to keep each of those around the 10 mile mark so that I can at least hit 20 miles per week.  This new strategy has really inflamed the Plantar Fasciitis which had been starting to settle down a bit after the lab created these orthotics for me: 

I received them the first week of November and have been wearing them daily.  I am hoping the lab billed the insurance 2x or these babies are $600 each according the EOB from BCBS.   I haven’t paid a dime to the foot surgeon yet so that $$ reality is still looming.  I think he is waiting for me to jump up and down and say I feel great in order to send the shocker bill.  Unfortunately, that isn’t the case.  The left foot is good!  I really don’t have any further complaints there; however, I feel like I have an ICE PICK running thru my right heel and well, that would be a MAJOR complaint.  I’m limping, half walking on my toes, half floating……..I know you are trying to envision all of this but it’s really not as romantic as it sounds.  Quite awkward really.  And the hubby foot surgeon can’t really relate to running, or why I want to run and run long for basically no reason since I’m not currently training for anything.  Back to Forest Gump as my words would never be as eloquent……

[reporters ask Forrest his reasons for running all this time]
Forrest Gump: [voice over] They just couldn’t believe that somebody would do all that running for no reason.
Reporter: Why are you doing this?
Forrest Gump: I just felt like running.
Forrest Gump Quotes

And that’s exactly it.  I just FEEL like running………maybe because it is quiet, maybe because it allows me to feel at peace for a short time, maybe because it makes me feel like I am doing something good for myself, maybe because I can do it alone without any interruptions since I don’t even get to sleep or go to the bathroom shower alone. I don’t want to stop running and I certainly don’t want to have to rebuild my fitness from a prolonged break.  I have dug my way back from non-fitness land enough times to know that it sucks hurts.  Please, can we just fix this soon so that I can wear some pretty non-running shoes, run pain-free, walk pain-free in the days after a run and just feel good again?  I try not to be frustrated ,or bitch complain, but on days like today when friends are ALREADY talking about the 2012 Chicago Marathon, it makes me wanna cry. I struggled running 12 miles on Saturday and have basically been crippled/limping since I finished that run.  I can’t even contemplate more than that right now.  I think I’ll go back and reread the Baby Steps post and hopefully remember to think about today and not get overwhelmed by what the future may or may not bring.

Next week is a recheck to evaluate the “progress” I have made with the orthotics.  I think I am going to request the cortisone shot and take a week, or so, off to try to get this under control.  It hurts…..and that is an understatement. 

How do you handle injuries?  Do you bounce back fast of find yourself riding that injury train for a LONG time, like me. 

Happy, PAIN-FREE running!                                                                                           Amanda – TooTallFritz

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3 thoughts on “My Feet Hurt………Plantar Fasciitis – Part II

  1. Well Too-Tall ya might be in luck on this matter since I am sorta an expert on it now. I too slogged in struggling to finish Chicago Marathon with an injured L-leg…both plantar/heel pain L-foot and nasty pain in L-hip and upper hamstring. I took 4 straight weeks off with not a single bit of running (only x-training, biking, etc) and that helped a lot, but it did not rid it entirely. At about 3rd week in my layoff I was on to some stretching and other therapies that seem to help a lot, as well as in full force investigating what medical options for dealing with plantar existed.

    But at end of 4-weeks I had to cross the bridge and resume running to start rebuilding a base from which to start training for Boston beginning of January. So, I was faced with the awesome task of trying to run again and at the same time contain and possibly heal the condition(s) once an for all. Not easy, but then its not impossible….the key will be a comprehensive and integrative approach using strengthening, stretching and other therapies to alleviate the stress and allow the condition to heal.

    The medical options if you want to keep on running would probably rule out the surgery thing or cortisone injections cause the time off running for those treatments can be 6=8 weeks. Platelet rich plasma (PRP) therapy has a pretty similar track record to orthotripsy (as originally designed for breaking up kidney stones) – ca 87% 1x and 97% 2x. But, recall in previous I might have mentioned few (if any) health plans cover OT cause it costs ca $10k. PRP therapy is where they draw your own blood, centrifuge it to separate components, then reinject into the heel and rely on the concentrated growth hormones to enhance heeling. Has a similar success rate at OT and only ca 7-days off from running (could be a bit longer in some).

    The other option for short-term relief that may help speed the healing process is injection of Zeel – its an antiflammatory. Any podiatrists should be able to do this and good news is you get some relief immediately (well after the initial shock of that needle in your heel) and you can resume running same day. There are no restrictions nor no known side-effects in its use and they are free to give you as many injections as you think you need (I go back for a 2nd this Wed, 2-weeks since 1st). They also sell tablets that ya ingest orally (sub-lingually) and a topical ointment with the same homeopathic compounds in it. They are called Traumeel and Zeel. Both are similar, but I think Zeel might be a little better. Not sure and have to check the ingredients more closely. These are not cures per se, but they go a long way to help reduce the inflammation so that the tissue can start healing up better.

    Ultrasound is another treatment I have been using on. There’s a “Mend Me Shop” Home Tech HT-901 ultra sound mini wand that has proven useful in my therapy. It comes with a special “gel” they recommend, but sometimes I just been using the topical ointments Traumeel and Zeel. The high energy waves and some heat the wand creates supposed to increase blood flow to the specific area. It also helps get that ointment more and deeper absorbed into the skin. Sometimes I can feel noticeable relief in heel pain after 5-min session. Supposed to do 3 sessions a day, but I oft find pressed to get 2 sessions in.

    Foot-Rubz ball. This only costs $5.99 and hard plastic ball with little knobs. Ya roll it underside along arch of foot from heel to mid-foot about 5-minn duration. Supposed to do 3 sessions a day – again oft have trouble getting two sessions in. When I first started this it hurt a lot and I couldn’t exert much force on the ball. No I can really crunch down and since I know longer have any pain along the entire plantar tendon and fascia and it is pin-point concentrated at anterior-medial side of heel bone, I often end the routine with several minutes of taking the ball in my palm of hand and rolling it directly and dig-in, hard-n-deep into that front end of heel bone, including that little spur knob that everything attaches to. This no longer hurts or is painful as it was 3 weeks ago.

    Other therapies center a lot bout stretching. You stretch the plantar tendon, fascia and muscles simply by grabbing all your toes and pulling them back in reflexed position. You can see that tendon pop-up. You also stretch the achilles tendon to reduce pulling and strain from the posterior heel bone. Sometimes I stretch the plantar and do the ultrasound simultaneously.

    Ultimately, all of these muscles and fascia are connected by tendons or ligaments at the various joints. Heel, knee and hip. In my case my plantar problem is partly connected to issues with L-hamstring and L-hip tendinosis. Won’t go into details of this stretch, but I have a modified hamstring stretch performed lying on your back, that when I pull back on toes of L-foot, can actually feel tightness and sometimes pain in those tendons of both lower hamstring where it ties into back-side of knee and where it ties in at underside of L-hip….a perfect example that one problem in the foot is tied to another problem at the hip and hamstring. There’s a trick to doing this stretch, but it does a lot in terms of ridding plantar/heel issues. If you or any others need more explicit on that modified stretch routine, then email me and I will describe and maybe TTF can post something separately on that later.

    Finally…orthotics….probably a waste of money in the sense ya probably can get same benefit for simple pair of $55 Superfeet orthotics. I think they even have a version more targeted for plantar that is supposed to have a little more foam cushioning (brown version?). Anyways…these should work well for anyone dealing with plantar. There are other foam and gel-based heel-cup orthotics…and at times I have put one of these gel heel inserts on top of the SF orthotic. You have to be careful in doing this and so far I have noticed no side-effects and it adds a little more cushion to that heel bone. I might opt to use the xtra heel insert on longer duration runs, especially long runs 2 or more hours, but on shorter mid-week runs…just stick with the SF.

    The key to running while trying to heal plantar is balance. The running provides more stress so it is essential after that run to follow-up with the stretching and other therapies ASAP. Soaking the foot in warm water (if you have had this chronic for a long time) also helps improve blood flow. You can also apply cold immediately post-run…then later follow-up with heat or warmth therapy.

    I got a lot more on this subject in terms of how to treat it…but don’t want to clog this post anymore than I have above.

    peace-n-love, Frogger

  2. I hear you! I actually stopped running completely a week ago bc i’ve been having ankle pain since 2 weeks before the marathon and knee pain. I was hoping it would go away but on a solo sat. run, I thought this is ridiculous! If I ever want to train for another marathon or not injure myself permanently, i need to get it checked out. I almost want to cry listening to everyone running these Dec 5ks!

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