I last ran on March 17 and had pain in my right leg so bad I had to shut it down. As such I decided to start at the bottom to determine what is the source/contributing factor/problem that is keeping me off the trail and the treadmill. First stop, the podiatrist. I figured that I was finally paying the piper for 30 years of running with these flat feet of mine. The diagnosis was not at ALL what I expected but if you run, it is a sad sorry badge of honor/horror to earn. This is how it went down.
Me: Look, I have flat feet, pain in my hip, knee, back and sometimes leg. Are my flat feet the problem?
Him: Maybe. Do your feet ever hurt?
Me: Sometimes. They hurt when I’m not even on them. In fact I’ve wrapped my feet at night to ease the pain so I can sleep.
So the doctor starts poking around in the area of where my arch is supposed to be.
Him: Does that hurt?
Me: It wasn’t until you started poking around.
Then he dropped the P bomb on me.
“You’ve got plantar fasciiatis” I’m like WHAT????? I say to him, I thought that the pain from it was felt in the heel and he says “it is for the majority of people but a small percentage of people, particularly those with flat feet feel it pain in the arch”. There was some minor wailing and gnashing of teeth with that diagnosis and prescription — no running, inserts all day, foot and achilles stretching, NSAIDs and ice on the bottom of my feet. When he showed me those inserts I told him flat-out, “dude you are messing with my Diva, I have NO shoes other than gym shoes that those will fit.”
What is plantar fasciiatis?
Plantar fasciitis (PLAN-tur fas-e-I-tis) is one of the most common causes of heel pain. It involves pain and inflammation of a thick band of tissue, called the plantar fascia, that runs across the bottom of your foot and connects your heel bone to your toes.
Plantar fasciitis commonly causes stabbing pain that usually occurs with your very first steps in the morning. Once your foot limbers up, the pain of plantar fasciitis normally decreases, but it may return after long periods of standing or after getting up from a seated position.
Plantar fasciitis is particularly common in runners. In addition, people who are overweight and those who wear shoes with inadequate support are at risk of plantar fasciitis. (Mayo Clinic).
The paragraph above makes me a winner (read loser) in the fasciitis sweepstakes as I meet all of the criteria. I’ve had about a week to sulk and rebel and have settled into the realization that compliance is necessary in order to walk let alone run without pain after the fact. The stretching hasn’t been a problem, the inserts feel pretty good in gym shoes and I’ve decided to try the half-soles for dress shoes. However let me be really clear ice on the bottom of one’s feet is NOT the business, but I’m doing it.
So I ask you runners, sportsmen and gymrats out there, have you ever had plantar fasciitis? How did you treat it. and how long was your recovery. Let me know in the comments on Twitter or on Google+.
Until next time see you at the gym, I can still lift 🙂
Photos: Mayo Clinic, MsThorns