How to Cure Plantar Fasciitis: Hacking the Vampire Bite of Running Injuries

I crested the top of the hill, the hot summer sun beating on my bare shoulders. I had just finished my eighth hill repetition on a narrow, winding trail near my home town of Lexington, MA.

Cure Plantar Fasciitis

If you want to cure Plantar Fasciitis, a holistic treatment is needed

It was August, 2004. I was running close to 80 miles a week and preparing for the fall cross country season of my Junior year at Connecticut College. My mileage had almost doubled since my spring training in outdoor track.

Running a hill workout before cross country season officially starts is aggressive. But I was seeking massive improvement. I was leaving no stone unturned:

  • Weekly mileage was near the highest it has ever been
  • Workouts started earlier
  • Cross-training amounted to hours per week
  • Barefoot running was strategic

All that hard work was paying off. I felt great and was in the best shape of my life.

But two days after my hill workout, my right foot developed a burning pain from the heel to my forefoot. After a visit to a specialist, and later a physical therapist, I was delivered the bad news.

I had plantar fasciitis. One of the worst injuries a runner can get. And my season started in less than a month. My hopes for making the varsity squad were threatened, along with my goal of breaking 27 minutes for 8k. I immediately had one goal: cure my plantar fasciitis.

I did what I always did when I got an injury: I immediately took a week off from running. Fortunately, I was able to visit a physical therapist twice a week who massaged my plantar fascia and performed the standard treatment of heat, massage, and ice. It didn’t work well as it took me weeks to get back into a regular running routine.

That experience led me to take a more systematic approach to injuries. Rest, heat, and ice may feel good but they’re not treating the underlying cause of plantar fasciitis. I started doing research on plantar fasciitis and realized…

…I needed a far better treatment than what I was getting at the physical therapist’s office.

How to Cure Plantar Fasciitis


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After my experience trying to cure plantar fasciitis seven years ago, I’ve managed to run more, run faster, and become more minimalist – all without a single complaint from either plantar fascia.

It’s not luck – it’s a systematic plan for prevention that includes general strength, specific exercises, and a training upgrade. And I’m predisposed to foot injuries because of my low arches and over-pronation. I’m not a model of biomechanical efficiency – but I do the best I can with what I have.

First, if you happen to have plantar fasciitis, all hope is not lost. Depending on the severity of the injury, you may be able treat it and be back running with 3-7 days if your injury isn’t too severe. Within two weeks, you should be back to your normal training.

Follow these steps if you come down with a case of plantar fasciitis and you can cut your recovery time down substantially. Just keep in mind that this is not a formal treatment protocol – but rather a collection of strategies to help you recover. Our detailed treatment protocol is here in our Injury Prevention for Runners program.

First, just because you can’t run doesn’t mean that you’re not exercising! Stay current with your general strength and begin adding foot and lower leg exercises to improve the strength and function of your feet.

The next step is to massage the underside of your foot:

  1. When you finish the foot exercises, use a golf ball or lacrosse ball to roll the underside of your foot. There is no “best way” to do this – just feel around your arch and plantar fascia and aggressively massage any area that’s sore or feels “crunchy” (this is scar tissue – break it up!). You should be aggressive but don’t roll so hard that you’re in pain. Find a balance.
  2. Use your foam roller to roll your soleus and calf muscles. Tightness here can aggravate plantar fasciitis.
  3. While I don’t have experience with a night splint, many runners have found them helpful. Experiment with what works for you.
  4. Your body is healing itself, so help it out by eating a nutrient filled diet and getting a lot of sleep.

This routine is far more aggressive than what the majority of runners do for an injury. It also rivals the recovery protocols of most physical therapists. And it’s more effective at getting you back on the road and running sooner.

For an even more detailed, step-by-step rehabilitation protocol to cure plantar fasciitis, see Injury Prevention for Runners (it also includes comprehensive treatment protocols for Achilles Tendinopathy, IT Band Syndrome, runner’s knee, muscle strains, and shin splints).

Once you start running again, take care to limit your faster workouts during the first week. Your plantar fascia will first be able to handle running slowly – then it’ll be ready for more intensity.

When you start running, you should continue to massage your foot with a golf or lacrosse ball and foam roll your soleus and calf to break up residual scar tissue and keep the area supple.

It will also be a smart idea to keep doing the foot exercises 2-3 times per week to ensure you’re staying strong.

Plantar Fasciitis Prevention Strategies

Plantar Fasciitis

If you don’t have plantar fasciitis (PF), or if you’ve had it in the past and want to remain healthy now, certain prevention tactics are worth doing on a regular basis.

Many of these strategies will not only help prevent PF, but make you a more injury-resistant runner in general (and may even make you stronger, faster, and more attractive…or something like that).

  1. Run barefoot strides 2-3 times per week on a synthetic turf or smooth grass field. PF is often caused by a weakness of the foot and lower leg musculature – barefoot work helps strengthen your feet.
  2. You can also do some easy barefoot running at the end of a typical distance run. Limit yourself to 2-10 minutes depending on your fitness level, weight, and experience with barefoot running. A little bit goes a long way.
  3. Embrace your foam roller and golf ball like good friends! If you’re more sore than usual, spend 5-10 minutes rolling out the soreness. Chronically tight muscles (the opposite of being supple) can lead to injury if you don’t take care of them properly.
  4. Make a slow transition to wearing more minimalist shoes. Note that I’m not recommending you do your runs in FiveFingers or racing flats. But the vast majority of runners don’t need bulky motion-control or stability shoes unless there’s a prominent biomechanical problem. Odds are, that’s not you. Note: see our running shoe reviews page for shoe ideas plus recommendations for more minimalist casual shoes. Shoes with very high heels (for both men and women) should be worn in strict moderation.
  5. Beware of too much running on a road’s camber, or its slope toward the curb. When you always stay on the left side of the road (which is the safest way to run – toward traffic), your feet are always slightly tilted to the left which can result in a huge number of problems. Get on the sidewalk, switch sides if traffic permits, or better yet….
  6. Start trail running! The undulating terrain, roots and rocks, and uneven surface stresses your feet in many different ways. Unlike the road, which is a much more predictable surface, trails aren’t as likely to contribute to overuse injuries.
  7. If you can’t do any barefoot work or lack access to a trail system, keep up with the foot exercises mentioned above. You need a way to develop additional strength in your feet and lower legs.
  8. Of course, no injury discussion is complete without this reminder: don’t run too much, too soon, too fast. Recognize your limits and be cautious about how and when you add mileage and intensity to your program. If you don’t know where to start, be safe and sign up for our prevention series so you don’t have to worry.

Naturally, different things will work better for different runners. It depends on why you developed PF in the first place, your stride pattern, and training history. Experiment with both the recovery routine outlined above and the prevention strategies.

Barefoot strides can sometimes be confusing, so here’s a helpful video:

Remember, a runner who only runs is bound to get hurt. The strength work, self-massage, and training variety will do wonders in keeping you healthy over the long-term.

Curing Plantar Fasciitis: The Next Step

barefoot foot injury

Of course, a random collection of treatment ideas is not a formal treatment protocol. If you’ve ever seen a physical therapist, you know there’s a method to treating injuries!

My experience with injuries, seeing countless physical therapists, having 10+ coaches myself, and my own coaching education has given me a strong view on injury prevention and treatment.

I’ve included all of the lessons I learned here – and I’ve made them available for anybody.

Feedback from other runners like you has been humbling:

“Thank you so much for helping me heal the right way the past month. My hips have never been this strong. Ever! All the kinks I’ve had for so long do not exist anymore and I am enjoying my runs so much more now. And… running sub 8:00’s easily! Anyway… I never thanked you so… thank you!” –Sarah

“As a physical therapist I am totally on board with your advice. In particular the strategies for prevention. A must read for any runner.” –Dave

“I am an experienced trainer, coach, and post rehabilitation specialist and have to say that your exercise selections are spot on with what I use with clients. They work, I have seen them work first hand!” –Nick

“I wanted to say a big thank you because following my injury, I’ve been using your injury prevention program and just raced a 10K with a PR! 41:31, fun to win the overall and also finish my last mile at6:23. I look forward to many of your training plans in the future! You can add in the challenges of being a mama to twins… Many a running mother can relate! Thank you so much.” –Jessica

These runners aren’t outliers – there are more examples here.

Ready to dive in for yourself?

To get a more specific, detailed treatment program for plantar fasciitis, get our free injury prevention course here!

These “little things” maybe aren’t so little. After all, they enable you to run consistently and ultimately, healthier and faster. Implement these plantar fasciitis treatment tips and you might be on your way to healthy, pain-free running!

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  1. I can vouch for the effectiveness of using either a lacrosse ball or golf ball, even if your feet are just a little sore. And if you don’t have a foam roller, get one.

    • +1 for that!

    • Where is foam roller sold and how do you use it?
      No mention of orthotics? Do u recommend?

      • Foam rollers are sold everywhere, try Amazon. Generally, I don’t recommend orthotics for 98% of runners.

        • AMAZING! thanks for sharing this information. Today after 7 weeks of rest (podiatrist told me so) I will do my first run on a treadmill. I wasn’t sure about the orthotics since I have flat feet, but definitely I may get flat feet running shoes and nevertheless buy that foam roller for extra strech

  2. This is one I have personally struggled with the last year and a half.

    The night splint worked initially, but I think eventually your body adapts and it looses its effectiveness. I’ve had two stress fractures on my lower left tibia in the past year. During this same time, I have suffered with plantar fascitis (pf). I am not sure if the pf contributed to a change in gait that caused my stress fracture or if my stress fracture caused a change in gait that resulted in pf (or it may just be coincidental).

    The concerning part for me is that I was in a walking boot for seven weeks. The pf never went away. This really baffled me. I had a second stress fracture four months ago and the pf still didn’t go away. As a result of the second stress fracture, they had me go to a podiatrist who made me a set a orthotics. I had a set made three years ago for a different injury (on the same left leg). I tried them for six months: I didn’t like them and they didn’t seem to help my issue, so I took them back. The new set of orthotics are much thinner. My pf has not been totally resolved, but it is noticeably better where nothing else seemed to help much.

    The icing and the golf ball helped with the pain, but it didn’t help with the resolution of the issue. The other thing that I liked was freezing a water bottle and rolling my foot on it.

    The biggest advice I can share is to be VERY agressive at the first onset of pf. Don’t wait to get serious about it like I did. The longer you have it; the harder it will be to resolve it. I had a PT a few years ago tell me that if I ever got pf I needed to address it right away. I should have followed her advice.

    • I’m struggling with my PF for 8 weeks now. I’m in my mid 40’s and ran a lot in my 20’s and early 30’s. 1 year ago I decided to get back to running and began running trails with lots of hills. Woke up one morning realizing my left heel hurt bad and could not put any weight on my foot. Had a cortisone shot without relief and been seeing a PT and getting some relief. Stretching and icing works the best but for only short term. Tried walking the other day and pain returned. Now wondering how long is recovery of PF. I will continue with PT, stretching, icing and resting.

  3. Jason-
    This is phenomenally-great info! Thanks for making the time to share it with others.
    I have been a distance runner since high school (now in my 30’s) and have recently (and gradually) transitioned from road running/marathoning to trail running and minimalist shoes (Vibram 5 Fingers).
    I appreciate how debilitating PF can be, and it can be exacerbated by the weight of bed covers at night while the body is trying to heal/recover. I use a Blanketbooster to support my own bed covers at night so my feet don’t have to bear the pressure of the covers; perhaps you could share this info/site with your subscribers so that others who are recovering from foot injuries and suffering from foot disorders could benefit.

  4. This really hits home with me as I am suffering from PF currently. I’ve been forced to take off the past few months from running while it heals up. Each time I’ve tried running again the pain has come back. My main issue I believe is never aggresively treating it. I iced and stretched and massaged but not daily. I have visited with a podiatrist and he felt I needed orthotics to compensate for my high arches. I’ll give them a shot and see how it works. I plan on starting to run again in November gradually getting used to the orthotics. I am also planning on starting a routine of daily foot exercises to hopefully help. Thanks for the suggestions.

    • Good luck – the more aggressive the treatment, the better I’ve always found!

    • Marathon Source,

      I recently got a pair of orthotics – primarily due to a couple of stress fractures I’ve had in the last year. They have made a HUGE difference in my persistent and nasty case of PF.

      Like I shared earlier in this comment thread, I had a nasty case of PF over this same time frame that I suffered the stress fx’s. I don’t know if the PF caused a change in gait that led to the stress fx’s or if the stress fx’s caused a change in gait that led to PF (or they are just coincidental – but my PF is on the same leg that had the stress fx’s).

      I will tell you that I tried a lot of aggressive treatments to no avail. I got worried when I was in a walking boot for 7 weeks (due to stress fx) and my PF never went away. In hindsight, I wish I had been VERY aggressive at the first onset of PF. In the beginning, it was a minor annoyance. We always have aches and pains as runners.. right? Once it got severe, I really struggled improving it.

      I will tell you that, while the jury is still out, the orthotics have made a HUGE difference for me. I tried a different style of orthotics a few years ago for six months (for an unrelated hip issue). I hated them. They were too thick, I lost a feel for the road underneath me, and it didn’t do anything to improve my hip. I gave them an honest try for a solid 6 months with no benefit then ran without them for the last several years. The latest orthotics that I got are much thinner and have made an immediate impact. I am still somewhat concerned that I may be treating a symptom rather than the root cause, but it has definitely helped my PF. It is nearly gone now and continues to improve.

      I have rambled on and on… let me know if you have any questions.

      • Steve-

        Quick question. What kind of shoes do you run in? I have read alot about barefoot running or running in minimalist shoes and all the supposed benefits. I typically do my runs in Brooks Adrenalines which are stability shoes, so complete opposite of minimalist. I also do some of my runs in Saucony Kinvara’s which are more minimalist (I only do short runs in these and not very often).

        I was not sure when I get my orthotics if I should just run in a more stability type shoe from now on since my podiatrist seems to think the PF developed because of my high arch. Or if I should gradually move to strengthen my foot and make a shift towards running in minimalist shoes thus gaining the benefits espoused in the book Born to Run and all over the internet. But would they really be minimalist if I am using orthotics in them? I’m assuming most people running barefoot or with minimalist footware aren’t using orthotics.

        Just curious on your take or maybe others experience. It’d be interested to know what types of shoes people wear and thier injury experiences.

        • I ran in Nike LunarGlides (I think the original) when I got the stress fractures and fx. The odd thing is that I ran great and was very healthy for my first pair of LunarGlides. I wonder if I wore them too long. They were such a good pair of shoes; I didn’t want to replace them. I ended up getting another pair of the exact same model LunarGlides (I think the LG 2 were out at the time but I got the original since it worked so well for me). The odd thing was as soon as I had the second pair; I did not like the second pair anywhere near as much as the first (manufacturing variation??) I also did some short runs/speed work/races in Kinvaras and also ran in Nike Free Everydays about once a week. I also read Born to Run and thought a more minimalistic approach would be a good idea (great book BTW). You know how my story ended…

          After the first stress fx (and persistent PF), I tried a pair of the Newton Sir Isaacs. These shoes are supposed to help promote more of a midfoot strike – I was a bad heel striker. I tried working on my running form to have more of a midfoot strike. These shoes were great and I was running very strong (but not much mileage as I was building slowly from the first stress fx). I rarely ran in the Kinvara’s (which I love BTW) or the Nike Free Everyday. I had the second stress fx and PF continued…

          I am now running Newton Motions with the orthotics. I think most minimalist advocates would tell you that running with orthotics is definitely not minimalist running. Their rationale would be that you are accomodating your foot/foot strike rather than strengthening your foot and addressing the root issue. I loved Born to Run and it made sense to me. After this very bad case of PF and the fact that orthotics have nearly healed it, I am OK with the orthotics. Maybe someday I will try to go minimal again. At this point, I need to prove I can stay healthy, so I am going to use shoes with a little more support.

          I also want to point out that you can look for shoes with a minimal heel to toe drop (like Newtons or Altras -and- I think many of the mainstream brands are going this route as well). This eliminates the heel lift which many minimalists really feel hurts our running form.

          The last thing I will mention is that my foot doctor (the ultramarathon runner) told me that even though I liked the Newtons, he suggested I run in a more standard running shoe with orthotics. He said he primarily sees triathletes that are used to spending too much money on their bikes buy Newtons (they are pricey at $150/pair). He wasn’t deadset against them. He just didn’t think I was getting my money’s worth. He was also skeptical about how much they truly promote a midfoot strike. For my next pair, I am leaning towards the Sacony Cortana (like Kinvara but with more cushioning).

          Hope this helps. Feel free to ask more questions.

  5. I thought I would add that the new orthotics are from NewGen Advanced Orthotics Lab. I did not pick this brand; my podiatrist who is an ultra-marathon runner has a long running good experience with them (pun intended). I don’t have any affiliation with them – just a satisfied customer. You do need molds of your feet made for this type of orthotic, so they are more expensive. The previous pair I had were the type that you inject hot water into and they supposedly mold to your feet. The person that fit me in those was “qualified” and seemed knowledgeable. I just didn’t like that pair.

    Good luck.

    • Great insights here Steve – thanks. Another good example that running is HIGHLY individual so you need to find what works for you. Glad you did that!

  6. Your routine is much like mine. I have dealt with one bad case (the first) and 3 minor flare ups over the last few years. In addition to ALL the steps above there are two that I feel made a difference for me. First, I bought a pair of inserts off the shelf (Superfeet or Sole brands) and wore them in everything. Even went as far as putting them in my house shoes. From the moment I put my feet on the floor in the morning until my head hit the pillow I had that extra support. No barefoot, period. And second, I switched my daily work shoes from running/tennis shoes to anything less flexible on the advice of a PT that worked in the same clinic. All on an effort to allow that tissue to stay relaxed and heal.
    In subsequent cases the key has been, as previously mentioned, taking action at that first twinge. The addition of stretching, rolling, foot specific exercises and trail running has kept in the clear for the most part.

  7. Jeff Giedt says:

    Good stuff, as usual Fitz. I am dealing with some light PF and it also moved around my foot to include peroneal tendonitis. It is manageable, through much of what you suggest, but not totally gone yet. I will now include the marble/towel scrunch routines.

    One thing my doc had me do is to stand on the edge of a stair at the ball of my foot (with shoes on), and drop my heals down, stretching the tendon. He had me work up to 5 mins/day, 5 time/day. That REALLY helped and is something I continue to do.

    I’m off to do this all now! Gotta keep on top of it.

  8. Great overview Jason.
    As a physical therapist I am totally on board with your advice. In particular the strategies for prevention.
    A must read for any runner who has at some stage felt the ‘vampire bite’.

  9. Thanks for this post- I have used your ITB protocols for a few years, and wandered my way over here because I am not a chronic sufferer of PF, going on a year, it sucks!!! I think even though I am opposed to the idea I may go the route of trying out orthotics, this sucker is just not healing on it’s own. I appreciate both the posts and the comments, thanks.

  10. Stephen M says:

    I have been dealing with PF on both feet for a while. It developed from wearing the wrong pair of running shoes that I wore during a running event. The pounding on my PF took its toll. After the race, it seemed fine but the next morning I was in pain. I have been dealing with this for 3 yrs. One thing I didn’t do at first was the aggressive treatment. I thought over time my foot was going to get better boy I was wrong. After months of icing (does help, but can’t stand the cold) and stretching, buying insert, tennis and golf ball rolling it did not get any better (it helped temporarily). I have woren orthotics, no help. I used TENS for treatment, wore a night splint and etc.

    Two yrs. of dealing with this I finally went to a podiatrist. I had a series of shots which seemed to help an aweful lot. It helped to minumize the pain somewhat. It made it more managable. I had plantar fascia surgery twice on my left foot never on my right foot. The first surgery when I was in my early 30’s and the second at 45. The first one was a huge success. The second not so good. Now my left foot hurts (in the bone right above where my PF surgery is it came on all of the sudden). The dr. checked for arthitis he said it was not. When I rest it for a little while then start walking on it. The intense pain goes away after a few minutes, it must be my gait changing because this bone/joint pain came on all of the sudden while running bare foot in the grass. I might have come back from my surgery to soon. This pain I hope goes away in time it has been bothering me for 3 months, The doc said it was normal that my bones hurt.

    Here is my big issue..Tired Feet. I can deal with all the above crap but whenever I stand for any length of time my feet feel like they are tired and fatigued. The fatigue comes from my mid plantar right in the belly of the PF. Maybe my nerves are damaged? Dr. tested me for this and he said I was fine but its the nerves that let me know about the fatigue I guess. This makes me miserable because I am a very active person. I wear a good shoe and insert. Some shoes are better than others. It feels good when I put them in a cold pool. 52% I hate it but I deal with it.

    My questions are. Will I ever get over this? From this point forward what should I do? more shots, more aggressive therapy which I thought I was doing (icing, stretching). I want to get back to my old self. HELP? I want my tired feet to go away forever.
    All in all I have come a long way, my feet feel OKAY. I want my tired feet to go away what other treatment is out there that I don’t know of. HELP HELP…. just want my tired feet to go away. This is a pain in the @ss.


  11. I have had PF for two months after stepping up boxing training (all that time on the toes and the balls of the feet) and I was beginning to despair that I might not get back into sparring sessions. Luckily, I received some simple but excellent advice from a former footballer who suffered it for two years. Essentially he advocated the “go hard” method. Be aggressive, he said. Crunch out the fibrous ball of scar tissue in your heel using a clear plastic drink bottle filled with frozen water. Roll your heel over the bottle – back and forth – using as much pressure as is bearable. Do it until the water starts to melt and the bottle loses its rock-solid texture (about 20 mins). The beauty of this treatment is you can do it sitting down watching television so you’re multi-tasking! Then, when your heel is nicely anaethetised by the ice, grab a wooden rolling pin and tap at your heel where the fibrous ball is – again, only do what is bearable, don’t bruise your heel. Trust me, it won’t take much to feel sore but what you are doing is desensitising the area and breaking up the scar tissue. I found after three weeks I could resume sparring. I also taped my foot using the low dye method (this one is relatively straightforward) and visited a podiatrist who prescribed an orthotic. A physio also advised some dorsi-flexion exercises to increase ankle mobility as well as some long calf stretches to take strain off the back of the heel. Now, I hasten to add, I still have a little PF – it hasn’t disappeared altogether – but I’m confident the worst is behind me. To summarise:

    1. ice daily (especially after exercise) – grind away at it.
    2. after icing, tap away at that fibrous knot in your heel with a wooden rolling pin.
    3. tape your foot prior to strenuous exercise (be mindful some tapes can generate an allergic reaction on your skin so use a hypo-allergenic tape as your first layer and try to keep the tape dry – don’t leave it on if it gets wet in the shower).
    4. stretch the calf and increase the mobility of the ankle.
    5. Be patient. It won’t happen overnight – from what I’ve read, PF is notoriously stubborn but if you can begin to shift it in a few weeks I would count that as a significant victory!


  12. First of all, I’m practically married to my foam roller- best thing to happen to me since minimalist footwear. Icing worked in the past when I was playing competitive sports throughout elementary and highschool, but as I transitioned from various sports to purely running, it sucked. I just wanted to continue running, but the pain was stupefying and being a student, intern, part time office diva and ‘housewife’ literally made my increasingly impatient. Although I still use cold therapy my biggest concern was relapsing. Every time I decide to up my mileage, intensity or form, it comes back at full force. Now my husband (marathoner) and I depend on our mini muscle-rehab program:

    1. Cryotherapy- we depend on our Foot ColdCure Wraps instead of ibuprofen or Tylenol and always have an alternative training schedule whenever the pain gets worse.

    2. BFST Plantar/Knee Wrap (I have more knee pain and he suffered from plantar fasciitis for 8 months)- we use the blood circulation treatments religiously to help with our post-workout recovery but also before a run to optimize blood circulation and help our bodies bring more oxygen to where we need it most-.

    3. Compression: He hates it, but I love compression sleeves because they give you the support. I float between compression socks/sleeves but also cheat and pop out the gel packs from my cold wraps and use the neoprene wrap as a impromptu compression sleeve when I feel vulnerable.

    4. Watch you form and gear. Your shoes and your form has a lot to do with why you’re getting injured. Be patient and adopt a new form or fix bad workout habits that will make you vulnerable to reinjury,

    5. Finally, if you have anything like plantar fasciitis or any knee injuries, take your doctor’s advice seriously. Lose the extra weight (whether its what you’re lifting or what you have around that belly), decrease the intensity of your cardio and listen to your body. Simple but super effective!

  13. So two weeks ago, I went on a run, my heel got all tingly, and when I finished I had that plantar faciatiis heel pain. I ran on it a couple more times, as the pain would disappear about 0.5mi. into my runs and be fine, but hurt a lot afterwards. The pain afterwards got bad enough I decided to take a full week off. I ran two miles on it yesterday, and it felt fine during the run, but about three hours after the run I started feeling mild pain. I’ve continued with the aggressive treatment (I keep a golf ball under my desk at work and roll it a bunch during the day), but I’m not sure if it would considered “acute” and if I should take extra time off, or go on and run again tonight. It’s definitely mild compared to last week, but I’m not sure if any pain means I should hold off on running. I’m about five weeks in to a 16 week marathon training plan, so I’m pretty eager to get back to it. Thoughts?

  14. Michael Armocida says:

    Plantar fasciitis is the result of a lifetime of wearing traditional footwear. Switching to minimalist footwear, not just for running but as a way of life, will eventually cure all but the worst cases of plantar fasciitis. Depending on your condition, this step alone may take months or years. It’s important to note that scientific research has proven that plantar fasciitis is not an inflammation but is the death of tissue in the heel of the plantar fascia. This cell death is brought on by the following:
    – Traditional footwear (especially upward pointing running shoes) will cause the Abductor Hallucis (the main muscle used to move the great toe) to pinch off the blood supply to the heel of the plantar fascia, causing cell death and reducing your body’s ability to heal
    – The Tibialis Posterior and Peroneus Longus (the muscles that support the longitudinal arch) have weakened from a lifetime of wearing footwear with arch supports. As a result, the plantar fascia is poorly supported and incurs excessive tearing at a microscopic level
    – The calf muscles are not properly stretched, causing the Achilles tendon to pull excessively on the plantar fascia during push-off (scientifically known as the windlass mechanism)
    – Wearing shoes with heels, and/or running shoes with heel drops and wide heel cushions, will cause the foot to land heel first, ignoring the natural shock absorption of the foot and pounding a sensitive connection point of the plantar fascia

    The steps to cure plantar fasciitis in approx. 6-weeks are as follows, with a prerequisite to stop running during the 6-week recovery period:
    1 – Correct (wear minimalist footwear)
    2- Profusion (exercises to get the blood flowing back into the heel of the plantar fascia)
    3 – Stretch (calf/Achilles tendon stretches)
    4 – Strengthen (exercise the Tibialis Posterior and Peroneus Longus muscles and strengthen all foot muscles overall)
    5 – Align (use toe correctors inside the wide toe-boxes of minimalist footwear)

    Finally, it’s important that you take this seriously. A severe case of plantar fasciitis will result in irrecoverable cell death and complete shredding of the tissue, with the only option being surgery. Please feel free to send me an email if you have any questions.

  15. I plan to follow the guidelines list here, but I have one question.
    I have been suffering with Plantar Fascitiis for about a year and a half now, trying different methods. I have had it years back but only last a few months. I have stopped running for about 6 moths and it has not disappeared. The doc put me in a boot for 3 weeks, and that helped but not to the extent of being healed.
    Is it wise to run (moderately) while treating this?


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