Plantar Fascitis - and a Weight Problem!

Hi, I'm suffering from PF - not run now since January so MEGA fed up.  I should have been training for the Coniston 14 in a few weeks but this heel thing has stopped everything. I went to a physiko who said rest, ice, stretching etc but no running.  I find I am better if I dont wear flat shoes, i.e. house slippers.

 I am three and a half stone overweight, the physio said that could be a problem with the PF

 Has anyone found that loosing excess weight helps the PF?.  I was all fired up at the beginning of the year with my diet and excercise plan, I wanted to loose this excess blubber by the end of September of this year but now can only do short bursts of excercise on the cross trainer (boring) or on the rowing machine (MEGA boring).

 Any help from you people would be great, I just feel like lacing up my trainers and saying 'Sod it' and just going out for a run.

Incidentally, I have custom made othotics, I've had them since 2003 and have run injury free since until now.  I think the plantar fascitis started when I was doing some power walking in my lunch hour in just work shoes and not putting my trainers on. 


  • That should say Physio and not physiko in the first paragraph!
  • Marja,

    I know how you feel as I have it right now and it is worse after activity. Just played indoor tennis for an hour with my son and it is dreadful. And have tried everything but weight loss so far. Plantar fasciitis affects both underweight and overweight people. It is due to an age related flattening of the bony arch of the foot. The tarsals and metatarsals form the bony arch and the tarsals in the middle are like the keystones of a bridge. As we wear the cartilage that is the grout between the stones of the arch the bridge lengthens. However, the plantar fascia cannot lengthen so it tears from the heel bone (ouch). 

    Once the diagnosis is confirmed by your GP the treatment for the condition is RICE (rest, ice, compression and elevation) in the early days along with an over the counter NSAID if you can tolerate them. A Dorsiwedge Night Splint helps as without one the plantar fascia is shortened at night and getting it stretched back is painful when first getting up. If the condition is resistant then get along to a physiotherapist and try an Aircast AirHeel™. If it is still resistent then ask your GP for a referral to a Consultant in Orthopaedics and Trauma for consideration of confirmation of the diagnosis and further management.

    Hope this helps.

    John Hardy

  • Marja,

    I did not mention insole for the arches as you already have them. Good idea to wear them as soon as you get up in the morning.


  • Thanks John

     Are Doc Martenns good shoes for me to wear?  I work in I.T so am sitting down most of the day, the physio told me to get some good lace up shoes, not keen on that as the ones I've seen are a bit Granny-ish, to say the least.

     Of course, I will do anything to get rid of this thing and the Dr Martenns styles seem ok - would you recommend them as a good supportive shoe?

  • John, read your info re plantar fasciitis and found it very interesting. I don't have the condition, but my husband has had it since October and is in a lot of pain with it. He has gone down all the different routes of rest, orthotics, cortisone injection, and wears a splint at night, which helps first thing in the morning but still continues to get pain after a run.

    I was wondering when it hopefully eventually goes, is there anything that can be done to prevent it's return ie. stretching etc?

  • I also have PF, though I have found it is much better with orthotics , wearing them all the time.  It is so much better that I ran yesterday and realised I didn't have them on.  The other advice is to run every second day to give your foot a rest, rolling a golf ball on the affected area also helped me when it was really bad.

    Does anyone know if you have to wear the orthotic with the foot that isn't sore?

  • hillrunningfairy,

    I have found that advice from physiotherapist, John Stevenson, on my posture during walking and running was the best for the long term prognosis. I find that I stoop during operating and this creeps into my walking, tennis and jogging. Interestingly as soon as I feel the pain of PF coming back it reminds me to walk as if I had a book on my head and the difference is remarkable. John keeps on at me about core stability and I guess he is right. I try and keep the insoles with medial arch supports in my shoes all the time. I find the 3/4 length prothotics semiflex carbon cost effective and comfortable and use them day on day off at first as suggested by Bellshill Bulllet to break them in.

    Hope this helps.


  • John, thanks for info.

    Book now firmly placed on husbands head!! image

    Seeing the pain that he gets in with PF makes me determined to do all I can to avoid it, as it was bad enough having to cycle for six weeks instead of running, whilst I had a stress fracture. I wear custom orthotics, stretch regularly after runs, do weights where I focus on core stability and like to think that I generally have good posture! So hopefully this will help me avoid the dreaded PF!

  • PF stretch: stand barefoot facing a wall, keeping heel of the foot on the floor place ball of foot on wall. Press bodyweight towards wall to feel stretch under the foot.

    Self-massage: using golf ball, roll under foot. Also use frozen drinks bottle in similar way as the cold will help reduce pain.

  • Thanks Siance,

    Will add PF stretch to my post run stretching routine, and try to encourage my husband to do same, however I think he's allergic to stretching. Every time I quietly suggest it to him following a run he just looks at me like I'm mad!!

    He also found that the golf ball/frozen drinks bottle didn't particularly help.

  • does anyone know why or if orthotics have to be worn on both feet, rather than just the affected one?
  • BB, I would imagine if you wore orthotics on just one foot you would end up with a severe imbalance between two sides of your body and would just end with another injury as a result. I have been wearing orthotics for about 10 years now and always wear two.
  • Orthotics perform functions that make standing, walking, and running more comfortable and efficient, by altering slightly the angles at which the foot strikes a walking or running surface. They correct any biomechanical issues and can help relieve pain depending on the injury. Make sure you use them in neutral trainers, else you will negate their effectiveness.

    The only exception would be if one foot pronates to a greater degree than the other. You would have to get your gait analysed to establish this, otherwise seek advice from a podiatrist. (best to get one on recommendation as they vary greatly and can be expensive!)

  • Do you think I should  start running again?

    As I said in my first post, I am over 3 stones too heavy, its a vicious circle trying to loose weight but can't excersise,  Would a short run - say twenty mins do any long term damage?

  • What about cycling or swimming instead? Also, doing weights is good for burning fat.
  • Hi Marja,

    My advice is based solely on how fed up I was when I couldn't run with PF, nothing else hits the spot.  Buy new orthotics and then go out for a run see if you can run through the discomfort and hen enjoy the run.

    After a few weeks with running every wecond day and wearing the new orthotics all the time the pain will move to a discomfort to a distant memory.

    Good luck and happy running

  • Dear all,

    Regarding Bellshill Bullet's question about insoles and whether a runner has to wear one on each side have a look at the glossary page on as this explains to doctors how to measure leg length difference and decide if a patient needs one, both or inequal insoles.

    John Hardy

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