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How I Healed My Painful Plantar Fasciitis and Ran 3 More Ultras


Hi, it’s Miriam. Have you ever had plantar
fasciitis? Are you currently experiencing any kind of discomfort and pain in your
heels, either one of them, or both of them? Well, I have had plantar fasciitis and
I’m going to tell you today how I healed it. My plantar fasciitis story began about
3 years ago. I noticed that when I would wake up in the morning and landed my
right foot on the floor, my heal would hurt and the same pain and discomfort
continued when I walked, and when I ran when I was training. I went to see my
long-time podiatrist and he confirmed that, indeed, I have plantar fasciitis –
inflammation of the fascia. And so he recommended that I wear a foot brace. And
that didn’t work on my right foot. And then he recommended, well try sleeping
with a night splint and this didn’t work. It’s very annoying and very
uncomfortable and doesn’t let you sleep. And then he said, well why don’t you try
an air boot. And this didn’t work. And when that didn’t work, he said well how
about you need to walk around with a set of crutches. So I got a set of crutches.
I’ve never worn crutches in my entire life. And that didn’t work. He also
recommended a BOSU ball that I should you know, stand on and balance myself and
help stretch the plantar fascia. And this didn’t work either.
I was so desperate I went on YouTube to watch some videos, and I found that they
gave contradictory advice and tips and treatment. And so I didn’t know what to
do. But one tip that really helped me and gave me temporary relief was rolling
my arch and my heel on a frozen water bottle and this gave me temporary relief
while I was watching TV or at my desk. And another thing that helped was rolling my
foot, the arch of my foot, with a golf ball. And they gave me some temporary
relief. But actually none of this worked. All of these costly contraptions didn’t
work until one day a friend of mine suggested that I go see a doctor –
a chiropractic doctor – and a physical therapist, another physical therapist in
the same facility that worked with athletes because this chiropractor had
done enormous work on my friend’s shoulder and now he was mobile again. So,
I went to see the chiropractic doctor and it was one of the best
decisions I have made. I learned so much about plantar fasciitis.
I learned that plantar fasciitis has really not a lot to do with the foot but
with the hip. So, I learned how to strengthen my hip. I also learned that my
gait was completely off. I had improper gait when I walked and
when I ran. I learned that I was walking outward with my feet outward,
instead of inward like almost pigeon toe. And I had no idea. So, I learned how to be
conscious when I run, to run inward instead of outward because running outward
really stresses the muscles in your hip and also in your arch. And then this can
cause plantar fasciitis. So, I learned a lot about my gait. I also got really good
exercises to do at home from my physical therapist to strengthen my core, to
strengthen my hip, and to strengthen my feet. And another wonderful tip that till
this day I use is, I walk barefoot. I walk barefoot at home all the time.
Even I was the kind of wary because we have a hardwood
floors and I thought that would be tough. Absolutely not.
So, I’ve been walking barefoot in my home for about three years now.
And I was told that, by the doctor, that walking barefoot will strengthen your
ankles and your feet and all-around plantar fascia. So this is what worked
for me. Every individual is going to have a different experience.
Maybe these costly contraptions worked for you but for me they didn’t. And I can
tell you that, while I was getting physical therapy and seeing the
chiropractic doctor, who was manipulating my feet and teaching me about gait, I
ran in a 24 hour ultra. The first 40 miles were tough but I still managed, and
then after 40 miles I really had to put on my ankle brace, my foot brace to help
me just walk. But I managed to complete a 100K in less than a little over 23 hours.
And I managed to place top 10 in the women’s division. And also throughout
that ultra, I would immerse my feet in ice water to give my feet some relief
and to reinvigorate them. And while I was also getting physical therapy and seeing
the doctor, I was training for 3 more ultras that I had already
registered for. And let me tell you, all these wonderful tips that I got really
helped me with my next 3 ultras. I had a personal best in a 50 mile road
ultra. I placed 3rd in my age group in a pretty grueling 50 mile trail ultra.
And I placed 3rd in my age group in another 24 hour ultra and 5th
overall in the women’s division. Three ultras within a span of 6 months after
enduring painful plantar fasciitis when none of these contraptions worked but
instead, getting good advice from an expert really helped me to keep my feet
and my heel strong. So there you have it! Please share your comments or how you
treated your plantar fasciitis and what worked and didn’t work for you, in the
comment section. And also you can read about my story by going to my website
blog. And there is a post there – “Be Fanatic About Your Gait and Heal Your
Plantar Fasciitis.” And there you’ll learn more about my doctor and his tips and
his advice for a strong plantar fascia. Have a great run and take care of your
feet. And run with proper gait. Thank you for watching.

Glenn Chapman

One Comment

  1. But what did you do about the inflammation ? Or did that go after your foot was strengthened?

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