Tuesday, October 23, 2012

My feet hurt - and I'm sick and tired of it

The title pretty much says it all - I've been fighting the plantar fasciitis in my left foot and the achilles tendonitis in my right. I had been able to get through a run but then paid for it afterwards, hobbling and limping around.

In my battles to help my feet I have/had established a regular routine -
For the plantar fasciitis:

  • Lots of stretching and manipulation of the foot throughout the day.
  • Massaging the foot several times a day.
  • I discovered a method of taping that has helped tremendously.  I simply did an internet search and watched 2 or 3 youtube videos, went out and bought some rolls of sports tape, and I tape myself up every day (but not for a run).  I'll wear the tape for 8-10 hours a day.  I don't sleep with it.
  • After a run, I ice for 10-15 minutes.
  • I am not taking any anti-inflamatories or pain killers (they didn't seem to help and I'd rather not).

For the achilles tendonitis:

  • Modest stretching, just enough to loosen it up some.
  • Wearing shoes (I tend to like to walk barefoot when ever possible).  Shoes raise my heel up just enough to take some of the tension off the tendon.
  • After a run, I ice for 10-15 minutes.

The good news is that I believe that I have the plantar fasciitis under control.  I no longer hobble as I get out of bed in the morning.  The incredible pain that I used to get as I try to make my first steps of the day is no longer there - so I see that as progress.  The taping has been a big help.

The bad news is that I'm realizing that I'm not going to fix the achilles tendonitis as long as I continue to run - So last Sunday, after aborting a run half mile into it, I made the decision to not run for a full week.  Then I'll ease my way back into it.  If it still feels tight, I'll back off again.  I have to get it healthy.  I read some scary things about popping the tendon and I don't want that to be me.

My feet have hurt so much that I had dialed back my mileage substantially - and the immediate effect that I've notice is that my weight has been going up.  I didn't realize just how much of a calorie burning action running was on me. My understanding was that, as a runner, I might burn 100 or so calories per mile, which isn't that much.  But apparently it makes a bigger difference than I imagined. So now I'm going to try to burn those C's on a bike or walking or doing upper body workouts.

Someone suggested that I stop drinking beer, but are they nuts?  C'mon man....


  1. Hi - I'm dealing with PF - what tape did you use and what youTube video did you watch? Was it specific to PF? (assuming so). I've been seeing a PT that has been taping my foot, it provides some relief. I've tried just about everything, but there is just enough pain where I don't want to push it so my next step (ha!) is to take a couple weeks off of running. Which is even more painful! Any other PF advise would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!

    1. I did not keep the urls for the youtube videos... sorry! Interestingly enough though, while the taping did seem to help, it was not the ultimate solution. In my case, I found that the root cause of my PF was somewhere further up my leg where something was not right. A yoga-fanatic friend of mine showed me some very simple stretches for my hams, quads, calves, and feet, which I did repeatedly throughout the day for about a week - and miraculously, I got better and the discomfort of the PF totally disappeared. I still do those stretches now for good luck. Perhaps your situation is similar and your PF might be due to a muscle or ligament that is too tight or not properly lining up to do it's job... I definitely did not want to go the route of a cortisone shot, since I was pretty well convinced that it would only solve a local symptom and not the root cause. Also, I found that running did not affect my PF - didn't make it worse, didn't make it better. But it did feel good to ice it afterwards.
      Best of luck!

  2. Thanks for the response, Bill. I think you are on to something since it's all connected all the way up the chain. Plus, I SIT all day, not great. I did try the cortisone shot and it lasted exactly a month and I wasn't any further down the road of recovery. I must take a tip from the Yoga fanatics and stretch, stretch, stretch! With some ice and rest and.... :-) Thanks again for taking the time to reply.