Plantar Fasciitis Prevention and Cure

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I’ve been hot on the trail to get my hands on (and feet into) as many different pairs of minimal running shoes as I can so I can recommend the best shoes for midfoot strike running. (For my most up-to-date shoe recommendations please go to Running Blogs from Feb. 7th and March 26th.) I have to say it’s been fun, getting to wear lots of cutting edge running shoes with new designs and wild color schemes. My closet floor would be the envy of Imelda Marcos… but it has it’s downside. My feet don’t like to change running shoe brands that often. You know what it’s like. When your feet find a pair of running shoes that works well and feels great, it’s like a love affair between the two and not really something to be messed with.

Wearing lots of different running shoes in lots of different environments can leave me feet feeling sore on the bottoms. The last thing I need is a case of Plantar Fasciitis. So, yesterday, when I felt that all-too-familiar tinge of discomfort on the front of my heel I spent no time getting to the fix. I ran directly to a neighbor’s driveway which has a deep layer of crushed granite gravel covering a space about 6′ wide by 20′ long. As soon as I got there I took off my shoes (left my socks on) and began walking back and forth over the gravel. It’s a gnarly driveway and, as you can imagine, uncomfortable (a huge understatement) to walk on without shoes. After about 10 minutes of this self-inflicted torture I put my shoes back on and continued my run.

As predicted, it worked like a charm. All sense of any soreness on the bottoms of my feet was totally gone and, I might add, has never returned. In fact, my feet felt so alive and energized by my “torture walk” that I had one of the best runs I’ve had in weeks. My legs were much more relaxed and my feet we’re happy as little clams.

So, if you’re ever feeling even the slightest nuance of a case of PF coming on, I highly suggest you bite the bullet and find yourself a nice, lovely stretch of gnarly granite to walk across. If are already dealing with a full-blown case of PF it’s even more pertinent that you take matters into your own hands and short circuit the time you spend having to deal with one of the most persistent running injuries there is. This is one of those rare instances in my ChiRunning practice when I would agree with the old adage, “No pain…no gain.”


Posted in Pain and Injuries

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