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Thread: Plantar Facitis

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    Plantar Facitis

    A little backround. I have been battling plantar facitis for the past month or three, and I think it might be bike-related. First of all, I run 55-65 miles per week, but whenever I lay off the bike, (just run) my arch doesn't hurt as much. as soon as I go riding though, the pain flairs up. Is is bike fit? I have my cleats set up in the middle of their adjustment range...any tips?

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    Hey Phatman!

    Funny, that greeting would normally result in a shot to the head! I was just the opposite - started running in the late winter to keep my aerobic ability and developed a brutal case of plantar fascitis. The advice that worked best was from a massage therapist - apparently one of the causes is tightness (i.e. shortening) of the calf muscles. I never stretch, but stretching out the calves fixed the problem almost immediately. Keeping your heels on the floor, lean forward against a wall until you get a good stretch through the calf muscles - hold the stretch at least 45 seconds to a minute. Hope it helps!

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    Sarcastic Member Urbanmonk's Avatar
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    I'm battling it now for 5 months and only a little intermitten relief: at its whim. Doctor also prescribed stretching and exercises, meds for inflamation. He said that biking wasn't going to aggrivate it any more than walking-we all have to walk. But, he said for me to take out the running from my schedule; it would prolong the recovery period. But, he also said that if I wanted immediate relief, with the possibility of it never reoccruing, to get a cordisone shot directly in the arch. I opted for the exercises; but if it doesn't work, I will get the shot. Good luck!

    Urbanmonk

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    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    Hi,
    I call em foot nazis. Facitis..fascist...nazi. Lay off running for a week. That is not long enough to heal. But it is long enough to see if you can ride. You have to get the inflammation down. That may require taking it easy for a while.
    Here are some things I have tried. I had no luck with orthotics. I use Superfeet cycling innersoles. They are pretty good. A custom cycling shoe would be better. It would also be $500-700. Superfeet are about $25. ****, I'm sorry, but here comes the fun stuff. They make blue cooler packs. The kind you want are shaped like a book with curved sides. They make a very effective way to ice down your facitis. Hurts like hell. Next up is keeping the inflammation down. This may be worse. There is an anti-inflammation diet. It is torture. It works. Let me know if you want it; I'll try to remember the name of the book. Next up is the ritual. Warm the feet, stretch, ice, take some anti-inflammatories. Then don't move until the advil (or other) starts to work. The idea is to get the inflammation down and keep it down. I found shoes and boots with stiffeners in the sole bothered me. Which was the end of my hiking. Oh..to answer your question, the pounding from running is prob the primary irritant for the facitis.
    I also found I need to replace sneakers fairly regularly now. When they start to lose shock absorbtion, they're gone. They make my feet hurt. I have an idea. Bounce it off anyone you wish. I haven't tried it. When you start back in exercising, start with calf exercises. Do them every 2nd day for a couple weeks, adding resistance. When you start running, start on a treadmill. Add a little incline to reduce shock. Might br a dumb idea, but I was thinking strenghtneing the calf might help keep the foot properly positioned riding.
    Last edited by late; 03-12-04 at 08:34 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by late
    Hi,
    I call em foot nazis. Facitis..fascist...nazi. Lay off running for a week. That is not long enough to heal. But it is long enough to see if you can ride. You have to get the inflammation down. That may require taking it easy for a while.
    Here are some things I have tried. I had no luck with orthotics. I use Superfeet cycling innersoles. They are pretty good. A custom cycling shoe would be better. It would also be $500-700. Superfeet are about $25. ****, I'm sorry, but here comes the fun stuff. They make blue cooler packs. The kind you want are shaped like a book with curved sides. They make a very effective way to ice down your facitis. Hurts like hell. Next up is keeping the inflammation down. This may be worse. There is an anti-inflammation diet. It is torture. It works. Let me know if you want it; I'll try to remember the name of the book. Next up is the ritual. Warm the feet, stretch, ice, take some anti-inflammatories. Then don't move until the advil (or other) starts to work. The idea is to get the inflammation down and keep it down. I found shoes and boots with stiffeners in the sole bothered me. Which was the end of my hiking. Oh..to answer your question, the pounding from running is prob the primary irritant for the facitis.
    I also found I need to replace sneakers fairly regularly now. When they start to lose shock absorbtion, they're gone. They make my feet hurt. I have an idea. Bounce it off anyone you wish. I haven't tried it. When you start back in exercising, start with calf exercises. Do them every 2nd day for a couple weeks, adding resistance. When you start running, start on a treadmill. Add a little incline to reduce shock. Might br a dumb idea, but I was thinking strenghtneing the calf might help keep the foot properly positioned riding.
    I know, it sounds like I should just lay off the running, but it always seems to go away if I stop biking and just run...however, I like cycling, and i did spend 1300 bucks on a gorgeous road bike.

    I have the green superfeet insoles in my running shoes. I hate them, but I am afraid to take them out. they weigh like 2 oz each, they squeak, and are really stiff in the forefoot, meaning that speedwork is torture if I forget my fast trainers. however, there is no arch pain with them in. In fact, I have no pain right now, and it has been about a week since I've ridden, however, I did put in 48 miles this week and I'm going to do another 8-9 today. see what I'm saying?

    I'll try the superfeet cycling insoles. I'm looking at the site, they are the grey ones, right?

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    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    Hi,
    Problems like this don't usually stay the same. They slowly get better...or they slowly (or rapidly) get worse. If it gets worse you could be looking at years of recovery, instead of weeks. Been there, done that, can't hike anymore.Hiking was the thing in life I loved the most. From my perspective, you are making a non-optimal decision. In person, I am blunt and gruff at moments like this...you can fill in what I left out. I have had my Superfeet for 2 or 3 years. I have no idea what the color is now. I also have 3 pairs of Superfeet, and only one is a cycling insert. Got 2 pairs of cycling shoes, one has the cycling insert, the other has a (I think) walking insert. I forget.

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    My advie would be stretch, stretch, stretch!

    I got a mild case of Plantar Fascitis earlier this year. My GF looked up some info on the web and we found a very informative page. The main advice theyr had was a regime of calf stretching exercises as the underlying cause is normally (though not always) too tight calves pulling on the ligament which connects under your heel.

    I started stretching several times a day and especially doing a gentle stretch in bed in the morning before climbing out of bed.

    For me it cleared up in a few days, though I daresay that my case was considerably less acute than yours.

    Here's the link - I hope it is useful: http://heelspurs.com/index.html
    ###################
    http://www.cookstour.org
    ###################

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    You might try adjusting your saddle height. This would alter the angle at which you drive power through your feet and may change the pattern of load enough to stop the pain.

    My first guess would be to lower your saddle slightly, as this will put the foot in a more neutral position on the pedal.

    Good luck.

    Jonny

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    Mine has been fading. Now I simply limp a few steps after sitting for more than 1/2 hour.

    My podiatrist (and you should see one) taped my foot. I visited him 3 times per week for a couple weeks. This worked wonders.

    Stretching is great. There's also some braces you can wear at night to stretch your calves/hamstring.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phatman
    A little backround. I have been battling plantar facitis for the past month or three, and I think it might be bike-related. First of all, I run 55-65 miles per week, but whenever I lay off the bike, (just run) my arch doesn't hurt as much. as soon as I go riding though, the pain flairs up. Is is bike fit? I have my cleats set up in the middle of their adjustment range...any tips?
    I was hit several years ago with this. I just happened to buy a pair of Birkenstock sandals after suffering for over a year and bingo, in a few days the pain was much relieved and soon was gone. I attribute this to the particular style of insole that pair of Birkis had; it has Birkenstock's most "aggresive" arch support and if feels like I am walking with a small hill under my instep and is actually quite comfortable. As a result of this hill, the bottoms of my feet were being continually stretched, all day long.

    Try a pair of Birkis or try a pair of insole that really fit under your whole arch, and into your metatarsal area.

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    Quote Originally Posted by foehn
    I was hit several years ago with this. I just happened to buy a pair of Birkenstock sandals after suffering for over a year and bingo, in a few days the pain was much relieved and soon was gone. I attribute this to the particular style of insole that pair of Birkis had; it has Birkenstock's most "aggresive" arch support and if feels like I am walking with a small hill under my instep and is actually quite comfortable. As a result of this hill, the bottoms of my feet were being continually stretched, all day long.

    Try a pair of Birkis or try a pair of insole that really fit under your whole arch, and into your metatarsal area.
    Already got 'em! the problem is that I feel like an idiot wearing them to school during the winter w/ pants. I dunno. I might do it anyway. the pf is fading now, but now my knees are sore from the speedwork I did on wednesday and saturday.

    My superfeet insoles for the bike shoes came, but I haven't gotten the opportunity to try them out yet...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phatman
    Already got 'em! . . .

    My superfeet insoles for the bike shoes came, but I haven't gotten the opportunity to try them out yet...
    I have a set of SuperFeet insoles that I use in my bicycling shoes, but I have found that the arch is nothing compared with the Birki aggressive insole. They are fine for riding, though--they helped me with my knee alignment on the bike.

    Also,there are a lot of closed toe Birkis around, just make sure they have the biggest, most aggressive arch Birki makes. And some are actually not so dorky looking!

    I wear my Birkis year 'round, but then again I live in Southern California and the most weather I have to dicker with is rain, and not a whole lot of that to boot. We went to Lake Tahoe this year (lotsa snow!) and I wore them all around the house and used my boots for outside (with the SuperFeet insoles below)

    I guess what it boils down to with this plantar fascitis is stretch, stretch, stretch--both actively AND passively (the insoles!).

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