Thursday, 10 April 2008

Plantar Fasciitis - a pain in the ****

Any runner who has had plantar fasciitis knows what a pain it can be - in practice, a pain under the heel.

Plantar Fasciitis is "a painful inflammatory condition caused by excessive wear to the plantar fascia of the foot or biomechanical faults that cause abnormal pronation of the foot" (Source: Wikipedia)

The Fat Runner has had plantar fasciitis before - about three years ago when he decided to run to work and back from work the same day - far more than he'd run before - and this is what set it off. And it took a few weeks to recover from.

So what is it - basically, it feels like excruciating pain on the bottom of the heel - and can spread forwards along the botto of the foot to the end of the long bones in the foot. At its worst, it is almost impossible to walk. And it's worst in the early morning when you've been off your feet for a while.

TFR knew that he'd picked up a little plantar fasciitis a few weeks ago, but decided anyway to do the Wimbledon Common Time Trial last Saturday. 1k in and he was feeling ok. 2k in and he was feeling much better. By 3k, however, he thought he should pull out, which is what he did.

And as soon as he had got back to the car, it was clear that he should have pulled out much earlier. It's now Thursday, and TFR can just about walk - slowly, and with a hobble, but at least he can walk.

He's heard some horror stories about PF taking over 2 years to fix, so he wanted to make sure his rehab was planned immediately - so what has he been doing?

1) Stretches.

He met someone at the WCTT who had also had it (and who advised him not to run...) He said that twice-daily stretches of the foot (toes on a stair and drop the heel as far as possible) worked for him within a month or so.

2) Icing

As with most injuries, rapid icing is key. So he filled a drinks bottle with water and dropped it into the freezer. He was then able to roll the bottle under his foot to provide at least some cooling benefit to his foot.

TFR has never been so injured as he has been by running over the last 6-8 months - but please stick with him - he's hoping, once this is over, to be injury free for the rest of the year!

You can find out more about Plantar Fasciitis by clicking on the link.