How a girl made me laugh and cry at the same time

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Ever Since I conquered my first marathon at the TBR Dream Marathon Last February 2013 I started to suffer from what I found out later to be Plantar Fasciitis (PF) – How Ironic.

Plantar Fasciitis (PF) is a painful inflammatory process of the plantar fascia, the connective tissue on the sole (bottom surface) of the foot. It is often caused by overuse of the plantar fascia or arch tendon of the foot. It is a very common condition and can be difficult to treat if not looked after properly. Another common term for the affliction is “policeman’s heel”. – Wikipedia

At first I thought it was just a temporary condition and I still kept on training and racing until it got worst! One morning when I woke up, I simply cannot walk because of the pain on my heels. Then I started to research and consult different coaches and professionals and found out that PF is actually a serious condition if not properly taken care of.

It took a while to convince myself to totally stop running for a few weeks because of the fear of loosing the speed and endurance I have gained over the last few months, but my stubbornness was overpowered when one day I simply cannot run properly because of the pain.

April 2013 was therapy month. I took my coaches advise and ceased running for a week or so and started home therapy, this is what I did:
1. Towel Stretch the fascia every morning, using a towel to pull back the foot.
2. Soak foot in hot water every morning and evening for 20-30 minutes.
3. Use a glass bottle, fill it with hot water and roll the foot and arch for 10-20 minutes. (I bought a bottle of SOLA, it works!)

After a week, the pain decreased but not yet totally eliminated, I was really getting frustrated, then suddenly with a stroke of luck, I found a media invitation from Summit Wellness.

The letter reads…

Dear Sir / Madam,

We are Summit Wellness Center, a Sports Medicine and Physical Therapy Clinic located at 4F West Tower, Philippine Stock Exchange Center (Tektite), along Exchange Road in Ortigas Center. Our aim is to help patients gain back their normal, pain-free movement at the soonest time possible…

How timely!? Coincidence? I quickly replied and asked, do you treat Plantar Fasciitis? They replied… Yes. And I found myself scheduling a therapy session with them.

Here is where I met Ams, a lovely young lady, and I told her my condition and the self-therapy I was doing, old-school “daw” but effective she answered smilingly. She then explained that the bottle rolling therapy was actually similar to a Myofascial release therapy which is what she’s going to “unleash” unto me.

The direct myofascial release (or deep tissue work) method engages the myofascial tissue “restrictive barrier” (tension). The tissue is loaded with a constant force until release occurs. Practitioners use knuckles, elbows, or other tools to slowly stretch the restricted fascia by applying a few kilograms-force or tens of newtons. Direct myofascial release is an attempt to bring about changes in the myofascial structures by stretching or elongation of fascia, or mobilizing adhesive tissues. The practitioner moves slowly through the layers of the fascia until the deep tissues are reached. – Wikipedia

She asked me if we should add the calf area as part of the therapy, which without hesitation I answered, SURE! Which I would later on regret… Because later I found out that doing “DEEP TISSUE WORK” is extremely painful and I that myofascial release is most painful in the calf area… OUCH!

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Look at how Ams is laughing at me as I cry in pain as she drills her elbow down by left calf. The session lasted for around and 1/2 hours, it was painful but my muscles felt relaxed right after, whats even better is that the pain at my plantar fascia was drastically reduced over the next few days, though I still continue doing my “old-school” home therapy.

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Thanks Ams and Summit Wellness for the “torture”, I learned my lessons well. To those suffering from a similar condition or any type of condition, what this experience have taught me is that there is no substitute for rest and recovery, listen to your body and don’t abuse it, if you feel pain, seek professional advise, ignore it and you might end up regretting your decision.

I am now running again… but staying away from long distances, for now…

Do you have a similar story? Share it with us! Leave a comment below.

If you guys want to contact Summit Wellness, you can reach them via:

Summit Wellness Center
4F West Tower, Phil Stock Exchange Center (Tektite), Exchange Road, Ortigas Center
Call: 667-3065 / 661-6327.

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19 COMMENTS

  1. i also feel a little pain around my left heel. i felt it in one of my long runs this week. im afraid i could not join RU2 for 21k but in my mind i say that i can still run 21k next week since i can still bear the pain.
    i just started running last March 2013. I started in 5k, then 10k, 16k and 21k in less than 2 months. i join fun runs almost every week. is this pain under my foot a sign of Plantar Fasciitis (PF)?

      • It’s not ironic, and it is actually pretty common among distance runners, especially with flat-footed runners or heel-first strikers. Try to be mindful of your form, and avoid minimalist shoes. Kinvara or other similar support-heavy shoes are ideal. Also hot water? Ginagamit pa ba to? As far as I know, cold (as in subzero) therapy is the way to go for muscle and tendon/ligament issues.

    • thanks for the advices! :) i think my footwear contributes to this pain. when i started running last march, im using nike free run 3. pero medyo pudpod na kaya i shifted to adistar ride 4. i used it last sunday when i ran in Slimmerun and these past few days in training. hindi siguro para sakin ang adistar ride 4, iba din kasi feeling ko pag gamit yun. i have my 10k run on Sunday (Energen) and a week after it (RU2 for 21k). i hope i feel well na this time. and i will be using Nike Free Run 3 again since im more comfortable using it.
      BTW i saw sir Jeff in NatGeo run. magpapapicture sana ko with him kaso nahiya ako. hehe.

  2. Thanks for the story, I’ll check them out. I feel the same in my heel. It’s like I’ve stepped on to a nail or sharp object. Already changed to Asics to support my run. Running at RU2 32k, good luck to me

  3. The arch of my right foot hurts badly everytime i start to run,pero after a couple of hundred meters of running i get use to it kaya parang nasasanay nlang ako sa pain.pero after running,the pain starts to grow back kaya nag-li-limp nako during my walks after a long run.after several research readings,i found na almost flat-arched na ang right foot ko.i couldnt stop running kasi i’ll definitely gain weight :(

    • GEL, my friend used to have this problem. She’d be gingery in the morning until we warm up but she’d be fine after 1k or so. Then she’d be in terrible pain once the running is over. What she did was 1. foot roll with a bottle 2. flex and compression exercises 3. soak feet in ice (i do this as well for my entire leg after >10k runs, seems to be standard stuff among professional athletes in football/basketball/etc.) After a few weeks, she’s pain free, and that was more than a year ago.

      • sir, i never done “feet soaking in ice”, do i need to soak my feet immediately pagdating sa bahay sir or mag-rerest po muna for 15 mins before i soak it? also, i bought a new pair of shoes for “moderate to severe” stability running. my right foot seems to feel comfortable with it, however my left foot nman yung parang naging uncomfortable with the shoe…any recommendations?

      • Hi GEL, whatever you’re comfortable with. In my case and in my friend’s, we soak immediately, though I understand why people would want to rest first before coming to contact with water. Re shoes, now that you mention it, it seems like it’s always the left leg/knee. Why is that kaya no? Anyway, I think the very best support shoes is Kinvara.

  4. I too am a new runner. Just started to run in May this year. Since then, i already joined 5k and 10k runs. In two of those runs, i got bursitiis. One was at the right knee. The second one (at the left ankle, an achilles bursitis this time) i got just this Sunday from the Pidol Run.

    I agree with the others that the type of shoes and running form (heel strikers) are factors in getting these injuries. May i add the following factors:
    – lack of stretching
    – lack of warm up
    – abrupt distance increase

    This article is good. I will go to Ams tomorrow for a consult and possible therapy. I sm still suffering from my 2nd injury.

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