My left arch has been a bit sore since the beginning of January. I’ve tried to go for a run now and again and it’s always been worse afterwards so as of a couple of weeks ago I stopped. No more running. Just Crossfit for exercise and I get there by using a scooter – much kinder on my foot than walking or running.
I’ve been trying to think what I did to my foot to cause this but the answer is probably something very boring along the lines of – I ran a lot throughout the summer, ran a marathon in September and then continued higher-than-my-usual mileage until the end of the year. Combine increased running volume with having very high arches, and calves & ankles that tend to be tight, and that’s probably my answer.
My GP referred me to an orthopaedic surgeon and last Tuesday I popped into his office in the Shard. He had a view to die for and a wall full of large black and white photos of Tina Turner. I liked his style. But I digress. He listened to my symptoms, poked and prodded my foot until I almost cried and diagnosed me with a tear in the plantar fascia.
If you a are a runner you have probably heard about plantar fasciitis – it’s a condition where the fascia gets inflamed and gives you a really sore heel or entire foot. The ‘itis’ part of the condition means it’s inflammation.
I don’t have plantar fasciitis. My plantar fascia is torn in one little spot, it’s about a square inch in size, according to where the pain is when pressed on.
Quick guide to difference between the two conditions:
- ‘itis’ means inflammation
- pain is worse in the morning
- pain is usually in the heel (or all along the bottom of the foot)
- feels better when massaged
Plantar fascia tear
- no (or very little) pain in the mornings
- painful during and after running / walking / jumping
- pain is in a small area, often not in the heel but anywhere along the fascia under the foot
- pain is worse when massaged
From what I understood from my doctor, plantar fasciitis pain can be released via massage but when there is a tear in the fascia, massage makes it worse. The treatment for both cases is usually just to let your foot rest and see a physio who can tape it up, do acupuncture or whatever else magic they decide is appropriate for you.
As for me, my foot feels pretty good right now but I’ve yet to see a physio so I won’t run until I do and get some further guidance. Weirdly I don’t miss running yet. I scoot to Crossfit 4 days a week, rock climb on Saturdays and have two proper rest days a week.
Hopefully my foot is doing some healing as we speak and when the weather is nice and perfect for running again, I can once again hit the streets.
Have you ever struggled with your plantar fasciitis or a tear in the fascia? Any interesting tricks that worked for you in terms of speeding up the recovery?