Plantar Fasciitis a year later

Hi All,

I have been suffering with PF for almost year which means I haven't been able to run for a year either! After endless physio, acupuncture, Shockwave Therapy, insoles and stretching I went for MRI scan only for that to come back clear. My consultant is pretty sure I must have a small PF Tear somewhere though which is causing me pain in the same area. Looks like my next route will be the steroid injection. Just wondered if anyone has had this? Does it work and how painful is it? Being a teacher I rely on being on my feet all day so don't know if this is a risky option! I am dying to get back to running and at the moment I can't see a light at the end of the tunnel!




  • hi kate 2 people in my running club have had the injection and had miraculous results,although you have a feww days of soreness,but if you look on the forums plenty of people have  found no difference,i think it may depend if your doctor gets the right spot,but it may be a chace worth taking.

    having said that ive had pf since june and i wouldnt have the injection unless i was desperate because im scared of needles,its getting better now,lots of stretching and rolling a frozen water bottle under it.

    im up to 5 miles now but im not completely free of discomfort its an individual thing,there is another thread on this(pf what now) good luck.

  • I found that the injection was incredibly painful for a few minutes whilst it was being done but immediatly afterwards it took the PF from being very difficult to walk on to moderately uncomfortable and setting the road to recovery. I had the injection in late June/early July, I'm almost pain free and nearly ready to start training again.
  • Hi Kate,

    I had PF for about 18 months, had a steroid injection which got me through a triathlon but symptoms returned. I had tried insoles from a podiatrist, stretches, the cold coke can and the 'Strasbourg sock' which I wore at night. Nothing really worked until a fell running mate of mine suggested barefoot running (on the road). I thought he was mad as it goes against all the advice about cushioning the area of pain but then all that hadn't worked so I gave it a go. Within 2 weeks the pain was gone!
    I only had to do a few minutes at a time-once I overdid it and pulled my calf (it takes time to adapt to running barefoot). I only barefoot run a tiny bit but it seems enough to strengthen my feet to keep this annoying problem at bay.
    I know it sounds off the wall and I was skeptical. I am a GP and searched for the evidence for this-there isn't a lot. But there is a lot of stuff out there about barefoot running (just google barefoot running and you will see what I mean). 'Born to Run' is an interesting read and makes this point: An arch is an inherently strong structure, that is why it features in bridges etc, no one would consider putting a support in the middle of the arch of a bridge as it weakens the structure rather than strengthens it. So why when we have a problem with the arch of our feet is the solution to support it? It gets weaker and doesn't get better.
    I just did my first marathon last weekend and no hint of PF pain.
    Good luck!
  • This link gives more details about the barefoot thing, the guy writing it also found that his stubborn PF cleared up very quickly after trying barefooting. Take a look..
  • I see Kate has started another thread so I will copy this to her as well.

    Well before I have a moan how is everyone doing. I hope that unlike me you are allnow free of pain and are managing to get at least short distance runs in if not long ones.

    As for me I still have my little mantra which is " remember what Steves advice was " ie rest it until the pain as gone.Boy as that been difficult to keep to but I have managed to so far.

    Each night when I go to bed and I put on the night shoe I hope that the next day is going to be a pain free one but it still has not happened.

    A couple of weeks ago now we had a week end in Brighton to look at the VW Campers in the Brighton Breeze and because I spent so much time walking up and down looking at the line up of vehicles the PF started giving me some gip.So it seems that rather than get better it has got worse.

    So its back to my mantra yet again.Thankfully I can still get out on the bike so I can exercise and I also went swimming last week so it does help but OMG do I want to go for a run.

    It is frightening when Iread of how long some of you have suffered from this problem and I only hopt that I am not heading in the same direction.

    For now good luck everyone and I hope like me you recover from the problem shortly.

  • Martin You make a very interesting point.
  • You still struggling then Ted? Second injection for me yesterday which seems it have cleared it up. I had some minor discomfort after a one mile jog last week so I nipped down to my GPs who gave me another injection. Appt at physio to have a biomechanical assessment tomorrow.  Hopefully I'll be back in to it soon. Famous last word...........

    Like you I'm worried about these stories of 12-18 mths of PF pain.

  • Graeme sorry to read that.Yes it does not seem to be getting any better and I am loathe to seek professional help as the costs can just mount once you begin because each next appointment always seems crucial in improving the injury.

    I have just read the study martin as posted and its very interesting but the barefoot option surely can only be used if your a track runner.If I tried it in my area it would be difficult to avoid the debris and dog mess on the streets.

    How easy was it to get the injection from the doctor Graeme and did he charge you.

    Good luck with the assessment tomorrow and let me know how you get on.

    We have sun here at the moment so its even more tormenting that I cannot go out for a run.

  • Hi Ted
    I used to go by the 'rest until the pain has gone' mantra myself but my experience of a number of chronic injuries over the years has led me to question this.
    Of course rest in the acute phase but thereafter if you keep resting you are going to get weaker and hence more prone to injury. Take the analogy of low back pain-a common presentation in my surgery. Years ago folk were told to go to bed and rest but then it became apparent when they did this they didn't get better. Now the advice is keep as active as possible and work on the core muscles to strengthen the back.
    By the way, barefoot on the road or pavement is fine, obviously you run a little more carefully and I found the distances to fix my problem was measured in 100's of yards and not miles. 98% of the time I run in trainers. It really was a trot up the lane and back. If you want to try it look into the technique first and take it steady. This is a good place to start
  • This link gives more details about the barefoot thing, the guy writing it also found that his stubborn PF cleared up very quickly after trying barefooting. Take a look..
  • ...if you stretch your plantar fascia when you've got plantar fascial symptoms, it may feel better BUT it won't get you better long term.

    It's an overuse and overstretch problem. Find out why, deal with that and then get running....


  • Ted my GP has been very supportive, I described the symptoms back in June, he diagnosed PF (which I knew) and said that given the time I'd had it, which was 2-3 or so months at the time a cortisone injection would be required to stop it from becoming chronic.  This got me from not being able to walk easily to not being able to run, a few weeks later I started running again albeit gently. About three weeks later racing my son on his bike I felt a pop and the symptoms were back, I returned to my GP and he said let's have another go.  The injections were on the NHS and free. Oddly my heel is very sore today after the injection although not PF sore.

    I'm with HW and Martin, I too see chronic conditions and my experience is they need a kick to start healing. My plan is treat it and allow a week or two to heal, find out why it happened and take steps to prevent it coming back again.  Hopefully this second injection has cured it and a biomechanical exam tomorrow shold identify the causes.

  • Cheers Martin that is certainly something I should conside even though HW also feels that gives out a word of warning.

    Graeme by what you have said if my injury continues I may visit my GP.

  • Hi Ted and Kate i too have had PF for many many years the first time was so cronic i had to walk with walking sticks.I tried EVERYTHING and like you nothing worked  and i had it in both feet ( i have a flat foot that makes it easier to get PF)so i had the first injection and after i was pain free and that lasted about 3 years, the second one lasted 2 years and my PF is started to niggle back. The injections are very painful for aminute or so and your feet feel bruised for  a couple of days after but then i was pain free and i was able to walk without pain which was heavenly. The GP can do them (he tried to do mine and we had to abandon it after 4 attempts it was a very harrowing experience) but just bear in mind these people are not experts and do not do them consistantly. I was referred to our local foot clinic and as they are specialised in feet it was very good ( but still VERY painfull) I wish i can say that something other cured it but there was nothing that helped (even the 12 sessions of physio and accupuncture didnt touch it) i would deffinately have the injection again rather than faff aroung with  stretching (the stretching made mine worse), rolling etc  1 minute of really bad pain but then no PF! it was well worth it! hope you get rid of the dreaded PF whichever route you go as i know it impacts the whole of your life when you are walking in pain! (let alone running)

    Graeme i  do alot of on and off road biking in the lakes and just on the back of what you said i did not have planta until i did a  hard 48 mile bike ride over the hills in the lakes and thats when i felt mine go and up until then i had always blamed the running!

  • tracey that makes for horrific reading indeed but I am glad that it seems to be ok now.

    Its also interesting to read about getting PF after a hard ride in the lakes because since the PF problem I have gravitated to using the bike more.I must also had that you must be a tough fit cookie to ride 48 miles off road because that's a lot harder than doing it on road.

    Getting back to the PF I am still using the night shoe but every flipping morning the pain is still there.I do hope it disappears far quicker than yours or some of our forum colleagues did.

    Having had such an awful time with PF are you more conscious of doing the stretching/ strengthening exercises these days.

  •  I do strech more than i used to especially my calves but i tended to do it after my running not so much after my biking but i do now. I do think for myself i have to be careful about over stretching as i can feel it when i do and i know other people who have said that alot of stretching also has adverse effects in their PF.I have also been advised that "rolling " can be counter productive (it was for me but as i said before i have a flat foot so i will be more prone to PF

    ) I think the hardest part is to rest and i was very guilty of not doing that ( hence why it got so bad the first time) but i have learned to try and rest it (but as Martin said rest alone may not cure it and it can return when you return to exercise) and i make sure i change my trainers more often.

    How long are you going to wear the shoes in bed for?  When should you be seeing an improvement?Are you doing anything else for it?

    The biking is hard work but exciting (until i come off LOL then the bike takes the easy route down!!!LOL) and you get to see things you would not normally get to see.  biking on and off road over hilly and mountanous terrain is very exciting i would hate to have to cut that back or out altogether because of PF. I hope the PF and you are feeling better soon i know how it can get "you" down. good luck!

  • Tracey unbelievably having been shopping with my wife my PF seems to have flared up again because it is really aching now.

    I am still wearing the night boot on the affected leg and I thought that by doing so it was making my injury better but after today I am not so sure.Having had this injury for some weeks now and having made sure I rested it by not running I really thought I would be back running by now.

    I wanted that to be the case because as you know cycling can be difficult during the bad weather because of icy roads.I am glad however that cycling is one of the other sports I enjoy doing,another being swimming, because at least I can maintain a certain level of fitness.

    Given this injury does not seem to be improving its now time to go and see a physio which I have been loathe to do because of the cost but if it can help cure the problem then it has to be worth it.

    Thanks for your good wishes Tracey I will not let it get me down because many people suffer on a daily basis with far more serious injuries and disabilities but have an injury to the PF is a pain literally and in other ways as well.

  • Hi All,

    Many thanks for all your replies. Steroid injection booked for Mid December...any advice on the pain? Is it really really bad? Also how long is it recommended before you can try running again or is it not advised for a while?


  • Kate,

    I've been given different advice regarding startign running again. My GP said give it a 2-3 weeks and don't go mad straight away, a physio said soft tissue injuries take 8-10 weeks to heal so that's the time frame. As for the pain, my first injection was grit my teeth, screw my eyes up and think of running again, anything to forget it, the second time was pain free.

  • Looks like I'll be dragging someone along to cling on to then! If it lets me get back to running then the pain will be so worth it! 3 weeks doesn't seem to bad and I guess by going slowly it's prob a 1 mile twice a week at most job for a good while?
  • Hi all, has anyone tried (or know anyone that might have) these Kenkoh sandals - they have been reviewed in a few running magazines and I am thinking of trying them out as they seem to be good for coping with PF etc....pricey though so would like to do some research first!!
  • They certainly may be worth a try because I am getting desperate now. I hope everyone else's PF problem is improving.
  • Hi there,

    Sorry to hear about your difficulties with PF.

    Have had PF badly on my right foot for about 2.5 yrs and on the left foot on-and-off for the same time. Pretty chronic and very frustrating. Unfortunately I made the mistake of running through pain for 3 months (pain came after running but seemed to go away after a few hours so I thought it was ok - silly of me) until my right foot 'gave in' completely and running was just not possible.

    Have been told it has probably very little to do with my feet but more to do with inherent tightness in my muscles right throughout my legs. I tried tried pretty much everything - long periods of resting, stretching, icing, rolling, shockwave, myofascia release, yoga, changed all my shoes, taping, acupuncture, foot surgeons, physios, barefoot shoes/walking (for me, caused alot more pain) name it I did it! I continue to do pilates, and have sports massage, regularly.

    I wanted to add my tuppence worth re the injections. I had an injection in my right foot about 9 months in - got better for three months to the point that I started to do a little light running; but one day when I was out there was a pop, intense pain, and after a few months of further pain it was looked at via ultrasound/MRI and the scans showed up a PF partial rupture. My foot is worse now and I have been told by two surgeons that the rupture will never really mend and there is nothing that they can do (although, in all honesty, none of them ever come across as totally sure, it doesn't appear to be a very commonly discussed injury - a podiatrist I was seeing at the time rang 5 surgeons to get an opinion and all gave a different answer...!). I had read that rupture was a risk of the injection but hadn't taken too much notice - I just really wanted the PF to go away. I wouldn't wish the PF rupture on anyone - and I feel that whereas before I might have been able to 'cure' my PF through time - now it seems possible I could be stuck with it for life. For the majority of people the injection will probably be fine - but I would love to turn back the clock if I could ...

     Sorry if this post has sounded negative. On the positive side - and as I have gone through this PF 'journey' - most people that I have met who have had it have recovered successfully with time, albeit it has taken a wee while. All the physios/podiatrists/surgeons I have seen (many!) have been very mystified that nothing has worked to help me, so having it to the chronic extent I have, I think, must be fairly unusual...

    Can I ask - has anyone else ever had a PF rupture? Have they recovered from it? 

  • bakerk I am really sorry to read about your PF problem and its certainly making me now question about ever getting a cortisone injection.

    Given the time you and others have suffered from this problem my few months in comparison is nothing but its still frustrating.As if that is not bad enough I have now managed to sprain the other ankle by just walking off a kerb so definitely no running for me yet.

    The wife and I went out for a walk today and on the way home the PF flared up and I just managed to struggle home.I am now wondering whether as one of our colleagues as mentioned whether by continuing to cycle I am not allowing the PF to heal up.

    I cannot see me giving that up though because life without any form of exercise would be a nightmare.

    Being optimistic I really do hope that perhaps time can help and you can at least get back to some form of running.

  • Ted, sorry to hear your PF has flared up again. I've had my custom orhtotics about two weeks now and although they are uncomfortable to run in at the moment, they are absolutely fine when walking so I expect to get used to them for running pretty soon. I've only done a few gentle miles, 2 min/mile off marathon pace but the injections seem to have worked for me, however the orthotics, in keeping my foot neutral seem to have helped a lot. Famous last words, probably flare up again tonight now....
  • Pleased to read of your good news Graeme. I will rest it for a little longer and if there is no progression I will then either contact my GP or a Physio.
  • Bakerk sorry to hear about your PF journey and the injection making things worse for you. I am keeping my fingers crossed that it will work for me as this is probably my last resort before surgery. Glad to hear things are improving Graeme!
  • Hi everyone.Well today's the day that I say enough is enough and I now need to seek medical help.Whilst I would love to avoid paying out any money sadly the process in getting help via the NHS takes so long that I will just have to accept that I need to spend some money.

    So can anyone recommend a physio in the Croydon area I know its a long shot because we all live in different places but I thought it would be worth a try.

    I,ll also post another thread asking the same question.

  • I see the guys at Crystal Palace Sports Injury Clinic for mine and they have been great. Don't know if that's an option for you?
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