Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Plantar Fasciitis Recovery Update

The past few weeks I have been going to physical therapy for my plantar fasciitis. I was really hoping my heel pain would get better all on its own but my podiatrist said I needed at least four weeks. So we are at the half way point and I must say I am glad I went. Wish the pain would be gone though. Can't even remember the last time I didn't have any pain...that's sad.

Yes it is a pain to go for two hours of physical therapy every session and yes my feet are even more sore afterwards but overall my foot pain has gotten a lot better. Plantar fasciitis sucks...not gonna lie. It is a horrible pain on your heel and sometimes the arch of your feet. These feet are meant to last you your entire life so when problems arise it is better to fix them right away in order to improve your quality of life. I mean who wants to walk in pain with every step? 

My physical therapist starts with this torture machine:

They stick electrodes on my feet and calves, wrap my feet with warm blankets, and let the torture begin. Okay I am over exaggerating just a bit. This machine stimulates muscles and nerves to promote circulation and relieve pain. I actually control how strong of a jolt I receive. Each time I go I try to push myself just a tad more in order to reap the benefits.

The next thing I do are the exercises. So my physical therapist is trying to strengthen my ankle, calves, and shins in order to provide better support for my foot. I didn't realize how weak my feet are. After my first time in physical therapy, my feet were sore just from the exercises! Little by little I am noticing a change. 

Along with the exercises I have been getting ultrasound therapy and light therapy. Ultrasound is said to decrease the inflammatory process by using sound waves at a high frequency. Light therapy works about the same by fighting the inflammation in the fascia, reduce heel pain, and increase recovery time. Both of these therapies are painless. I don't even feel them. The only thing I feel is the cold gel when they do the ultrasound.  The therapist did say though that there really isn't that much research on how effective these therapies are. Some people say these modalities completely healed them others didn't feel a difference. I am still on the fence. For now I'll continue doing them. I am trying everything in order to heal sooner.

I will say the best part of physical therapy is the massage! I get about 20 minutes of massage on each foot and they mainly focus on my heel and arch. It feels painfully awesome.  This last session they found a really tender spot on my left heel. I just about screamed when she got to it. Funny thing is that I didn't even know it was tender until she touched it.

To try to fix my tender spot this last time he put a pain patch. Basically its a cortisone shot in a patch. The medication comes in different doses and delivered over 20 minutes. This was actually a bit painful. It felt like a burn. He had to modify it a few times but I was able to last the whole 20 minutes. This treatment is not something that is done at every session. It'll only be done when I have extremely tender ideas. I did feel relief afterwards so I know this really helped.

Fast forward two hours and its time to stretch and call it a day. They always tape me up and ship me out the door. The tape feels so good. It's just an added support for my ankle and heel but it really works for me. The good thing is that the tape lasts 3-4 days even with showers. The bad thing is that lint gets all around the tape and I can't shave my legs in certain spots. 

Every time I go to physical therapy I pick the therapist's brain a bit more. I am finding out that he actually treats numerous foot injuries. Every time I am there I am meeting new people going through the same thing. I am also learning that about 80% of his patients fully recover from plantar fasciitis. I am however more prone to getting it back once I fully heal. Fingers crossed I am one of those 80% instead of the 20%. I love to run and look forward to be injury free!

Have you ever done physical therapy?

Other places your can find me:
Instagram: fitwanderlustrunner
Twitter: fitwrunner
Bloglovin': fitwanderlustrunner