Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Plantar FasciOWtis

My return to roller derby is largely counting on me getting my plantar fasciitis under control. You may be asking, "What is Plantar Fasciitis and why does it happen?" Well I just so happened to Google it for those wondering.

An article in Medical News Today states:

"The condition occurs when the plantar fascia is strained over time beyond its normal extension, causing the soft tissue fibers of the fascia to tear or stretch at points along its length. This leads to inflammation, pain, and possibly the growth of a bone spur where it attaches to the heel bone. The stress may also result from injury, a bruise from walking, running on hard surfaces, wearing poorly constructed shoes, or being overweight. In addition, the inflammation may be aggravated by shoes that lack appropriate support, especially in the arch area, and by the chronic irritation that sometimes accompanies an athletic lifestyle."

The pain in my right foot began to bother me early last season. I found that I was getting pain on the bottom of my foot which would run up my arch and wrap around the top of my foot; this pain made it hard to stand in my skates for any length of time. Additionally, I started to suffer from cramping up the front of my leg. I was able to get through moderate practices but as soon as we started sprinting, I could not keep up, the pain was unbearable. I would have to have CinZilla and Charlie Red Stick rub my leg muscles out at practices and before games. About half way through the season, Dr. Roitz, with SOL SC, started placing spider tape up the front of my leg. The spider tape worked miracles on my cramping and allowed me to get through bouts with little to no pain.

I've been thinking a lot about why I started getting this pain in the first place and the more I've thought about it I realize that I may have been living with this pain for many years. In 2001, my husband, then boyfriend Daniel Eymann and I participated in the Aquaman while lifeguarding for Santa Cruz City Beach. The Aquaman is a run/swim from the Cement Ship in Seacliff to the Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf.

You start out by swimming around the Cement Ship, and then you proceed running west along the beach. Wherever you can't run you have to swim, including swimming around the Capitola Pier, across the Harbor and finishing around the Santa Cruz Wharf. It's a rigorous event but super fun. This was my second year participating and when I hit 26th Avenue Beach the heels of my feet were killing me. I could barely run, or walk for that matter, but I pushed myself through the pain, spending a lot of time jogging on my toes (You can imagine the calf pain I experienced the week after). My feet were deeply bruised and my calves hated me, I think it took a good couple of weeks to recover from my injuries. Although 8 years has passed, I truly think that this may have been the event that spurred my present day feet issues.

Today, a lot of my issues are due to weight put on by my pregnancy, lack of wearing supportive shoes and believe it or not being barefoot on my hardwood floors. Curiously, as I was walking today, my left foot started hurting. I've been putting so much focus on my right foot that I think my left foot is now jealous so it's acting up to get some attention. My plan for recovery is to wear supportive shoes at all times, even in the house, the doctor says the only time I should be barefoot when I'm vertical is when I'm taking a shower. I am seeing an acupuncturist weekly whom also gave me liquid minerals to put on my feet and legs. I also see Dr. Roitz once a week for ART on my foot, as well as, taping. I've started exercising to drop the weight and am going to get orthotics for my shoes and skates. It's going to be a lot of work to get my feet healthy again but I know that without strong and healthy feet to support my body I cannot play derby, which is in no way an option for me.


  1. OW!! Nice write up and good job for taking care of the problem. SCDG needs you out there kicking ass.


  2. Good stuff. I have this now after training for my triathlon. Your article is just the ticket!

  3. oh, that's kinda funny... I used to live in Pleasure Point between 2000 and 2006, and there was a run/swim version of Wharf to Wharf (SC to Capitola) I'd watch a couple weeks after the running version of Wharf to Wharf... I guess the AquaMan is a different event.

    I haven't had much PF in my running career, but I've been told that a really good exercise for it is a developmental movement that you've probably seen before. Babies will lie are their backs, grab a hold of their feet in their hands and stick the feet in their mouths. The adult version is to lie on your back, bring the feet up and grab them with your hands in sort of a lying down squat position. You rock side to side and move your legs around while massaging the soles of your feet with your fingers as you hold your feet. It's supposed to be really good for plantar fasciitis.

  4. Thanks guys.

    Nocklebeast that sounds interesting, I actually have never heard about that exercise before.