One common injury for me is plantar fasciitis. For two years, if I don’t have properly fitting footwear, my feet feel tremendous pain to the point I can’t even walk–let alone run. It’s frustrating, painful, irritating and above all, scary–each time it returns I hope that I can alleviate it and worry that I won’t.
What is plantar fasciitis? It’s an inflammation of the plantar fascia, the connective tissue on the sole of the foot. It stems from overuse of the foot (such as running often) and the arch tendon. Unfortunately, my genetics predisposed me to severly high arches and thus, I am more prone to plantar fasciitis issues.
Here are a few ways I try to resolve the pain each time it occurs:
I sleep in a boot. You can purchase these boots at any running store, as plantar fasciitis is very common with runners. I bought mine through an online foot specialty store. It has plastic on the outside and cushion on the inside, and you rest the heel of your foot in an elevated position. This stretches it out overnight.
I rolled my foot with a frozen water bottle. Because of the natural arch of the foot, the curvature of the water bottle perfectly fits. I would take a frozen bottle to work and roll my foot underneath my desk. I couldn’t handle the cold for too long, but even 20 minutes made a vast difference.
I invested in orthotics. I always thought visiting a foot doctor was for older people–or maybe I’m just getting older. But I purchased custom-made orthotics to hold my feet properly in place.
I invested in expensive shoes. As a runner, this should be a no-brainer. You need to spend the majority of your sport’s cost in quality shoes. However, I took it a step further and found very firm shoes to lock my feet in place. If my feet shifted even just a small bit in my shoes, they plantar fasciitis returned. I now always purchase the exact same type of shoes. It’s especially helpful if they go on sale–I purchase two pairs because I know I’ll wear them again and again.
Although plantar fasciitis is incredibly painful, taking precautions can help it from returning.