How I got rid of the sea urchins in my sneakers.

If you have an established exercise routine then you know how important your sneakers are. If you plan on starting, switching the type of exercise that you currently do or plan to increase the intensity of your exercise, then you need to invest in the right pair of shoes. I am writing this because of my frustrations with finding the right pair of sneakers and my journey that led me to these bad boys NIKE metcon (crying because they are on sale and I paid full price). With that being said, these may not be the right shoes for you but I will describe how I got to this conclusion for me.

Last year I increased the frequency and the intensity with which I exercise ( Keeping it Physical ).  Prior to mission “get shredded,” I ran on the treadmill on a very sporadic basis. So when I began to involve myself in High Intensity Interval Training, I swore that there were sea urchins in the Asics that I was wearing. I was definitely suffering from plantar fasciitis. Plantar Fasciitis might be a misnomer as fasciitis would be more suggestive of inflammation of the fascia. In actuality the histopathology demonstrates disorganization of the fibers of the plantar fascia as opposed to inflammation. Some experts in the field refer to this condition as “plantar fasciosis“. Plantar Fasciitis: A concise review

PF

It is caused by repetitive over stretching of the fascia which subsequently leads to microtears and degeneration of the fibers.There are many factors that contribute to PF but the factors that contributed to this for me were:

1.Lack of stretching, particularly my calf muscles, before and after workouts

2.  Increasing frequency and intensity of my physical activity

3. Physical activity that included jumping

4. Ballet flats at work and flip flops at home

Other factors that can contribute to Plantar Fasciitis are obesity, being on your feet all day long (been there done that) and high or low arched feet.

I had X-rays done to rule out a stress fracture or bone spurs (AGAIN OVERKILL, I know I know)  and I gave myself the advice that I would give any patient in my situation.

1.Rest

2.Ice

3. Stretching exercises see here

4.Wear a low heel instead of ballet flats- scratch that I pulled out my favorite shoes: DANSKO PROFESSIONAL CLOGS to get quick relief, plus they just scream high fashion (smiling).

5. Take anti- inflammatory medicine (NOT FOR MY GERIATRIC PATIENTS i.e. BAD NEWS)

6. There are other modalities used to treat plantar fasciitis. They include shoe inserts, corticosteroid injections, splints, extracorporeal shock wave therapy. These were not a part of my treatment plan and will not be described here.

With the exception of the clogs, I was non compliant until i couldn’t take it any longer. I began to reform my ways and started following the instructions. Resting I enjoyed, Icing was annoying, Stretches were do-able, danskos were heaven and I chose a topical anti-inflammatory for reasons I will describe in another post. And then, I started my mission to find the appropriate workout shoe to prevent this setback from happening again in the future. I made my way to Runners Depot hoping that they would help me navigate the overwhelming world of workout shoes (running shoes vs training shoes, gel soles etc. etc.) I was told that my Asics were great shoes and to keep using them since they had very little signs of wear. What a waste of my time. So I came home and cried to my husband who said, “lets check SHOE DOG online and see what the dog recommends.” SHOE DOG, a tool offered  the Road Runner Sports website was ON POINT. This tool is a shoe finder called Shoe Dog that asks you various questions, tells you how to figure out the pitch of your arch and then suggests 1 or 2 pairs of shoes suited just  for you. Needless to say, the Nike Metcons were suggested for me. My first impression was that they were atrocious looking but then I saw that there was an option with the metallic swoosh and I was sold. Since then- NO REGRETS.

The purpose of this post was to remind you to invest the time to take care of your feet. Do a little extra research to find the right pair of shoes for yourself to prevent problems later. Take the time to stretch before and after your workouts. If you do have pain don’t skip the ICING step and never hesitate to discuss any concern with your primary care provider.

References:

Schwartz E, Su J. Plantar Fasciitis a concise Review.The Permanente Journal. 2014 Winter.

Goff J, Crawford R. American Family Physician. 2011 Sep 15.

Treating Plantar FasciitisChoosing Wisely . 2015 June.

American Orthopedic Food and Ankle Society

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