Member Case Study: Plantar Fasciitis

author : AMSSM
comments : 0

The bottom of my feet, more specifically the arches, have been sore off an on for a couple of weeks. Should I be worried? Anything I should do to prevent this?

Question from wieczynski

The bottom of my feet--more specifically the arches--have been sore off an on for a couple of weeks. Should I be worried? Anything I should do to prevent this?

My training included building up for a half marathon ending in February. My long run for the week moved from 6 to 12 miles over about a ten week period. During this time frame, I did get the flu, but the following weeks I brought my volume down and then back up again. I have been using the same shoes (ASICS Kayano Gels) for the last three years and swap them out regularly.

Also, during this time period I started weight training (squats, leg presses, hamstring curls, calf extensions, knee extensions). Historically, my IT bands have been tight causing me both hip and knee problems. I've currently work on the flexibility. In general my back and hamstring are super tight.

David G. Carfagno, D.O., C.A.Q.

Member AMSSM

What you are describing is a condition known as Plantar Fasciitis, which is common in runners and can take as long as six to twelve months to resolve. However, I believe we can get a handle on this sooner. You can start by buying over-the counter silicon or rubber heel pads to wear in your shoes at all times. It will be very important for you to stretch out your calves frequently which will loosen up your Achilles tendons as well as the plantar fascia and associated tendons.

 

Ice and ibuprofen should be used after each run to quickly relieve inflammation. I would also suggest implementing some temporary training alterations, such as cutting back on the amount of running you do and substituting biking, swimming, elliptical, etc. which are lower impact and will allow your IT band and heel irritation to diminish. Meanwhile, we can work on improving your running biomechanics by first optimizing your core stability/strength. I would suggest finding an Athletic Trainer or Physical Therapist to design a core strengthening program and monitor your progress.

 

Strengthening your core will improve your lower extremity mechanics and more evenly distribute impact forces, preventing excess strain and wear and tear on your feet and other joints and muscles. If your feet are overpronators (flat feet), core strength has the potential to substantially improve that condition. While working with a Physical Therapist or Athletic Trainer, you should also request recommendations for lower extremity strength and stretching exercises to further optimize your biomechanics.

 

Your running shoes are a good choice in my opinion; they are meant for overpronators and provide great cushioning and midfoot stability.

David G. Carfagno, D.O., C.A.Q.

Board-Certified Sports Medicine
Board-Certified Internal Medicine
Scottsdale Sports Medicine Institute
www.scottsdalesportsmedicine.com

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date: June 4, 2008

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The American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM) was formed in 1991 to fill a void that has existed in sports medicine from its earliest beginnings. The founders most recognized and expert sports medicine specialists realized that while there are several physician organizations which support sports medicine, there has not been a forum specific for primary care non-surgical sports medicine physicians.

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The American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM) was formed in 1991 to fill a void that has existed in sports medicine from its earliest beginnings. The founders most recognized and expert sports medicine specialists realized that while there are several physician organizations which support sports medicine, there has not been a forum specific for primary care non-surgical sports medicine physicians.

FIND A SPORTS MEDICINE DOCTOR

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