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Thread: Plantar fasciitis

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    Member whitewolf2025's Avatar
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    Default Plantar fasciitis

    Has anyone had any problems with plantar fasciitis? How do you minimize the problems on long hikes?

    I typically get pain/stiffness in my foot after hiking about 5 miles or so, so I can go on short hikes but obviously this cuts out longer hikes or backpack hunting. My doctor told me to start a regular stretching routine which I've been somewhat successful in following. I'm also wondering if maybe staying more active year-round will help? I usually go on one or two overnight hikes per year and don't do a whole lot of prep working up to it. This is the first winter I've been going to the gym on a regular basis so I'm wondering if maybe this will help at all.

    I would really like to go on some longer hike-in hunts for caribou or sheep so this is a pretty big issue.

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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    I had a lot of issues with plantar fasciitis several years ago after getting a bad stone bruise trail running.

    I mainly hurt in the morning when I got up and took a while to loosen up, some days not at all. After living with it for a while my doctor gave it some direct pressure therapy (don't remember the name he used). Basically pushed on the spot that gave me trouble with a lot of pressure and a blunt object, hurt like crazy but it didn't bother me again afterward- something about lining up the muscle fibers.

    Hope that helps because I know that hurts like heck when it flares up.
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    I suffered this in my left foot years ago...aggravated it playing too much soccer.

    It subsided after a month or so with rest, loosening the bedsheets, and rolling a golf ball on the underside of the foot while seated. The golf ball massage feels great anytime.

    The taunt bedsheets did not allow the foot to rest near 90 degrees therefore it spent 8 hours in the same position that aggravated it in the first place. Google "Plantar Fascitis Night Splint" to see what I mean.

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    I can recommend a proper sports massage. Do not know if you have one around, you might consider killing the guy when he works on you, it hurts like hell and I was laughing through it all. He said he cannot believe I was laughing, well it was either that or crying, it just hurts soooo much. But it was worth it. Also used an osteopath. Sports massage guy on Thursday and osteopath on Monday. Works wonders.
    Osteopaths do work on mussels also, not only bones, so they are great.

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    I put up with it using the splint and exercises for about 6 months and finally told the doc it wasn't getting any better. He gave me a steriod shot into the bottom of my foot into the tendon bundle and after the pain from the shot subsided after a few days, I haven't felt a bit of pain. I treated myself to a pair of feather weight Lowa hiking boots and all is well after 4 months. I recommend it!!
    Somewhere along the way I have lost the ability to act politically correct. If you should find it, please feel free to keep it.

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    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    You need quality arch support in all your boots/shoes. Powerstep works well and flexes. Super feet are stiffer but work well in stiff boots that don't flex much.

    the Osteopath that I saw to work on my legs/hips/back/feet told me to never get out of bed without stepping into running shoes with good arch support. Toss the slippers in the dump.

    Loosing weight was the only real help for me for the long term. Now I can use the barefoot style shoes from Merril for slippers rather than running shoes.

    The osteopath did a variety of pressure release points for the fasciitis in my legs and feet. After three treatments I was able to walk with out pain. I screamed during them while his thumb was "ripping the flesh from my bones", but afterwards it felt awesome.

  7. #7

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    Cold cans (step on them, use them to roll/massage your arch)
    NSAID
    stretching before you begin your day, during and AFTER
    GOOD (proper, and the WILL HURT) arch support, most stuff is....
    build your self up slowly, you want to increase, but if you keep it aggravated, you just get chronic swelling and then you are dealing with pain all the time.

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    Member Gr is for Greg's Avatar
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    I've been reading a book called Born to Run, and it has some interesting thoughts on runners' injuries, including Plantar Fasciitis. I should begin with the disclaimer that I have not had issues with PF, so I am not speaking from my own experience. Anyway, the book says that many running injuries may be the result of too much arch support. Man ran for millenia before the modern running shoe was invented, and many of these problems didn't exist, or at least they were not as wide-spread. Super-cushioned shoes with arch support cause you to strike the ground with your heel instead of on the ball of your foot. It changes your whole form and posture, and it no longer requires you to use muscles in your foot, including those that stabilize your arch. You know the rule with muscle: if you don't use it, you lose it.

    One of the things recommended in this book is to run barefoot or with those five-finger shoes. You have to start slow, or you are going to be hurting, and may even injure yourself worse. But, supposedly, you will eventually strengthen your arch and your entire musculature. I'm kinda anxious to try it out myself. I may even do the frostbite footrace this year barefoot. The way I see it, if you don't get frostbite, you're doing it wrong.

    I'll let you know how it goes...

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    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gr is for Greg View Post
    I've been reading a book called Born to Run, and it has some interesting thoughts on runners' injuries,

    I read Born to Run and found it fascinating. Enough so that I switched to thinner running shoes. I can't do barefoot since I run on gravel and wooded trails when I run outdoors but a thin shoe and switching to a mid foot strike certainly changed the game for me. I do run slower but run longer (I'm no great shakes at either....) like that but I do have far fewer issues with my feet and knees.

    If you try the Five Fingers thing let me know how it goes- I considered them but it looks like you might get blisters between your toes like that!
    "I do not deal in hypotheticals. The world, as it is, is vexing enough..." Col. Stonehill, True Grit

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    Another foot that uses the barefoot design is Vivobarefoot Men's Ultra Running Shoe, I'm no runner, but bought a pair for camp shoes and I really like they way they fit and wear. They are reasonably priced as well. I tried the 5 fingers for a pair of water shoes, but they were not for me, I have one long toe and it just doesn't work with the 5 fingers.

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    Here are my ultra thin/no insole running shoes. Go easy to start if new to running with minimalist shoes or barefoot, you'll strain new areas of the lower leg and foot.
    Not only a camp shoe but something for creek crossings...
    New Balance MT110. Mine weigh 7 oz. size 8.5 EEE and have no insole. Better than barefoot or stuffing toes into those funny shoes.

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    Member Mort's Avatar
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    I also "powered through it" for several months before my wife diagnosed me. Morning stretching while brushing my teeth is still a part of my routine. Rolling my foot across a handball worked best. Golf ball tended to go shooting across the floor. And insoles in my most heavily-used shoes/boots. In all other shoes, I got metatarsal pads (cheaper!) that stick to stock insoles. All those things help keep the plantar fascia stretched and supple.

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    Some of the worst pain I have felt. Stretching, time, high quality footwear at all times all helped and still helps when it flares up. I rolled a frozen water bottle under my foot from the heel to the toes until I couldn't stand the cold anymore. If I'm not careful when I want to start ramping up any work out, I aggravate it again. I got zero help from a podiatrist (sp) or a chiropractor. Google has all kinds of formulas that have worked for different folks. Time and quality footwear has helped me the most.

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    Member Spanman's Avatar
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    I've had PF Bi-lateral for 10+ years...if you don't address it correctly and early it becomes chronic. Do not (repeated for emphasis) do not go barefoot or the vibram 5 finger you will aggravate it more (I tried the bare foot after reading "born to run" ). The best advice I can give is Physical therapy, massage, stretching and inserts (custom or store bought).
    Yesterday I ran into an Old Girlfriend and I thought I missed her...
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    Member whitewolf2025's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the PM's and responses - got some good ideas

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