Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Chapter 2 page 421 - heel update . . . victory

I have hesitated to write this post as I was afraid to jinx the progress I've achieved.  In case you don't remember, I have had Plantar Fasciitis for 11 years.  It was debilitating and made my life really challenging.  Back in February I finally decided that I couldn't take the pain any more and was desperate to try anything.  I saw a physical therapist and underwent 8 weeks of heel and calf scraping.  The pain was indescribable - so here area  few photos that tell the story better than I can  . . .

After 8 weeks of treatment, I became pain free . . . temporarily (sigh!).  I was able to run my May half without pain and that was fantastic, but within 2 weeks, the pain returned.  Back to physical therapy I went for more scraping.  My second session of PT was for 4 weeks and involved only  . . . scraping (starting to think PT's are masochists).  Here is a photo from my 2nd go go-around . . .
Were you expecting a photo of scraping?  This was the stress ball (actually it was a star) that I was squeezing during the scraping and it hurt so unbelievably much that I accidentally ripped it in half - didn't know my own strength I guess!
So after 12 weeks of physical therapy, I was significantly better, but not 100% pain free.  I discussed with the therapist some options to simulate scraping at home (I couldn't really scrape it by myself because it's my right foot meaning I would have to use my left hand and it was just an awkward angle to apply enough pressure) - I discussed using a golf ball (WOW - that HURTS!), but finally decided to try using The Stick to see if that would work.
To my surprise, it worked.  I rolled my foot at the precise place it hurt as aggressively as I could and the PF pain continued to improve over time.  I initially started out rolling it daily and will never forget the day I rolled it and it didn't hurt - what?!?!?  Yay!  When my foot would begin hurting I would roll it - it was every day at first, then every other day, and is now only about 2 days a week. 

So where am I today?  My PF still hurts especially if I stand for a long time or after I run, but the pain doesn't last very long and can definitely be knocked down by giving it a few rolls with The Stick.  I say that my PF is under control and is being managed.  It's awesome to be at this stage.  I seriously hope it goes away for good at some point, but if this all the better I get - I can live with this!!!

Ever had PF?
What was the one thing that made it better?
(my first round of treatment 10 years ago - wearing a night splint definitely made it improve; my second round of treatment 6 years ago - orthotics definitely made it better; and this time - scraping (sigh) made it better)


  1. I have had PF. I put some inserts in my shoes and that helps a lot. It typically flares up the worst when I do a lot of speed work. But I also say that changing out your shoes often and using the foam roller and stick all help me.

    I am glad you are making progress. That scraping looks MISERABLE.


  2. Goodness that sounds terribly painful. I am so glad you have gotten it to a manageable point. I luckily *knock on wood* have not had PF - after seeing this post, I pray I never get it!

  3. That looks unbelievably painful. I don't know if I could handle it, honestly. I have PF flare ups when I increase my mileage too much, but I massage my first first thing in the morning before I even get out of bed, and roll it on a frozen water bottle a few times every day to get it under control.

  4. That scraping looks horrible!!! OUCH!! But I'm so glad to hear your PF is getting better! And power to you for pushing through it all these years, I know that couldn't have been easy.

  5. OMG when i saw the photos of the pain in your face my whole body just clenched up - that just looks terrible!! So glad the stick seems to have done the trick that has got to be better than ripping up stress balls!

  6. Today's run was my first experience with PF. I remembered reading your post so I thought I would revisit it. I could not believe the pain in my right foot. I have been rolling it was a golf ball and have a water bottle in the freezer. I am so worried as my 1/2 marathon is one week away. I hope it will clear up in time. I can hardly walk around the house right now!

  7. So glad to hear you're doing better, that sounds awful but sometimes it has to get worse to get better. I've been blessed in that I haven't had but one injury since I started running and that was from wearing the wrong shoes, an easy fix. Keep up the amazing work and I wish you many pain free runs!