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Plantar Fasciitis Recovery Time

Posted by Guy W on 12/04/01 at 13:20 (066106)

Please help! I am a 45 year old male, 200lbs, and have ran in the hills 20-30 miles a week for over 20 years. I recently injured my left heel (planta Fasciitis) but continued to run for 2-3 months before going to the doctor. He basically confirmed my injury and recommended heel pads, streaching, etc., and said to not run until it heals. While it seems to be improving, it has been 3 months and I want to get back to the hills and run. How long can I expect to wait before I can run again? I have been riding my bike in the mean time. Please help. Thank you very much. Guy...

Re: Plantar Fasciitis Recovery Time

chrisc on 12/04/01 at 18:59 (066139)

as you may read from some of the other messages on the site, recovery is hard to predict and varies tremendously from one person to another. I have had my most recent case for over a year, even though resting, icing, stretching and the like. I am 44 and have run since age 20, always with difficulty vis-a-vis my feet and lower legs. The biking may not be helping, but I understand how frustrating things become. Swimming may be a bit safer. Taping is also a great idea for activities. Do you use orthotics all the time? Best of luck with a speedy recovery.

Re: Plantar Fasciitis Recovery Time

Guy W on 12/05/01 at 09:52 (066196)

Chris, Thank you very much for your response. I have not yet tried inserts other than heel pads. I have noticed shoes with arch support are much more comfortable than others without. I read a thread that recommended wearing running type shoes all the time. The funny thing is that I know I had this problem a few years ago on both heels and I did nothing. It went away after a month or so by itself. This time I think I made it much worse by continuing to run for 3 months after the initial injury. To make matters worse, I have gained a few pounds. After your recoveries, were you able to run pain free?, and the same distances? Thanks again. guy...

Re: Plantar Fasciitis Recovery Time

Ed Davis, DPM on 12/05/01 at 15:46 (066230)

All good points. A lot will depend on the biomechanics of the plantar fasciitis suferer. Biomechanical problems that have not been addressed can lead to recurrences of the problem.
Ed

Re: Plantar Fasciitis Recovery Time

Guy W on 12/06/01 at 15:55 (066349)

Ed, Now I am really confused. Biomechanics? I have been running high milage on hills in excess of 20 years without any difficulties. Until recently, that is. As I have stated, I continued to run for three months after the initial injury which I am sure made the injury worse. I have always run in high quality shoes. However, the only time my biomechanics came into question was after the injury. I would try to plant my foot a little different each time thinking it was just that, bad biomechanics. The injury to the PF is on the outside of the heel. I am sure it was injured by rolling my heel outside on the uneven terrain. So other than that, I am confused about the biomechanics comment. I need to get back to running asap. I have no problem walking or hiking. Much like everyone else I have read about, the PF tightens up after sitting or sleeping. Can I make this injury worse by starting back running to soon? If so, then how do I know when I can hit the trails again? I realize I will need to start out slowly, and I am willing to do whatever it takes to get better. This is a very cruel and sick joke for me because running is a huge part of my life. Please help! Thank you. guy...

Re: Plantar Fasciitis Recovery Time

chrisc on 12/10/01 at 16:28 (066637)

Guy, I do think you can do yourself more harm than good by starting back too soon. I have probably been guilty of that in the past, resulting in greater long term problems. I also have been guilty of doing other activities instead of running, which may have hampered recovery. As others seem to have found, rest is a key ingredient in the healing process. It is awful to have to do, but not sure any other single thing is as good for the PF. Others will also vouch for the bummed out state of mind that is hard to deal with when you have PF. Best of luck.

Re: Plantar Fasciitis Recovery Time

chrisc on 12/04/01 at 18:59 (066139)

as you may read from some of the other messages on the site, recovery is hard to predict and varies tremendously from one person to another. I have had my most recent case for over a year, even though resting, icing, stretching and the like. I am 44 and have run since age 20, always with difficulty vis-a-vis my feet and lower legs. The biking may not be helping, but I understand how frustrating things become. Swimming may be a bit safer. Taping is also a great idea for activities. Do you use orthotics all the time? Best of luck with a speedy recovery.

Re: Plantar Fasciitis Recovery Time

Guy W on 12/05/01 at 09:52 (066196)

Chris, Thank you very much for your response. I have not yet tried inserts other than heel pads. I have noticed shoes with arch support are much more comfortable than others without. I read a thread that recommended wearing running type shoes all the time. The funny thing is that I know I had this problem a few years ago on both heels and I did nothing. It went away after a month or so by itself. This time I think I made it much worse by continuing to run for 3 months after the initial injury. To make matters worse, I have gained a few pounds. After your recoveries, were you able to run pain free?, and the same distances? Thanks again. guy...

Re: Plantar Fasciitis Recovery Time

Ed Davis, DPM on 12/05/01 at 15:46 (066230)

All good points. A lot will depend on the biomechanics of the plantar fasciitis suferer. Biomechanical problems that have not been addressed can lead to recurrences of the problem.
Ed

Re: Plantar Fasciitis Recovery Time

Guy W on 12/06/01 at 15:55 (066349)

Ed, Now I am really confused. Biomechanics? I have been running high milage on hills in excess of 20 years without any difficulties. Until recently, that is. As I have stated, I continued to run for three months after the initial injury which I am sure made the injury worse. I have always run in high quality shoes. However, the only time my biomechanics came into question was after the injury. I would try to plant my foot a little different each time thinking it was just that, bad biomechanics. The injury to the PF is on the outside of the heel. I am sure it was injured by rolling my heel outside on the uneven terrain. So other than that, I am confused about the biomechanics comment. I need to get back to running asap. I have no problem walking or hiking. Much like everyone else I have read about, the PF tightens up after sitting or sleeping. Can I make this injury worse by starting back running to soon? If so, then how do I know when I can hit the trails again? I realize I will need to start out slowly, and I am willing to do whatever it takes to get better. This is a very cruel and sick joke for me because running is a huge part of my life. Please help! Thank you. guy...

Re: Plantar Fasciitis Recovery Time

chrisc on 12/10/01 at 16:28 (066637)

Guy, I do think you can do yourself more harm than good by starting back too soon. I have probably been guilty of that in the past, resulting in greater long term problems. I also have been guilty of doing other activities instead of running, which may have hampered recovery. As others seem to have found, rest is a key ingredient in the healing process. It is awful to have to do, but not sure any other single thing is as good for the PF. Others will also vouch for the bummed out state of mind that is hard to deal with when you have PF. Best of luck.