Injuries of any kind are never enjoyable for anyone. Knowing how to manage your injuries once they occur will help you with the frustration of getting knocked out of your game or minimizing down time in your training. Plantar Fasciitis is especially annoying because it takes some time to develop and by the time you feel this pain in your foot there is no quick fix except making the decision to act fast once it happens.
The Key Characteristic of the Plantar Fascia makes healing slow
The thick fibrous material making up the bottom of the foot contributes to the length of time this injury takes to heal. Fascia tissue does not have the same blood flow characteristics as other tissue in the body. Knowing this in advance may help you understand consistency and thoroughness of treatment will be required.
My Recommendations if you have Plantar Fasciitis
Look at some of the predisposing factor, as it’s helpful to know what you are up against.
Predisposing Factors of Plantar Fasciitis
- Flat pronated feet. (approximately 75 % of the general population pronate)
- High arched rigid feet
- Inappropriate/ improper shoes
- Toe running or hill running
- Soft terrain (running on sand)
- Increased age
Note: One of the things I do proactively in hope to prevent recurring Plantar Fasciitis is I try and replace my training shoes often to keep the protection and cushion for my feet.
Assume the worst but plan for the best
By assuming the worst and hoping for the best you set yourself up for the mind set to do what is needed to take the necessary steps to heal as fast as you are able. My experience with injuries in general with both athletes and non-athletes is people don’t take injuries seriously or they feel helpless with the injury. A balance of taking the injury seriously while working hard at the right things will minimize the difficulties everyone experiences when an injury occurs. Many people will commonly explain that you need to be patient with this injury in particular. All injuries take time to properly heal. Have faith that you will be able to manage and work around what every you need to while working towards a pain free foot.
The sooner and more routinely you can get the inflammation under control the more of a chance you have to create needed circulation in an area where blood flow is already compromised. Methods of reducing inflammation are 1. Medications such as anti-inflammatory pills and creams, 2. Physio therapy which might include acupuncture, or electric muscle stimulation.3. I would discourage the use of Cortisol 4. If someone suggests surgery for your feet make sure you learn as much as possible before deciding what cannot be reversed. 5.Inflammation can be controlled through knowledgeable nutrition. Acidic diets cause routine inflammation. I wish I had understood more about dietary inflammation as an athlete. 6. Ice, Ice baths and contrast baths – see below.
Ice , Ice baths (in pails or tubs of water) and contrast baths
Hydro therapy including icing and contrast baths can play a key role in assisting in the reduction of inflammation once the fascia has been aggravated. Bags of frozen peas instead of bags of ice are often used for ease and comfort of use. Styrofoam cups filled with frozen water ¾ full are a great way to ice a sore foot. Contrast baths altering hot water and cold ice water in pales of water can systemically treat the entire foot not just the fascia. Systemic therapy that treats your entire body and therefore your entire energy system is most desirable. Water therapies effectively regenerate both the CNS as well as increasing blood flow throughout the entire body.
I’ve read lots of opinions about stretching. When to stretch, how to stretch and if stretching is most important to do a particular way. I’ve always stretched more as my workout progressed. I did not like stretching cold muscles. I seemed to respond best to stretching the muscles I was using more and when the muscles were used most. Keeping muscles warm seemed to help in the earlier stages of training. Wrapping calves and keeping feet and ankles warm assist in taking stress off the foot. I believe the feet and connective tissue respond similarly. Start slow, warm up lightly and stretch.
How will I train when I am injured?
One of the key reasons injuries create so many feelings of frustration is most people have not yet been trained how to effectively train while the injury slows you down or stops your normal activity.
Two Great Workouts you can do while you have Plantar Fasciitis
1.Running in the pool with or without a belt.
- warm up in or out of the pool. I like to use varied lengths for a 2 to 4 minute time duration
- Intervals of running I have used are 45 seconds of running with 15 seconds of rest.
- A typical set would be one set of 10 intervals for a 10 minute duration
- A typical workout would be 2 sets of 10 reps with 2 to 5 minutes of rest between. The lower value of rest going to the more keen and experienced swimmer or athlete.
- A typical duration for this workout might be as short at 20 minutes or as long as 45 to 60 minutes depending on how much swimming you include outside of the running sets.
- Bike Training with Intervals to maintain cardio vascular fitness or improve cardio fitness or reduce impact
- warming up on the bike might be as simple as riding for 10 minutes with very little effort.
- warming up might include medicine ball routines mixing intervals on and off the bike or a series of varied sit ups on and off the bike.
- A typical set on the bike for training might be one set of 10 intervals of 45 seconds or 1 minute with routine or upward graded RPM’s with NO TENSION. (if you want to increase the tension to make this workout you are changing the nature of what this particular workout is intended for. This workout is not for POWER. This workout is for fitness or recovery.
- A typical workout might include a warm up with one set of 10 intervals of 45 seconds at 120 rpms, with 15 seconds of break / each set you maintain 120 rpms
- Another typical workout might be as above but you perform 2 sets of 45 seconds to 1 minutes of 120 rpm , taking 2 to 5 minutes of rest between sets.
- One, 2 or 3 exercises might be performed in between each interval. The exercises can be made as hard or as easy as you wish depending on the intensity of the RPM’s or the experience of who is doing the workout.
If Plantar Fasciitis is getting you down don’t despair. There are many ways you can use an injury to fine tune other areas of your training, or life, that might need more attention. I’ve found that injuries often make me appreciate my health and body more and help me do things moving ahead to prevent worse injuries from possibly happening again.
Good luck and don't let injuries get you down.
The first thing I would want to say to Mr. Andre DeGrasse would be congratulations on an amazing season in track for 2015.
Grace and Maturity
Next I might tell him on all accounts he has handled himself remarkably well while achieving enviable results by anyone’s standards and he is only just at the start of his career.
Personal Records and Consistent Results on the World Stage
I would remind him of what a huge achievement it has been to win double gold with personal bests and world leading times at the NCAA championships in June 2015 . DeGrasse did not stop at the NCAA as one of the most competitive athletic environments in the world. Instead he bounced back by winning 2 more gold’s in his home country with more personal best times at the 2015 Toronto Pan American Games. For his age and his experience these results are once in a lifetime achievements. Just this week DeGrasse achieved another personal best time in the men’s 100 meter by tying for 3rd in the one of the most stacked finals of the World Championship finals in Beijing. He decided to not run the 200 meters showing maturity and patience and a rare understanding of the overall physical cost his season has taken on him.
Relaxed and Confident
I’ve been watching DeGrasse handle himself in the media and it’s pleasing to see a very talented young person who appears relaxed in the blocks yet confident with how he follows through with each run. I am not sure of what lane assignments he had at the NCAA but to win the men’s 100 meter from lane 8 in his home city and then place 3rd from lane 9 in Beijing is more impressive than having had one of the best lanes all sprinters wish for in the middle.
The temptation for DeGrasse at this moment will be to stop going to school, collect as much money as possible and begin to prepare for what some consider the biggest prize coming up at the Rio Olympics in 2016. It’s a rare occasion that anyone regrets completing school especially when they are virtually finished and there is no real downside to it. It was impressive to hear him report to Toronto’s Globe and Mail that he will do what was best for him and his family and he would speak to his mother when it came to make any final decisions.
I am sure I am not the only person around that will be excited to watch DeGrasse’s progress. It’s been a fantastic year for track in Canada. It has been enjoyable to watch a new comer to the sport, a person with a great attitude , with loads of talent and a likeable quality. I wish the very best for Andre DeGrasse is what will be a bright future.
The best to you in sport,
3 Essential Things You can do Today that will lead to the prevention of short and long term injuries
Training is taxing. Training can be draining. We all need training and trainers to help us stay on track. We also need to understand a few key ideas to max out our potential and prevent all kinds of injuries that just might slow us down.
If you are active, if you are an athlete, if you compete at the highest level of any thing in or out of the office then you need to learn useful and repeatable habits that keep you in your game.
Here is what you need to know to Prevent Crap from happening to you. ( or limit the worst case scenario)
- Water heals.
If you think you are drinking a decent amount of water think again. Many beverages remove water out of your system. Coffee, alcohol and sugary juices are the biggest culprits. Improved water intake helps the body get rid of waste. When you are active, training or live a demanding life style taking in more water will help you feel your best. Filtered water is ideal but tap water will work too. I suggest 2 or 3, 32 oz. bottles per day starting as soon as you wake up. Try to stop water consumption not later than 8 or 9pm so you don’t interrupt your sleep with frequent bathroom stops. Some say drink 2 large glasses per meal. Find what works for you.
Dunk in it
Swimming or training in the water is regenerative. If you can swim you will benefit from getting into the water for 30 to 40 minutes at a time. Water changes our chemistry according to Dr. Alejandro Elorriaga who runs the Acupuncture program at McMaster University in Hamilton ONTARIO Canada. Wading in the water can reset people naturally. Water is relaxing for muscles. Relaxed muscles are a lower risk for injury compared to tight, less mobile muscles.
Using water to heal is not a new idea. Head Athletics Coach Anthony McCleary and Coach Desai Williams at the National Training Center at York University in Toronto Canada use cold baths after sprint sessions to aid in the recovery of their athletes. A typical protocol of routine Epson salt baths helps both athletes and anyone suffering from muscle soreness. Worked out muscles respond well to contrasting warm and cold water temperatures. Former head of the Polish Olympic Therapy program Waldamar Matuszewski Ph.d instructed athletes for decades to perform daily hot and cold contrast baths. A 12-minute circuit alternating hot and cold regenerates your nervous system. You must get your head wet completely to fully benefit from contrast baths says Matuszewski. Method = Use a water proof timer for 3 minutes ofhot water and quickly alternate to 1 minute as cold as possible and repeat 2 more cycles for 12 full minutes.
Here are some ideas about the CNS and training here:
Coach Charlie Francis also talks about the CNS in his manual “ The Charlie Francis Training System “ regarding the role recovery and regeneration plays in the prevention of short and long-term injury prevention. (starting on pages 61 ).
- Sleep and Rest add up.
There is no better way to heal than to give your body the correct tools and it will heal itself.
Best selling author and natural doctor Natasha Turner talks about how hormones play an essential role keeping us young and free of health issues. http://drnatashaturner.com/dr-turners-books/the-supercharged-hormone-diet/ For example, darkness is an important aspect of the release of melatonin and subsequently the release of naturally occurring growth hormone. ( page 51 sleeping with light exposure).
Opinions vary but most agree that the general population in modern society is not getting enough sleep. Dr. Turner says proper sleep, which includes sleeping at the right time, uninterrupted sleeping and sleeping in darkness aids in balancing hormones naturally. Routine compromised sleeping adds risk to getting small or larger injuries.
Read more about the role rest and recovery plays in the training process by reading here.
I used to think I could get away with eating what ever I wanted when I was burning calories galore at almost all stages of my life as an athlete. For the first time ever becoming a mother challenged my previous game plan instantly. I became a serious student on how to continue my thriving ways I previously enjoyed as a track aficionado. What to eat, how to eat, if to supplement or not are topics that have become confusing to athletes as well as people training hard on or off the track or gym.
A quick overview a few nutrition hot topics
Smoothies = A great way to supplement your daily intake of calories, protein and or greens. Use a water base, a coconut water base or green tea base before adding things like flax, raw kale, kefir, yogurt, cue cumber and berries.
Fresh foods that are Super for you = yes, I am talking about super foods like spinach, berries rich in antioxidants but try buying local foods in season to get the highest nutritional value and taste.
Foods that help you = All types of red meat used to be a first choice for me as an athlete. Learn about what combination of foods works best for you. Experiment what your personal best combinations of foods are.
Keep it simple = eat veggies, eat fruit and eat beans and meat and natural foods. Stay away from products that have massive product ingredients and limit your
Here are a few places you can visit to learn more and educate yourself about the best nutrition for you in and out of the gym.
Practice makes permanent. Develop habits that keep you happy in your game today and tomorrow.
Enjoy and go get stuff done.