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Barefoot Running with Plantar faciitis?

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  • Barefoot Running with Plantar faciitis?

    I've had PF for over 18 months which my podiatrist believes was brought about by walking around on concrete in VFF. Also, I have VERY flat feet. I'm a 25 year old female within an appropriate BMI (just recently, lost 30# with PB!) and PF this bad just doesn't make sense. I wear orthotics now and am required to wear ankle braces on each foot when doing dog agility. The movements are very similar to soccer, but done at a 100% sprint pace with lots of starting and stopping. I feel better running my dog in VFF but than I can't walk for 2 days without a 7/10 on the pain scale.

    I am a VERY prominent heel striker and a bad over pronator. Anyone have ANY idea if barefoot can help this? I haven't been barefoot at all in over 2 months. At all. It's driving me batty! What was I doing so wrong that I wrecked my feet?

  • #2
    I am nowhere near expert on foot injuries, but if your are a bad over pronator and flat footed, IDK if barefoot will really fix that. It could, and some smart person may know why, but from what I have learned, if you are flat footed and an over pronator you might need a shoe with a decent medial post for arch support, and straitening out your achilles. The orthotics could help too. There are some good books out there, I read "Fixing Your Feet" by John Vonhof when I started doing a lot of mileage last fall. It is a gold mine of information and lessons learned from a plethera of distance athletes. Here is what is says (some of it) on PF:
    "generally prescribed treatments include rest, moist heat and streatching in the morning or before activity, icing massage after activity, heel cups, taping of the foot for arch brace, orthotics, foot exercises, and shoe modifications."
    "motion-control shoes can help if you overpronate."
    HTH
    "Most men stop when they begin to tire. Good men go until they think they will collapse. But the VERY BEST men know that the mind tires before the body and push themselves beyond all limits. Only when all of these limits have been shattered can the unattainable be reached." ~Dan Gable

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    • #3
      I developed achilles tendonitis when I was doing heavy running. I thought a shoe could cure it and tried everything. I stopped running for 6 months and it cleared up. Since then I only run in VFF and normally don't do more then 15 miles a week. It took me 3 months to get used to running in minimilist shoes and after 1.5 years I am just now getting comfortable. You have been abusing your feet for years and you will need time to strengthen them. You need to work on your ankles too. I had severe ankle problems from football and rugby. I have tweaked both my ankles more times then I can count and have had 1 high ankle sprain which was one of the most miserable injuries I have ever had. I would suggest doing bodyweight squats and progress till you can do pistols. This has helped my ankles more then anything else. The only time I wear shoes anymore is to work and in the winter otherwise I am in flip flops or barefoot and use my VFF for running. If all you care about is dropping time then keep strapping on different aids and weakening your feet and learn to live with chronic injuries like PF.
      Check out my primal blog: http://primalroar.posterous.com/

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      • #4
        Stop heel striking? I'm not an expert, but I'm pretty sure that's rule #1 for going barefoot.

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        • #5
          I have great motion control shoes and have begun treating the PF with ultrasound therapy on my heels every other day. I just wish I could trust SOME medical professional to actually know what is good for me. <sigh>

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Relosa View Post
            Stop heel striking? I'm not an expert, but I'm pretty sure that's rule #1 for going barefoot.
            Honestly I'm not sure how. I've tried it, but it always feels super wobbly. I'm not sure if that is an ankle thing or not. My marathon-runner friend has told me to run from my hips to develop impulsion and that helps a little. I just don't know what my stride actually looks like. I was in marching band in high school and college where heel strike is basically mandatory for smooth movement, I've got a LOT of muscle memory to undo. Is there anything out there to "teach" someone to run?

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            • #7
              Originally posted by MightyAl View Post
              If all you care about is dropping time then keep strapping on different aids and weakening your feet and learn to live with chronic injuries like PF.
              Thing is, I'm NOT a runner. I wasn't abusing my feet at all other than standing on concrete at work. I do sprints for about 2 minutes total 2-3 days a week for agility and that's it. The rest of the time I walk. I can't even do much in the way of lifting heavy things because the extra weight kills my feet. I'm kind of at an impass right now and not happy about it. I definitely don't want to live with PF and I know that wrapping both ankles and completely supporting my foot is the wrong thing to do overall. So you think strengthening my ankles is the way to go? What about the flat feet aspect of the equation?

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              • #8
                try walking on your tiptoes on purpose all the time. i did that and it took a while but now i find myself bouncing and not realizing it
                Optimum Health powered by Actualized Self-Knowledge.

                Predator not Prey
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                • #9
                  Originally posted by quelsen View Post
                  try walking on your tiptoes on purpose all the time. i did that and it took a while but now i find myself bouncing and not realizing it
                  Bouncing? I'm not sure of the relevance of this. Maybe I'm just not understanding?

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                  • #10
                    Not sure if it will help you, but I relearned how to run using the Chi Running method which uses a mid-foot strike.
                    Grass Fed Beef Restaurants

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                    • #11
                      Never mind, I spoke without thinking

                      have you gone here?

                      Plantar Fasciitis: From Causes to Treatment
                      Optimum Health powered by Actualized Self-Knowledge.

                      Predator not Prey
                      Paleo Ketogenic Lifestyle

                      CW 315 | SW 506
                      Current Jeans 46 | Starting Jeans 66


                      Contact me: quelsen@gmail.com

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                      • #12
                        I had a brief case of PF (not like yours, but certainly painful enough), and this device at least seemed to help: FootLog - The Ultimate Foot Massager

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                        • #13
                          Sweet! Are there any particular resources I should be reading?

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                          • #14
                            Stop running?

                            Sometimes the obvious fix is the right one. There are plenty of ways to strengthen your body without hurting it.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Nicator View Post
                              Stop running?

                              Sometimes the obvious fix is the right one. There are plenty of ways to strengthen your body without hurting it.
                              I actually tend to feel BETTER the day after an agility session with running. I literally am only running 2 minutes over an hours time at most.

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