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Plantar Fasciitis and Vibram Five FIngers.

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  • Plantar Fasciitis and Vibram Five FIngers.

    I must admit that I've looked upon the Vibram Five Fingers footwear with amusement and asserted to myself that I'd never wear such an item.

    Joining MDA (Mark's Daily Apple) I've found myself revisiting those shoes...gloves? Foot gloves? Reading Mark's comments has given me pause to look at them with different eyes. Never the less, I have what might be a conflict with wearing them and that is Plantar Fasciitis.

    A couple of years ago I started developing foot issues that were diagnosed as Plantar Fasciitis. This condition was brought on by a combination of long hours on my feet in the film business and 3 days a week fitness boot camp held primarily on asphalt.

    I have been advised to wear footwear that supports my arch as often as possible. I avoid going barefoot as much as I can wearing Birkenstocks around the house etc. Additionally I had custom orthotics made to use daily in what ever type of shoe I am wearing be it work or exercise.

    Anyone have thoughts on wearing the Vibram Five Fingers in consideration of Plantar Fasciitis?

  • #2
    Hi. I've never tried Five Fingers, but I have had problems with plantar fasciitis, in both feet at different times.

    During my most recent bout with PF, I found that wearing MBT (Masai Barefoot Technology) (aka "rocker bottom") shoes allowed me to walk WITHOUT PAIN! And helped my PF to clear up, finally. The MBT's don't really give arch support, but they make your foot deal with random orientations that promote strengthening of the foot muscles.

    Good luck with your PF. I did get one cortisone shot into my foot that did help.

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    • #3
      There are a lot of good stretches and exercises to strengthen the foot. I used to have PF, did the orthotics but they never really helped. Googled different stretches etc problem gone. I don't use vvf but rather merrel barefoot shoes and can happily walk for miles or be on my feet for work all day.
      Eating primal is not a diet, it is a way of life.
      PS
      Don't forget to play!

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      • #4
        I had a nasty lingering bout of PF earlier this year. My problem was going back to running too soon, and not letting things heal. I initially used RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation), but as the problem kept coming back I found a simple solution that seemed to work: a golf ball. A few times a day, I'd roll the arch of the affected foot over a golf ball, and it stretched it out to the point that after a few weeks pain subsided. No problems since. I've run minimalist for a couple of years, and the PF came up because I simply overdid what I was used to, so just ease back into the running after you do some stretching and resting for a few weeks.

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        • #5
          Well, you can deal with PF by wearing foot casts and immobilizing your foot, allowing all the little muscles to atrophy. Or you can go barefoot and let all the little muscles get strong. It's funny but most people get PF while wearing supportive shoes (that also throw the body's balance out of whack because of the raised heel) and then think that even more support is the answer.
          Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by sbhikes View Post
            Well, you can deal with PF by wearing foot casts and immobilizing your foot, allowing all the little muscles to atrophy. Or you can go barefoot and let all the little muscles get strong. It's funny but most people get PF while wearing supportive shoes (that also throw the body's balance out of whack because of the raised heel) and then think that even more support is the answer.
            JMO~ but arch supports cause weak arches. Going barefoot, is the way the foot works best~ unencumbered.

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            • #7
              I was never diagnosed with Plantar Fasciitis, or ever really had pain with walking unless I stood for too long on a really hard floor the connecting tendon under my right foot arch hurt like it was struck with a rubber band with every step. When I began wearing vibrams this occurred more often... Say about 15 mins of walking outside. However, after a few months of casual wear I now have no more pain. I love hiking in them.

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              • #8
                I had a bad case of achilles tendonitis from too much running. Stopped running for a year and then came back in VFFs and I have not hand any problems with achilles tendonitis again.
                Check out my primal blog: http://primalroar.posterous.com/

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by gstuartw View Post
                  I have been advised to wear footwear that supports my arch as often as possible.
                  That one needs "arch support" is, I think, an arguable proposition.

                  There's a Paleo podcaster who has the slogan "human being are not broken by default". I forget his name -- Armando something, I think -- anyway, a sensible man. I tend to agree with that. The arch of the foot has served us for a very long time indeed.

                  Anyway, speaking more generally who says that an arch needs support? In architecture, if they use an arch in a building do they make sure to "support" it?

                  Here's a take on the matter that's probably worth consideration:

                  https://nwfootankle.com/foot-health/drill/2/113

                  I'd suggest try the vibrams. If you find they cause your feet to hurt, stop using them. Probably they won't.

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                  • #10
                    Is it really plantar faciiatis or is it sciatic issues? I get pain in my foot periodically, so I started seeing an Active Release Techniques provider (chiropractor who knows how to "free" nerves) and she said my "PF" is actually an inflammed sciatic nerve. She works on my butt muscles and magically the pain in my foot goes away. Seriously.

                    Maybe seek a different opinion, especially if the pain doesn't go away with treatment on the foot.


                    I also agree with what everyone is saying about shoes being the problem, not the solution with PF.
                    Last edited by jenn26point2; 08-13-2012, 11:35 AM.
                    Primal since March 5, 2012
                    SW: 221 | CW: 204 | LPW: 166 | UGW: 140 (80 lbs loss)



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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by gstuartw View Post
                      I must admit that I've looked upon the Vibram Five Fingers footwear with amusement and asserted to myself that I'd never wear such an item.

                      Joining MDA (Mark's Daily Apple) I've found myself revisiting those shoes...gloves? Foot gloves? Reading Mark's comments has given me pause to look at them with different eyes. Never the less, I have what might be a conflict with wearing them and that is Plantar Fasciitis.

                      A couple of years ago I started developing foot issues that were diagnosed as Plantar Fasciitis. This condition was brought on by a combination of long hours on my feet in the film business and 3 days a week fitness boot camp held primarily on asphalt.

                      I have been advised to wear footwear that supports my arch as often as possible. I avoid going barefoot as much as I can wearing Birkenstocks around the house etc. Additionally I had custom orthotics made to use daily in what ever type of shoe I am wearing be it work or exercise.

                      Anyone have thoughts on wearing the Vibram Five Fingers in consideration of Plantar Fasciitis?
                      I was diagnosed with plantar fasciitis when I was in 7th grade (13 years old). I was the type of guy that played sports every season, ran around at recess (although middle school ended that), and was active all summer. It crushed me. It became immensely painful to just walk from class to class at school.

                      I then got those hard plastic inserts and had to find shoes that fit them (impossible). I had to stop playing some of those sports and found a sport I could participate in without too much time on my feet. This was wrestling, and I digress.

                      Fast forward to my sophomore year in high school. I was sick and tired of finding shoes that fit my orthotics and not having the stamina to run around on my feet like everyone else. I searched the web for answers, and found some things to try. I did heel raises and possibly another exercise I forget now while watching TV at night. I rolled my plantar around on a tennis ball to massage it. I did this for about a month, took out my inserts, and I never looked back. I can now run barefoot no problem.

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                      • #12
                        I've had plantars fasciitis for about 5 years (since my last pregnancy). I've always been a minimal shoe/barefoot person, so I have a hard time believing that the vibrams are the cure all. Maybe for some. For me, I had it pretty much healed by eating a low inflammation diet and eating fish oil & diatomaceous earth(I was eating this due to a pinworm outbreak at preschool). Then, I went to disney world and walked all day for 4 days in a row and the pain came back.

                        Wearing the boot at night that stretches helped me, too.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by wendyland View Post
                          ... I have a hard time believing that the vibrams are the cure all.
                          Sure, I think that would be going too far.

                          Although there now seem to be quite a few joggers who wear minimalist shoes, I'd guess that if they're wearing them in the hope that they make them bullet-proof they might be mistaken. If your mechanics are poor, and you do too much of something, and your diet's inadequate ...

                          I don't expect minimalist shoes will end the injury problems among joggers who use them, although they'll probably greatly reduce them.

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                          • #14
                            I agree with the foot strengthening and ball rolling suggestions. Also stretch your Achilles's tendon.

                            mommymd
                            --mommymd

                            LCHF since Oct 2011

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                            • #15
                              I had PF recently and found some stretches online that totally eliminated it as long as I remember to do the stretches each day. I think walking barefoot makes way more sense than arch supports and shoes all the time. My feet were designed to walk without shoes. My friend had PF she was told to wear orthotics, arch supports all the time, never walk barefoot etc...etc... Well, her PF continued to be a problem until she found a treatment provider who suggested foot strengthening exercises and barefoot walking. Problem resolved pretty quickly after that. Foot doctor does not make any money on expensive orthotics if he tells you to walk barefoot and stretch.
                              Last edited by Primal123; 08-17-2012, 04:24 PM. Reason: typos

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