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Beginning Stretching Again

Posted by Ariane M on 10/08/03 at 03:31 (132756)

I am new to this website. I got PF the first time at age 20 from a soccer injury and woke up cured 1 year later after stretching, swimming, and 1 cortisone shots (15 years ago). This time, I haven't been so lucky. It's been 8 years. Seven years ago I had 2 cortisone shots, got a night-split (given up 1 year ago), and was stretching. I got increasingly worse. Finally, went to a specialty shoe store and spent about $800 (luckily my insurance paid a large part) on New Balance and Saucony sneakers, custom orthodicts, dress orthodicts, Anatech shoes (as slip ons), Theresia shoes as dress-up with removable footbed (use dress orthodicts in place). After 6 months, I am much more stabilized and don't have any morning pain. I do get late afternoon pain after chasing my 2 little ones most of the day. However, by icing (read about on this website) or resting for an hour or two, I can recuperate and make it to the end of the day. Before these shoes, orthodicts (I never go barefoot), I dealt with constant migraines, and terrible pain. I now swim 2.5 km 3 times a week without problem. I have been told that I have very very tight calf muscles and so am prone to getting PF. I did try stretching the 'runner's stretch' since I would like to get to 100%. I would say for my standards I am 75%, for a normal person perhaps only 50%. The stretch seemed to 'damage' my foot and set me back for a week with constant pain. I am now 'back to normal' and would like some feedback as to how to begin a regimine and what regime and how to know when to stop. I have read to be very aggressive but am worried this will cause more damage although I am also told that I'll never get to 100% without a stretching routine. Please advise and thanks in advance.

Re: Beginning Stretching Again

john h on 10/08/03 at 09:13 (132781)

I am not the stretching Guru on this board. Julie is. Most of the people now post that non weight bearing stretches are the best meaning the runners stretch is a no no. Do a search on this board under stretching and you will find a lot of information. You can stretch those calves by laying on your back an using a towell flipped around your foot while raising the leg and applying a gentle stretch for 10 or so seconds. I have seen a number of post from people who injured themselves further by poor stretching techniques. Do not be in a hurry to stretch if you are in much pain. Rest may help before you resume your stretches. Great you can swim. I am not the athlete I once was either because of my 8 years of bi-laterial PF. Every once in a while I read of some long term PF patient who suddenly and for no reason has no more pain. There is always hope.

Re: Beginning Stretching Again

Mike W on 10/08/03 at 09:21 (132784)

Hello Ariane,

You should check out my website http://www.foottraner.com , click plantar fasciitis then click incorrect exercises.

The runners stretch is incorrect because weight bearing muscles should be relaxed prior to the stretch which is not possible.

You should never be 'very aggressive' while stretching. You need to be gentle, consistent, and perform the correct exercises.

Did you know that if you ice for more than 10 minutes at one time you are actually causing inflammation.

If you have any questions you can contact me at my website.

I hope this helps you.


Mike W

Re: Beginning Stretching Again

Dorothy on 10/08/03 at 15:24 (132871)

Ariane M. ~ Welcome to the heelspurs website. There are many people here who can and will be able to offer you advice and you have heard from two of the best, John H. and Mike W. I haven't yet read what they wrote to you, but I am guessing that Mike W. discusses the Personal Foot Trainers and I want to add my praise for those. You may not want to buy one more thing, but if you do, they and the program that comes with them, do help. The PFTs helped me and others here. So I would recommend them from my personal experience. Also, yoga and pilates can be good practices, but you have to be aware of your limits and honor them as you practice. John referred to Julie who posted a short, easy program of foot movements that many people here use daily. You can find those by doing a search on 'Yoga' here or 'Julie's Yoga' or something like that; it will take you to them. There are many yoga practices that are helpful and effective, but it probably goes without saying that those that are more vigorous are likely not suitable for PF. I like Kripalu yoga and Svaroopa yoga and some Iyengar yoga, as well as some Pilates and am just starting some Tai Chi. I use a lot of videos in varying rotations depending on physical state of the day. It sounds like you have made a gradual improvement and that you know what works for you. The 'runner's stretch' is pretty vigorous and demanding of the muscles/ligaments as you learned. This may seem very obvious, but I think it is very helpful to really carefully THINK THROUGH what a given stretch movement is doing to your feet - and then decide how you want to proceed with it..either not doing it or modifying it. Think it through in terms of what your body needs to do and then how to accomplish it - always gently and slowly, feeling your way and learning if it is ok. There are lots of philosophies and theories about all of this and you will no doubt formulate your own and teach us what you have learned! Good luck and again, welcome!

Re: Beginning Stretching Again

Dorothy on 10/08/03 at 15:35 (132878)

Ariane ~ I was having trouble posting and this got left off:
I forgot to add one other thought: Many people here have learned through trial and error that heat feels better than ice, although ice helps during inflammtion because it reduces inflammation. Most people think that the best way is to alternate ice and heat to reduce inflammation (ice) and bring increased blood supply to area (heat) and relax (heat). Dr. Z. who posts here often recommends heat. Again, a search under the terms heat, ice, contrast baths terms like that will lead you to those discussions. Massage also is good to add to your regimen. YOu can do self-massage, use massage tools, go 'get' a massage, ask someone in your family for a massage (with care and guidance and even training..).
This can help warm up the muscles for gentle stretching. It used to be said that you should stretch and then exercise. Now it is more often recommended that your muscles be warmed up before stretching - so some kind of gentle movement, massage, heat, etc. before stretching might be a good idea. I am NOT an expert -

Re: Beginning Stretching Again

John H on 10/08/03 at 21:18 (132964)

If you have access to a whirlpool placing your foot directly near the jet with hot water sure feels great.

Re: Beginning Stretching Again

Dorothy on 10/09/03 at 03:09 (133004)

I saw an ad for tourism to Iceland in a magazine tonight. It showed a person floating in a hot spring natural pool outside surrounded by features of a cold climate. The text talked about the healthful minerals and the 110 degree water and how it helped skin conditions and relaxed joints and muscles. The water was very blue and the person floating looked like they had found bliss. I never thought I would have occasion to say this, but: I want to be in Iceland and float in their hot springs. Are there actually hot springs in Hot Springs, Arkansas, John H., if you know? I don't know if Wendy is still here, or still talking to me, but she mentioned some hot springs near Banff, I think to Ed once - oh, that sounds heavenly. Hot springs in those mountains....I'm dreaming now.
Have you all seen those photos of the very hot springs in Japan - usually shown with the monkeys submerged up to their necks? Well, I would even get in a hot spring with monkeys in it, I think, if they were willing to share and be nice.
I am really feeling a strong pull for floating in a hot spring. I think it is your comment about the hot water of a Jacuzzi that started it. My husband and I want to have a house with a sauna someday - and we even think we would do the 'real' Scandanavian thing of running out into the snow after taking the sauna. How's that for a contrast bath!

Re: Beginning Stretching Again

Dorothy on 10/09/03 at 03:11 (133005)

Two sorrys: sorry for posting my hot springs soliloquy on this category. I responded to John's comment and just was neglectful to check where it was. Sorry for saying jacuzzi when John said whirlpool. Change it to whirlpool. I will post this addendum here but now I will exit and go to the more appropriate area - with the monkeys. Sorry.

Re: Beginning Stretching Again

wendyn on 10/09/03 at 07:35 (133024)

Yes Dorothy - there are hot springs in Banff. Ed went to Fairmont BC to the hot springs (we usually try to go once or twice a year - we're headed out again in November).

I highly recommend a trip to either place if you get a chance.

Where do you live?

Re: Beginning Stretching Again

john h on 10/09/03 at 09:59 (133063)

Dorothy: Jacuzzi Brothers is located right here in Little Rcok. I use the whirpool at a health club and the water is around 108 degrees and the jets very powerful. Usually my feet do not hurt for an hour or so after coming out of the pool and using the jets on my feet.

Re: Beginning Stretching Again

john h on 10/09/03 at 10:05 (133067)

Dorothy there sure are hot springs in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Arkansas Bath House Row was once world famous as is their mineral water which is sold in all 50 states. Most of the old bath houses are now historical places but a few remain open. You can get a hot bath, body rub, fascial, or whatever. Some of the old hotels built in the 30's are fabulous and decorated just as they were then. They are hughe. Hot Springs is in the middle of Hot Springs National Park and surrounded by beautiful hills and mountains. During racing season it is jamed packe (Jan - Mar). The race track is one of the best in the country. This year the owner has offered a $5 million dollar bonus for any horse that wins the Arkansas Derby, Kentucky Derby, and I think Belmont. By the way having spent a year in Iceland I have been in those hot volcanic waters.

Re: Beginning Stretching Again

Dorothy on 10/09/03 at 14:39 (133125)

It is the next day, I am awake and working and visiting here and dreaming of Iceland and 'those hot volcanic waters...' I think I may have to find a way to go there someday. Did you like the experience? I haven't even been there and I am enthralled by just the IDEA~

Re: Beginning Stretching Again

Dorothy on 10/09/03 at 14:44 (133127)

Yeah, well, I'd like to use some jets on my feet lately. Some fighter jets. On a mission! (Note to my feet: just kidding.)

Re: Beginning Stretching Again

John H on 10/09/03 at 15:11 (133140)

Dorothy: Iceland is a volcanic island. Most of the southern part is very much rock. I was staioned a few miles from the capital Reykavik. I do not rembember the population but I would think not much more than 100,000 in the late 50's. We had one tree on the base. Lots of wind and lots of rain and being withing the article circle you have winter darkness and summer daylight. About the only industry is fishing. The kids on the pier used to grab in a barrel of bait fish and just eat them head and all raw. The Icelanders have a 100% literacy rate and in the early 50's did not allow us to station blacks there. They hated the English at that time because of the constant squabbling over fishing rights. When the Brits left there after WWII they sort of destroyed the base. I lived in a quonset hut when I was there and the Iclanders did not want us in town after sunset so we could only go during the day. A lot of the girls worked on the base as it was the terminal for all international flights so we all dated the girls who are very Nordic. Some of my friends married Iclanders. The goverment really did not like that but boys and girls will be boys and girls. From 40,000 feet over Iceland (I was flying fighters) on a clear day you can clearly see Greenland. There are some resort areas to the north with hot springs and trees. Not much snow at all with moderate temps as the gulf stream passes near by. Lots of killer whales in the area because of all the fish. Was a big anti sub base during WWII. Basically the men were very cool to our presence but the ladies loved us. Being about 21 at the time and even though it was desolate I had a great year in Iceland. Lost 3 friends in aircraft accidents while I was there. I would love to go back. I may post a few pictures on shutterfly from the 50's in Iceland. I was there when the very first scheduled tran atlantic jet flight landed. It was a Pan AM flight Boeing 707 with the most senior crew in Pan AM. Darn they looked old but when you are 21 someone 30 looks old. When I first arrived a very attractive young lady who worked at the airport terminal always winked at me (I thought). I was telling some of the guys who had been there a while and they laughed and advised me Helga had an eye afflection of some sort. Even so Helga and I became good friends. Flew some flights with the Navy while there right on the deck. We were trying to scare away the Orcas to help the fishermen. Sure you know Orca is going to run from a low flying plane when dinner is calling. The main reason our fighter squdron was there because in the 50's we had bases in Iceland, Greenland, Alaska all near the artic circle to intercept any Russian Bombers that might be crossing the pole to attack our country with nukes. We actually intercepted a few but they were on training flights. I think they were the Russian aircraft know as the Bear. Very big with nuke capability and very long range. Their answer to our B-52. At that time we did not have missiles so our armament was only 50 cal machine guns on the old F-89 fighter. Even at that a bomber would have little chance against a 650 mph jet that was all weather equipped and could fire using radar. Life seems a bit boring since I quit flying. In a typical fighter squadron you had mostly young men all in good physican conditon, mostly athletic, and all college grads and all with similar interest and all working with each other 24/7 and sort of living on the edge. Not a lot of money but you cannot match the companionship and fun. Would not change a thing about my mmiltary life. I should have paid the government.

Re: Beginning Stretching Again

Dorothy on 10/09/03 at 15:20 (133148)

I LOVE your stories. You should write a book, John. This is a most interesting life! Keep 'em coming.

Re: Beginning Stretching Again

Sarah on 11/05/08 at 10:19 (251879)


I am trying to locate a specialty shoe store that is in Downtown Hot Springs. I am looking for a shoe that has a spring in the heel, which is suppose to help those that have problems with their knees. Do you mind sharing the name of the store where you purchased your shoes?

Thanks so much!!!!