Getting to the root cause of Plantar Fasciitis

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I know alot of folks swear by foam rollers.   They talk about how they have this roller or that roller and they spend hours massaging out their pains.   But, it seems that their pains never really go away.  They are just kept at bay by all that rolling.

I dunno.  I guess I am not a believer.  It’s my belief that you have to find the root cause of a problem and fix it.

Last February, all of a sudden out of the blue, I starting having Plantar Fasciitis pain in my left heel.  That’s one of those nagging pains  that scares me,  because it’s the type of repetitive use injury that takes forever to heal.  And often returns.

So, I figure it’s from running.  Maybe I ramped up my running mileage too fast, too hard.   So, I stop running for two weeks.  Which sucks, because  every time I slack off on running, it’s hard to get back into it.

I roll tennis balls on my heel.  I roll frozen water bottles on my heel.  I do lots of calf stretches. I buy one of those dumb boot things and wear it around work like I’m a moron.

The PF gets a little better, but not much.  So, I ease back into my running.

The PF gets worse.

Repeat, repeat, repeat.

So, I start to think, what am I doing wrong?   Do I need new running shoes, maybe they are worn.  Nope, they look fine and they aren’t that old.

What did I do back in February different?   I did lace up my running shoes super  tight at the Eno Equalizer race.    I meant to loosen them, but never got around to it.     I loosened them up.   Hmmm…kind felt a little easier running, my foot was allowed to flex more. Ya, that’s it.

So, I eased back into to running again.    Nope, not it.  More pain.

Again, I wrack my brain, what did I change back in February?    And why does the PF get worse every weekend?  Even when I have cut out the  running.   Gee, maybe it’s nothing to do with running.

Oh. wait.  I ride my bike every weekend.  Lots of miles on my bike.    What changed about my bike in February?   I put speedplay pedals on them!

Crap.   It’s the damn speedplays.

I swapped those out to my old Shimano pedals last weekend.    Rode my bike 90 miles.   Guess what?  No more PF pain.

I guess the real question is:  why did it take me five months to figure this out!!!!   And now my running fitness sucks out the wazoo.






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Posted in >Biking, >Running, General
4 comments on “Getting to the root cause of Plantar Fasciitis
  1. Laura says:

    Here’s a sure fire stretch for P.F. You need a sturdy set of stairs , with hand rail. Stand on stair like a diver about to do a back flip( hanging onto stair with your toes ). Now , slowly and gently !!!!, raise and lower yourself and you’ll feel the achilles and other tendons stretch. I had P.F. so bad, i couldn’t walk with out almost crying. This stretch worked great.

  2. Neal says:

    Very glad you found the answer. It’s really annoying to suffer pain through exercise (of course I mean PF pain, rather than feel-the-burn or hitting-the-wall pain). I have very flat feet and have just taken up triathlon training. I now have pain on my soles when I walk after running. I think it might be a case of my feet needing to adjust to running, but I’ll be seeing my orthotist soon, so I’ll ask more.

  3. Joe says:

    Yeah, sometimes I feel like foam rollers are more of a band aid solution than the real deal but its hard to find the route cause, just ask my chiro!

  4. Colleen Lasko says:

    That’s crazy! I never would have thought different pedals would cause problems like that! I’m glad you figured it out, that must have been so frustrating!

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