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First Foot Topic: PLANTAR FASCITIS November 4, 2011
It is now the time of the year when runners have a love hate relationship with the outdoors. Morning runs are seriously dark and uninviting. The cold weather is suggesting that we need to wear more gear (gloves, pants, hats). Not fun. However on the bright side most of us see an improvement with our performance and endurance with the decreased humidity and cooler temperatures.
Deciding on morning or late afternoon runs, often becomes a choice of safety as darkness changes the way we run. I notice that my morning times decrease with the same effort. This is mostly postural as not having the proper vision makes these runs more efensive because of road debris etc. I've always been the type of runner that wanted to get my workout over early so I could draw on the energy during the day. More importantly, many more injuries occur with this blind running in the dark. For example as a podiatrist and marathon runner, this is how I developed that awful foot condition known as plantar fascitis . This is a painful foot problem that can often become a chronic nightmare to anyone, especially runners.
Of course the traditional treatments as proposed by my education, experience, and many of my colleagues often do not cure this painful condition. My own condition slightly improved with these treatments. This included giving myself a Cortisone injection. I had only received temprary relief. It seemed when my foot was supported in a shoe with an orthotic, it felt better but would the pain woulkd still remain. That's correct the "better supportive" shoe provided more nurturing to this heel pain, but it would not relieve the pain enough for me to return back to running. I wanted this pain gone yesterday, but with support and orthotics I was not happy because the condition was at a standstill. This was March and I had this problem already 2 months, and looming ahead was the NJ (JerseyShore) Marathon on May 1, 2011. It looked as though I, the foot specialist was in trouble. I still could not run. It was time to approach this painful foot condition from another point of view. Consequently while reading a running book, Born to Run, I applied some alternative therapies to healing my plantar fascitis. These included changing some standard beliefs regarding running shoes and a more minimalist approach to walking and running. More to come!