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#166341 - 05/31/12 06:45 PM Plantar fasciitis
PerryMK Offline

Registered: 01/18/02
Posts: 1159
Loc: Florida panhandle
Note by moderator: Edited to remove this topic from a book review in Backcountry Books and give it its own thread. I'm afraid I'm the one who started this thread drift! Sorry! Oregon Mouse

Originally Posted By OregonMouse
...when my plantar fasciitis eases up a bit (trip to grocery store and post office yesterday was not fun, discouraging after a couple of days that were almost pain-free).

This book helped me a great deal.

The 5-Minute Plantar Fasciitis Solution

It is basically this stretch performed for 10 sets of 10 seconds, 3 times per day. I stll perform the stretch for 5 sets of 10 seconds every day as a preventive measure.

Edited by OregonMouse (06/01/12 04:09 PM)

#166361 - 06/01/12 01:26 AM Re: Plantar fasciitis [Re: PerryMK]
OregonMouse Online   content

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6415
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
That stretch, the standing achilles tendon stretch, rolling a bottle (frozen) with the bottom of my foot, massage, just plain icing. A splint for night (so I don't have to spend 5 to 10 minutes stretching before I can get out of bed) is coming tomorrow as are some heel cups the Dr. suggested when I called. All this info is on the internet in the various mainstream medical and sports medicine sites, basically the same thing on each site. I avoid any sites where they are selling something. At least my Achilles tendons are getting nice and loose!

I will see the GP late next week for a referral and it will take another 2 or 3 weeks to get in see a podiatrist. I'm really hoping that I'll be able to cancel the appointments! This time, when I start walking again, it will be with 5 minutes' walking, not 45! Also, it will be in the park on the grass! It's the hard surfaces (sidewalks, floors in the store) that are giving me problems. At home I stay on the carpet as much as possible, and my vinyl floors (kitchen and dining room) have a foam underlayment, which also helps. I am doing stints on my exercise bike for exercise, which is, to say the least, boring.

In the meantime, I'm trying to get my old bike fixed so I can give poor old Hysson some exercise. He does run full speed around the back yard every now and then, but that's not enough!

In the meantime (to get back out of thread drift blush ), I'll read that Hikelite ebook tomorrow!

Edited by OregonMouse (06/01/12 09:10 PM)
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

#166363 - 06/01/12 06:09 AM Re: Free hiking light ebook [Re: OregonMouse]
GrumpyGord Offline

Registered: 01/05/02
Posts: 864
Loc: Michigan
Originally Posted By OregonMouse
I'll read that Hikelite ebook tomorrow!

Maybe you can read it on the exercise bike. The one I had used a book rack.

#166370 - 06/01/12 10:18 AM Re: Free hiking light ebook [Re: OregonMouse]
Gershon Offline

Registered: 07/08/11
Posts: 1109
Loc: Colorado
Achilles tendon/Plantar Faciitis problems (thread drift.)

The Acilles tendon runs like a rubber band under the heel to the foot. There are some things that can cause problems.

If your normal daily wear shoes have higher heels than your hiking shoes, the tendon can shorten. Then it's stretched while hiking which causes problems.

The other problem is impact on the heel caused either by poor technique or insufficient padding. Another thing that can cause problems is too long or too fast a stride when going uphill.

Here I go with the combat boot thing again. There are research reports done on recruits that detail injuries. The main injury is blisters. With the modern boot, these are almost non-existent. The second most common injury is shin splints. These are more common from running in the old style boots which had little energy absorbtion in the heel.

There are virtually zero Achilles tendon problems or knee problems. Plantar Faciitis isn't even mentioned.

My theory is the top of the 8 inch boot somehow takes some of the strain off the Achilles tendon.

In the past 7 months, I've hiked/walked 980 miles testing 5 different types of boots and shoes. I have 311 miles in the combat boots. They are the only footwear that doesn't give even a hint of some problem developing.

Rather than spending a bunch of money on doctors, I think I'd give the combat boots a try. The two brands still available used in testing were the Danner Acadia and the Bates 924. They are expensive, but cheaper than doctors.

#166386 - 06/01/12 03:27 PM Re:Plantar fasciitis [Re: Gershon]
OregonMouse Online   content

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6415
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Thank you for your input! I'm going to start a separate thread on plantar fasciitis and move these posts there so we don't derail the hiking light ebook reviews any more.

No way will I ever wear a pair of boots again! For me it's the equivalent of a ball and chain! Actually, my son #1 (Air Force) got severe plantar fasciitis in both heels from combat boots a few years ago, which might shed a little doubt on your theory.

I have not worn dress shoes for the past 10 years (since I retired). Even before I retired, I wore flat oxfords with good support (my feet were already getting into bad shape). Since retirement, I've worn either high-quality running shoes or trail runners 100% of the time (even to church), except that I wore lightweight boots for hiking until 3 years ago. I fully agree that dress shoes are the source of many foot problems, but most of mine are hereditary. My mother had feet similar to mine and was super vigilant about impressing me with the importance of properly fitting shoes. I never did wear really high heels. I was the same with my children. Yet three of my four children have fallen arches, bunions and hammertoes like mine! Only my daughter seems to have escaped.

What I have is simply an overuse injury which started with my trying to do too much too soon on steep downhills when out of condition, plus not stretching sufficiently. I live in a flat area and have to drive to get to hills for walking, so I was really reveling in the Seattle hills around my son #3's house! I thought my heel was cleared up and tried a 45-minute power walk on hard surfaces, which of course thoroughly re-injured the fascia. You'd think I'd have known better--I do now!

I'm hoping the heel cups I ordered (which just arrived and do feel great) will help me when I have to walk on hard surfaces (like parking lots and grocery stores) until the plantar fascia heals. (If they don't, I'll return them!) I am, of course, as mentioned earlier, doing lots of stretches and my achilles tendons are by now quite limber. I just wish I'd had the sense to do that earlier! Also that I'd stopped relying on my trail runners' original insoles and gone to Superfeet (which I didn't try until after the second injury) much earlier. I may end up with prescription orthotics, but since I have to wait several weeks to see the doctor, what I have is a distinct improvement over the shoe manufacturer's insoles.

Of course it's a bummer to have to miss the best part of the hiking year, but I hope that persistence now will pay off in time so that I can get out in late August and September. I'll keep you updated!

Let this be a moral, not to push conditioning too hard all at once and to stretch!

Edited by OregonMouse (06/01/12 09:11 PM)
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

#166396 - 06/02/12 01:00 AM Re:Plantar fasciitis [Re: OregonMouse]
EZD Offline

Registered: 06/02/12
Posts: 1
I have plantar fasciitis myself for a few months now. My podiatrist prescribed me with Custom made orthotics which did not work at all. So I understood that treatment efficiency is very individual. If something works for one it will not always work for the other.
If you are still under a lot of pain you should be stretching very easy. I have found Taping very useful. Taping helps to relieve the pain, keeps your foot from getting injured again and helps you get through your daily routine and exercises. There is a good web-page explaining the subject in this informative website-
Take care & Good luck

#166399 - 06/02/12 07:05 AM Re:Plantar fasciitis [Re: EZD]
Gershon Offline

Registered: 07/08/11
Posts: 1109
Loc: Colorado
The only overuse injury I've ever had was shin splints back when I was running 10 miles a day. I tend to back off at the first sign of trouble with tendons or knees. I also back off when I'm not pretty much fully recovered by the next day except for normal morning soreness in muscles that disappears quickly when I exercise again. This would probably make me a lousy thru-hiker as I'm thru-hiking before most who do this.

My observation is tendon injuries and knee problems tend to become chronic once people have them, so I do everything I can to avoid them. Maybe my approach is right or maybe I've just been lucky.

OM, it's not surprising your son had problems in AF boots. They are made for a different purpose than those made for the Army and Marines. Even in the Army and Marines, boots are now specific to the use. My theory may be busted on the high top, except I've noticed the minor onset of issues with lower top boots. (Mountain Lites) One thing I do like about combat boots is you can find a lot of reviews from people who used them until they were worn out. Initial feelings of comfort in shoes may be misleading. I get the feeling there is more research done about what colors and looks will sell than there is on how good they are for the feet.

Gotta run. It's time to get ready for an overnight trip.

#166414 - 06/02/12 06:32 PM Re:Plantar fasciitis [Re: Gershon]
OregonMouse Online   content

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6415
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
I get the feeling there is more research done about what colors and looks will sell than there is on how good they are for the feet.

Are you ever right about that! laugh

I just got a night splint and tried it for the first time last night. It's the same kind of splint used for sprained ankles and stuff, and it can be adjusted to hold the foot in a mild plantar stretch. Its main purpose is to prevent the plantar fascia from contracting overnight (since in bed the foot is curled up). This morning I was actually able to get to the bathroom without pain and without having to stretch for 5 minutes first! (I did do the stretching, of course, but afterwards.)

In the meantime, I continue to stretch, ice and keep off the foot as much as possible.

Have a good time on your trip!

EZD, welcome to the forum! Any time I've used tape, a bunch of my skin came off with it, so I prefer to avoid it. But thanks! I already ran across that site and bookmarked it, but only in the direst straits will I use it!

Edited by OregonMouse (06/02/12 06:40 PM)
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

#166774 - 06/12/12 02:39 PM Re: Plantar fasciitis [Re: PerryMK]
BarryP Offline

Registered: 03/04/04
Posts: 1574
Loc: Eastern Idaho
If I just have the teeniest hint of “Plantar Faciitis” while backpacking I immediately lift my toes and walk like that (with toes up). That seems to nip it in the bud. But to keep it in check I do the following:

1. lift and stretch like PerryMK pointed out.
2. make sure the shoe arch (and there needs to be one) is smack centered on the foot arch. And when you go from thin to thick socks (for those cold mornings) make sure the arch is still centered; or your foot will never forgive you.
3. Sleep with toes stretched back so you won’t wake screaming in the morning from the pain. Do not sleep in the pointy toe ballerina position.
4. And that squishy heal thing that Gershon mentioned really helps. All these people that use ‘minimalist’ shoes lose that squishy heal.

BTW, even though I’m a sandal wearer this is true with all footwear.

Good topic.
-The mountains were made for Teva’s

#166775 - 06/12/12 03:04 PM Re: Plantar fasciitis [Re: BarryP]
OregonMouse Online   content

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6415
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
There are softer (and hopefully lighter and less bulky) versions of the night splint; I may get one to take along when I start backpacking again. Unfortunately, when we sleep, our feet relax into the pointy-toe position. That's why we need to be sure our sleeping bags will accomodate 2 inches more than our actual height.

The arch of the insole should fit snugly in front of your heel, even though it feels too far back at first. I got this bit of info from my GP. I finally got a podiatrist appointment, but not for another 3 weeks. I hope I can cancel it! While I'm not yet pain-free, my heel is at least 75% better. I was even able to go grocery shopping Saturday without having to use the store's electric cart (since the store was crowded and I haven't quite mastered controlling the thing, I was reluctant to use it). I'm of course still icing and stretching, and have started some strengthening exercises (scrunching towel with toes and picking up pencils with toes). I have an exercise bike at home so am using that.

It appears that one of the big keys to prevention is keeping the Achilles tendon limber. Stretch it (gently) before and after exercise.

Edited by OregonMouse (06/12/12 03:16 PM)
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey


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