For a minute there, I thought I was going to be a runner. Xavi and I were both super excited. We both went out and got fitted for good running shoes. We were super careful to start out running on grass instead of pavement (which means a 15 minute drive to our favorite local park). We were careful to stretch after our daily run. At first, my lungs protested after a few meters. But eventually I was able to work my way up to a mile at a time, and then two miles. I was thinking of gearing up to run a 5K, something I haven’t done since I was in my 20’s. I was starting to feel proud of myself, and really beginning to love my new routine.
Then my heel started to hurt. It started out subtly, and it was no problem to push through at first. But then, the problem got worse. I tried to be more diligent about my stretching. But soon I had to cut back to running once every other day, and even then, the pain became so severe that it was hard to walk the day after even a light jog. I knew I had to do something.
Eventually, I decided to go talk to my doctor. She told me that I have plantar fasciitis, which is an inflammation of the connective tissue (called fascia) that lives at the bottom of the foot. In my case, it was causing a pulling sensation in my heel which had become very painful. I had a few options. I could try to treat the problem myself, as I had been doing. There were some more at-home remedies I could try. I could opt for a cortisone injection right in my foot, which might be a permanent solution, but if not, it could still alleviate the pain for up to 6 weeks. There was also a surgical option. This is apparently quite common, has minimal recovery time, and typically is a permanent fix for the issue. However I hate having surgery and I wanted to avoid this route if at all possible.
I decided to try the injection. As promised, it made the pain go away completely. I was ecstatic – I must be cured, I believed! Unfortunately, that proved not to be the case. After about 5 weeks, the pain started to return. At first it was subtle, like it had been in the beginning. However, around the 7 week mark, I could no longer run at all.
I felt so defeated. Still determined not to go the surgical route except as an absolute last resort, I started to do my own research, and began experimenting with various options for how to treat my plantar fasciitis on my own.
In my next article I will share openly about my trial and error process, what has worked, what hasn’t, and the result of all my research and diligent attention to my aching foot. This is a very common problem for many people, and I hope that something I share will help someone else to find some measure of relief.