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Does Mild Running Delay PF Healing?

Posted by Brendan F on 9/21/00 at 11:56 (028811)

I am a 40 yr old, very athletic, happily married father of 2 great kids who started suffering from PF 3 months ago. I'm doing all the traditional stuff (stretching, Anti-Inflams, nursing my foot most of the time). My doctor is just telling me its going to take time. These have been perhaps the 3 most difficult months of my life. My life has always included a lot of athletics & coaching. In fact, this is the first season (in 14 seasons) I'm not coaching my kid's soccer team (which I played in HS & College) due to PF (you might argue I can coach without running around a lot but that would be impossible for me. Anyway, enough sobbing.... I have been playing some doubles tennis about 1X week. I don't lunge a lot and I try to nurse my right foot (that has the PF). Question to my fellow sufferers: Should I eliminate all athletic activity until I am 100% healed - or - is a little doubles tennis o.k? The thought of not playing tennis for another 6 months (9 months total healing - which from what I've read/heard is normal) gets me discouraged. Put another way, If I can do alittle running around and it takes 12 months to heal vs. 9 months to heal - that is a tradeoff I would make. On the other hand, if my little bit of running around (again, the kind you would do in doubles tennis - mild) causes my healing period to be 18 months or 2 years - then I'll bite the bullet and do nothing. Anybody going through this descision? By the way, I have started swimming and I'm doing 1/2 mile 3X week before work to keep the aerobics going. Please email me at bcfloyd@att.com to discuss.

Re: Does Mild Running Delay PF Healing?

JudyS on 9/21/00 at 16:50 (028829)

Brendon - I'm so sorry you have to join 'us' under such negative circumstances but I think you'll find some terrific allies here.

Please Brendan, please do go ahead and discontinue the tennis for awhile. Trust me, it's the very best thing you can do for yourself right now. Many of us here, who do some athletic stuff, seriously regret not having completely eliminated that stuff at the start. I 'ran through it' for months and made a huge, serious mess of my PF feet - now here I am 2 years later working way hard to fix it. You said you've substituted swimming and that's just about equally as smart a thing to do - you have to have some exercise to keep from atrophying or stiffening. Follow the doc's advice to the letter and probably a month or two from now you'll be doing well.

Re: Does Mild Running Delay PF Healing?

Lori E. on 9/21/00 at 22:48 (028848)

Brendan,
I suggest you listen to your feet. If you start getting pain while playing tennis, stop. I would even back off if you have pulling sensations, (especially if you have pain afterwards.) Icing your feet after activity reduces inflamation. Don't play thru the pain. I ignored my pain for too long and am paying for it now. I also suggest you talk with your doc and maybe a physical therapist as to what else you can do to prevent injuring you feet anymore than they already are. Good luck in your recovery.

Re: Does Mild Running Delay PF Healing?

Julie F on 9/22/00 at 05:25 (028856)

Hi Brendan

I'm a new PF sufferer too, and I really feel for you. I'm not an athlete, but I do love walking, and knowing that I'm going to have to limit walking for as long as it takes isn't easy for me. But once you understand that plantar fasciitis is an actual injury (i.e. a tearing of the fascia where it inserts at the heelbone) it's easy to understand that anything that causes pain is re-injuring it. If it's not hurting, it's healing.

The problem seems to be finding a balance between too much of the kind of activity that causes re-injury, and no activity, which causes muscles to weaken and atrophy. You'll find a great deal of information and good counsel on this board, as I have in the past week. I'm really grateful for this site because it has helped me to understand what is actually going on and what I can do about it (my new podiatrist agrees with it all too) - as it's just six weeks since my PF began, I have great hopes that I've caught it in time and that it won't become chronic.

Brendan, don't try to run through or walk through or play doubles through, the pain. Just remember: if it hurts, it's re-injuring. As I tell my yoga students: pain is a message your body is giving you to stop whatever you are doing that is causing the pain.

And let's both try to be patient.

All the best, Julie

PS Do you have a podiatrist and has s/he taped your foot? I'm finding that a great help.

Re: Does Mild Running Delay PF Healing?

Denise E. on 9/22/00 at 06:24 (028857)

Brendan, I noticed my PF about 3 months ago too. I'm sure it was developing over time. I, too, am an avid tennis play (singles 4 times per week. I was playing singles through my PF but I finally did stop on August 30. I'm not sure I would have know to do this if I hadn't stumbled upon this website. Reading about everyone's chronic problems motivated me to watch this PF in the beginning.

I have not done any walking, jogging or tennis (not even biking) since August 30. It has been very depressing because I too am very active. It is especially tough to lay off all this outdoor activity during this lovely fall weather. But you gotta play the ball where it lies.

I joined a YMCA and am swimming (though it is not my favorite sport and I'm really not a good swimmer). Yoga, which I took up in 1998, has really kept my spirits high. I really enjoy it, plus it's lot of stretching and it is aerobic if you hold your poses (I was really surpised about this aspect of yoga).

Anyway, if you are not into yoga, maybe you could try free weight lifting that can be aerobic too.

I had contract time to play tennis this winter (indoor season starts in Oct) but have lined up substitutes thru January). I'm hoping to be back to playing tennis in January but am prepared to delay if I'm not feeling 100%.

I'm like you. I don't want chronic PF and if I have to layoff 6 months or even 9 months, I am prepared to do so.

Good luck. Keep in touch via this message board.

Re: Does Mild Running Delay PF Healing?

Steve P on 9/22/00 at 10:18 (028870)

Well said, Julie. As hard as it is to do, 'stopping what hurts' is essential & is the only realistic approach. But this doesn't mean giving up all exercise. One can swim, use an exercise bike under the right conditions, or use various fitness machines that don't stress the feet. Moderation & discipline are the keys to beating PF.

Good luck!

Re: Does Mild Running Delay PF Healing?

Julie F on 9/22/00 at 14:53 (028881)

Denise, I'm glad that you've discovered yoga and that you enjoy it and find it helpful. I've practised yoga for 30 years and have been teaching and training teachers for 13, so I know that it can be of enormous help in dealing with difficulties of all sorts. It helped me through breast cancer in 1993 (and I now teach people with cancer) and I know it will help me through PFToo.

It's not just the stretching. Your attitude to life changes subtly over time, and enables you to look at experiences for what they can teach you, rather than as unmitigated catastrophes. As regards the aerobic effect, you are right that there is an aerobic effect to holding the postures. There are also specific practices (called shakti bandha = 'energy block releasing') that are done very quickly and are very aerobic in their effect. This does come as a surprise to most people.

Keep on enjoying yoga - as you say, it usually lifts the spirits.

All the best, Julie

Re: Does Mild Running Delay PF Healing?

Julie on 9/22/00 at 14:54 (028882)

Sorry - I meant, and thought I'd typed, PF, not PFT.

Re: Does Mild Running Delay PF Healing?

Julie on 9/22/00 at 14:57 (028883)

Denise, I'm glad that you've discovered yoga and that you enjoy it and find it helpful. I've practised yoga for 30 years and have been teaching and training teachers for 13, so I know that it can be of enormous help in dealing with difficulties of all sorts. It helped me through breast cancer in 1993 (and I now teach people with cancer) and I know it will help me through PFToo.

It's not just the stretching. Your attitude to life changes subtly over time, and enables you to look at experiences for what they can teach you, rather than as unmitigated catastrophes. As regards the aerobic effect, you are right that there is an aerobic effect to holding the postures. There are also specific practices (called shakti bandha = 'energy block releasing') that are done very quickly and are very aerobic in their effect. This does come as a surprise to most people.

Keep on enjoying yoga - as you say, it usually lifts the spirits.

All the best, Julie

Re: you can hurt it and fix it at the same time

T. Hurst on 9/22/00 at 20:36 (028914)

If you feel pulling or experience any pain after running (this may take some experimenting with your routine to figure out), then you are injuring your fascia and you shouldn't do it. You have to find a way to 'fix' this, be it conservative measures or ultimately surgery. Otherwise, it won't just go away. You can simultaneously keep hurting it and trying to fix it. Trust me - I tried. And I ended up with surgery.

Re: Opps...you CAN'T hurt it and fix it at the same time

T. Hurst on 9/22/00 at 20:37 (028915)

OPPS

Re: Does Mild Running Delay PF Healing?

john h on 9/23/00 at 09:44 (028935)

you can bet your bottom dollar running will delay your healing and could make your case chronic if you have pf. i was a 7 day a week runner and tried to continue running after pf developed. now i cannot run at all. forget running!!!!!!!!!! unitil you hare healed.

Re: Recovered from PF, now running again.

Mark S on 9/23/00 at 11:04 (028941)

This is great advice here. I had PF in both feet a couple years ago, it took a year to heal. My mistake: I had continued running, until I couldn't take the pain anymore and had to stop entirely for 3 months. With massage and stretching, it finally went away. I am now back to 35 miles/week. It helped me to keep in mind that it would someday go away. Once you have a massage therapist treat you, you can do it yourself between appointments, which will help release the tightness in the tendon. But keep up the appointments up (about once every 2 weeks, or so). You should be able to notice a difference, but it takes months for this to heal. You really have to baby your foot for now. Points to remember: 1. Stretch your feet before you get out of bed then - right into some comfortable running shoes even if you're getting up to set your alarm clock. 2. Do your wall-push stretches (6X a day, or as many times as you can) 3. Don't overdo the non-steroidals - these can cause ulcers. I hope this helps.

Re: Does Mild Running Delay PF Healing?

JudyS on 9/21/00 at 16:50 (028829)

Brendon - I'm so sorry you have to join 'us' under such negative circumstances but I think you'll find some terrific allies here.

Please Brendan, please do go ahead and discontinue the tennis for awhile. Trust me, it's the very best thing you can do for yourself right now. Many of us here, who do some athletic stuff, seriously regret not having completely eliminated that stuff at the start. I 'ran through it' for months and made a huge, serious mess of my PF feet - now here I am 2 years later working way hard to fix it. You said you've substituted swimming and that's just about equally as smart a thing to do - you have to have some exercise to keep from atrophying or stiffening. Follow the doc's advice to the letter and probably a month or two from now you'll be doing well.

Re: Does Mild Running Delay PF Healing?

Lori E. on 9/21/00 at 22:48 (028848)

Brendan,
I suggest you listen to your feet. If you start getting pain while playing tennis, stop. I would even back off if you have pulling sensations, (especially if you have pain afterwards.) Icing your feet after activity reduces inflamation. Don't play thru the pain. I ignored my pain for too long and am paying for it now. I also suggest you talk with your doc and maybe a physical therapist as to what else you can do to prevent injuring you feet anymore than they already are. Good luck in your recovery.

Re: Does Mild Running Delay PF Healing?

Julie F on 9/22/00 at 05:25 (028856)

Hi Brendan

I'm a new PF sufferer too, and I really feel for you. I'm not an athlete, but I do love walking, and knowing that I'm going to have to limit walking for as long as it takes isn't easy for me. But once you understand that plantar fasciitis is an actual injury (i.e. a tearing of the fascia where it inserts at the heelbone) it's easy to understand that anything that causes pain is re-injuring it. If it's not hurting, it's healing.

The problem seems to be finding a balance between too much of the kind of activity that causes re-injury, and no activity, which causes muscles to weaken and atrophy. You'll find a great deal of information and good counsel on this board, as I have in the past week. I'm really grateful for this site because it has helped me to understand what is actually going on and what I can do about it (my new podiatrist agrees with it all too) - as it's just six weeks since my PF began, I have great hopes that I've caught it in time and that it won't become chronic.

Brendan, don't try to run through or walk through or play doubles through, the pain. Just remember: if it hurts, it's re-injuring. As I tell my yoga students: pain is a message your body is giving you to stop whatever you are doing that is causing the pain.

And let's both try to be patient.

All the best, Julie

PS Do you have a podiatrist and has s/he taped your foot? I'm finding that a great help.

Re: Does Mild Running Delay PF Healing?

Denise E. on 9/22/00 at 06:24 (028857)

Brendan, I noticed my PF about 3 months ago too. I'm sure it was developing over time. I, too, am an avid tennis play (singles 4 times per week. I was playing singles through my PF but I finally did stop on August 30. I'm not sure I would have know to do this if I hadn't stumbled upon this website. Reading about everyone's chronic problems motivated me to watch this PF in the beginning.

I have not done any walking, jogging or tennis (not even biking) since August 30. It has been very depressing because I too am very active. It is especially tough to lay off all this outdoor activity during this lovely fall weather. But you gotta play the ball where it lies.

I joined a YMCA and am swimming (though it is not my favorite sport and I'm really not a good swimmer). Yoga, which I took up in 1998, has really kept my spirits high. I really enjoy it, plus it's lot of stretching and it is aerobic if you hold your poses (I was really surpised about this aspect of yoga).

Anyway, if you are not into yoga, maybe you could try free weight lifting that can be aerobic too.

I had contract time to play tennis this winter (indoor season starts in Oct) but have lined up substitutes thru January). I'm hoping to be back to playing tennis in January but am prepared to delay if I'm not feeling 100%.

I'm like you. I don't want chronic PF and if I have to layoff 6 months or even 9 months, I am prepared to do so.

Good luck. Keep in touch via this message board.

Re: Does Mild Running Delay PF Healing?

Steve P on 9/22/00 at 10:18 (028870)

Well said, Julie. As hard as it is to do, 'stopping what hurts' is essential & is the only realistic approach. But this doesn't mean giving up all exercise. One can swim, use an exercise bike under the right conditions, or use various fitness machines that don't stress the feet. Moderation & discipline are the keys to beating PF.

Good luck!

Re: Does Mild Running Delay PF Healing?

Julie F on 9/22/00 at 14:53 (028881)

Denise, I'm glad that you've discovered yoga and that you enjoy it and find it helpful. I've practised yoga for 30 years and have been teaching and training teachers for 13, so I know that it can be of enormous help in dealing with difficulties of all sorts. It helped me through breast cancer in 1993 (and I now teach people with cancer) and I know it will help me through PFToo.

It's not just the stretching. Your attitude to life changes subtly over time, and enables you to look at experiences for what they can teach you, rather than as unmitigated catastrophes. As regards the aerobic effect, you are right that there is an aerobic effect to holding the postures. There are also specific practices (called shakti bandha = 'energy block releasing') that are done very quickly and are very aerobic in their effect. This does come as a surprise to most people.

Keep on enjoying yoga - as you say, it usually lifts the spirits.

All the best, Julie

Re: Does Mild Running Delay PF Healing?

Julie on 9/22/00 at 14:54 (028882)

Sorry - I meant, and thought I'd typed, PF, not PFT.

Re: Does Mild Running Delay PF Healing?

Julie on 9/22/00 at 14:57 (028883)

Denise, I'm glad that you've discovered yoga and that you enjoy it and find it helpful. I've practised yoga for 30 years and have been teaching and training teachers for 13, so I know that it can be of enormous help in dealing with difficulties of all sorts. It helped me through breast cancer in 1993 (and I now teach people with cancer) and I know it will help me through PFToo.

It's not just the stretching. Your attitude to life changes subtly over time, and enables you to look at experiences for what they can teach you, rather than as unmitigated catastrophes. As regards the aerobic effect, you are right that there is an aerobic effect to holding the postures. There are also specific practices (called shakti bandha = 'energy block releasing') that are done very quickly and are very aerobic in their effect. This does come as a surprise to most people.

Keep on enjoying yoga - as you say, it usually lifts the spirits.

All the best, Julie

Re: you can hurt it and fix it at the same time

T. Hurst on 9/22/00 at 20:36 (028914)

If you feel pulling or experience any pain after running (this may take some experimenting with your routine to figure out), then you are injuring your fascia and you shouldn't do it. You have to find a way to 'fix' this, be it conservative measures or ultimately surgery. Otherwise, it won't just go away. You can simultaneously keep hurting it and trying to fix it. Trust me - I tried. And I ended up with surgery.

Re: Opps...you CAN'T hurt it and fix it at the same time

T. Hurst on 9/22/00 at 20:37 (028915)

OPPS

Re: Does Mild Running Delay PF Healing?

john h on 9/23/00 at 09:44 (028935)

you can bet your bottom dollar running will delay your healing and could make your case chronic if you have pf. i was a 7 day a week runner and tried to continue running after pf developed. now i cannot run at all. forget running!!!!!!!!!! unitil you hare healed.

Re: Recovered from PF, now running again.

Mark S on 9/23/00 at 11:04 (028941)

This is great advice here. I had PF in both feet a couple years ago, it took a year to heal. My mistake: I had continued running, until I couldn't take the pain anymore and had to stop entirely for 3 months. With massage and stretching, it finally went away. I am now back to 35 miles/week. It helped me to keep in mind that it would someday go away. Once you have a massage therapist treat you, you can do it yourself between appointments, which will help release the tightness in the tendon. But keep up the appointments up (about once every 2 weeks, or so). You should be able to notice a difference, but it takes months for this to heal. You really have to baby your foot for now. Points to remember: 1. Stretch your feet before you get out of bed then - right into some comfortable running shoes even if you're getting up to set your alarm clock. 2. Do your wall-push stretches (6X a day, or as many times as you can) 3. Don't overdo the non-steroidals - these can cause ulcers. I hope this helps.