This past Thursday was my last appointment at physical therapy (PT) for treatment of plantar fasciitis. I’m sure anyone would be excited to be discharged from PT, but I am especially excited because this was my third stint at physical therapy this past year! (Be on the lookout for other posts about my injuries this past year, including information on what treatment worked for me and what didn’t.)
I see the podiatrist tomorrow for what I’m hoping (toes crossed!) is a final follow-up. In the meantime, I’ve been cleared to start easing back into running! I am excited to finally start running again after about 10 months of being unable to. I am also a bit scared because they last time I worked back from an injury was late August and that’s when I developed the plantar fasciitis. In retrospect, the plantar fasciitis has probably been there for the past year, but it was not obvious since I couldn’t run. My left foot would sometimes seize up while I was sitting with it out in front of me, but I was more concerned about what was going on with my other injury at the time.
For those who are lucky enough to not have experienced it, plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the thick band of tissue that run along the bottom of your foot, known as the plantar fascia (the “-itis” addition at the end means “inflammation of”). You will often have pain in your heel or the arch. It can be the most noticeable first thing in the morning when you get out of bed since we sleep with our feet slightly pointed, allowing the fascia to shorten. When you take your first step in the morning, you are very quickly stretching it out, thus irritating the fascia.
The most popular rule of thumb for coming back from injury in the running community is to keep mileage increases to less than or equal to 10% each week. While I plan to follow this, I wasn’t sure what the ratio of running to walking should be. I did a quick Google search and came across this incredibly helpful guide on Physio Advisor.
Of course, being the dork that I am, I had to make myself a handy Excel workbook to track my progress and make sure I don’t overdo it. The spreadsheets incorporate the guide aboves as well as the 10% rule. Click on the pictures for a larger view.
I wasn’t sure what to use as a mileage starting point, so I picked two miles for now and will plan to adjust based on how I feel today. I’ll let you know how it went!
Has anyone else had to deal with an injury? What about plantar fasciitis? Any tips and tricks for dealing with an injury and returning to physical activity?