Thank goodness, I haven't had any plantar fasciitis problems since 1985.
But I still remember the excruciating pain of plantar, best described as irritation of the connective tissue on the foot's bottom from the heel to the balls of the foot. I wince in recalling plunging my feet in a bucket of ice water, post-run, and not having it do a lick of good for the condition. And I wimper in empathy for those runners I've talked to who've have big-ass needles injecting cortisone into the area, not to mention the hurt put on one's pocketbook paying for those expensive custom-made orthotics.
Plantar fasciitis, it has been said, has driven more runners out of the sport than knee and back injuries, combined.
Most doctors have believed that inflammation of the fascia was the culprit with this injury. But, as detailed this month in Running Times magazine, some podiatrists are blaming dead cells from lack of blood flow, rather than inflammation, for the plantar problem.
A Temple University researcher analyzed tissues from plantar sufferers and determined that repeated micro-tears and associated cell death was the culprit. And that, he hypothetized, came from inadequate blood supply to the area.
The solution, according to Portland podiatrist Ray McClanahan, is to exercise the muscles that enable us to wiggle our toes. That, and wearing more minimalist shoes with wider toe boxes that enable more toe flexion and movement. Oh, yeah, and toe massage, too.
Read the entire story here.