Couch to 5K
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Help for Plantar Fasciitis?

I have PF in both heels. I was hoping that my new supportive trainers would help my feet become less painful, but that doesn't appear to be happening, especially now the runs are getting longer.

Other than rest (not possible) does anyone have any suggestions to help ease PF? Do I need to buy some heel inserts for my trainers or will that make my gait off?

Thanks in adviance for your help :)

10 Replies

I found stretching really helped - especially the one where you stand with the front half of your feet on a curb or low step and the heel on the ground, hold for about 20 secs then raise yourself up so you are balancing on the step and repeat a few times (this can get abit wobbly, so you might want to hold on to something). Touch wood, mine seems to have almost disappeared, I can get out of bed in the morning and put my foot on the ground without any pain which is a miracle after several months of increasing agony! But heel pads do help as well!


Thanks for that, I shall start giving that a whirl. Mornings are agony!

I had the steroid injection in my right heel and after about a week I had no pain at all... then I started exercising and literally felt it ping! OUCH... :(

I was just worried that heel pads would undo the work that my trainers do to correct my overpronation?


I think if you just use the plain foam ones, rather than orthotic ones, you should be ok, even a millimetre of extra height can make a hell of a difference!


The step technique is what I used and it seemed to help a lot. Just don't do it on the top step and make sure you hold onto something or you might break your neck!


When I was first diagnosed with pf, and it was really bad, I used to stand on the bottom step of the stairs and drop my heels as much as I could to stretch my soles. I also bought some orthotic heel inserts for general use, some full length orthotics for my work boots (I'm a gardener) and (on advice) stopped walking around in bare feet at home (my slippers have ordinary gel insoles in them). All this helped a lot, but I think one of the most important things I do is to stretch after exercising. The calf stretch also stretches the bottom of my foot and is invaluable, in my opinion, for helping my pf.

I've read many people on here use orthotics in their running shoes, so I assume this is okay. When I get my new running shoes (current ones are great for my feet - they've been the only shoes that don't upset my pf - but are too small to fit my orthotics in) I plan to buy a size larger so the new sports orthotics I bought will fit. I've been more careless about wearing slippers now my pf is not so bad and it's warm in the house, but I have started the habit of walking around on my toes, which is also supposed to be beneficial (both for pf and running).


ooo, haven't heard about the tip toe thing before - something else to try out! I have started this morning balancing on the stairs to strecth the sole of my foot but couldn't feel a stretch as such... maybe I need a bit more practice to find how far back/down I need to go?

And my doctor didn't tell me not to walk around bare foot either..... although my slippers offer no support so I guess thats about the same as bare foot too!!


I think the tip toe thing is about raising your heel (which is a small part of what orthotics do) which also helps stretch your sole and/or getting your heel off the floor. It took a while for the stair trick to work when my pf was bad (don't remember really feeling a stretch, but over time it seemed to help). I just stand there and drop my heels as far as I can, holding onto the bannister for support.

The point of not walking around barefoot is partly because cold floors make it worse (standing on the tiled kitchen floor is where I usually still put something on my feet if I'm going to be there a while) and partly just giving your heels a bit of protection when they hit the deck. The gel insoles (less than a fiver, iirc) in my slippers are great for this. The other thing I did when it was really bad was to wear some old trainers around the house (the soles were too worn for outdoor use) with my heel orthotics in, all the time, to give my feet extra support. A bit like wearing a knee support when you've strained your knee.

I found that doing all these things (a lot of it I got through online research after seeing the doc) made a huge difference for me. I haven't had really bad pf for ages now, although many of the 'everyday' shoes I used to wear I rarely wear now, unless I know I won't have to be on my feet in them for long, as so many shoes just don't offer good support. In the last couple of years, the shoes I wore mostly (for walking to town, etc) was the Brooks running shoes I'd bought, because they didn't cause me pain! I recently bought some Brooks Addiction Walkers, which are designed using their running technology, for walking and/or for people on their feet all day. After two weeks of use, I have to say I'm very glad I did. They are very comfortable, supportive and don't upset my pf.

You will have to discover what works for you, but I hope one or more of these will help. When my pf was really painful (especially first thing in the morning) I considered getting night splints, but I have got through without them. Stretching regularly and protecting my feet from stresses seems to do the trick.


Thank you for your help - very informative and hopefully will help me help myself!


Hi, I have complete empathy with you for PF. I had an extreme case which lasted for a year, often resulting in days where I was unable to walk without extreme pain. I had quite intensive physio at hospital for this and had home exercises also. The physio in the hospital involved a lot of deep penetrating manipulation - the podiatrist had been taught the technique in South Africa. The home exercises was to place my foot on a hot water bottle for 10 mins followed by running it over a rolling pin for 10 mins (from toe to heal) and then complete rest for 10 mins, twice a day. After my first treatment I was able to walk much easier than I had for the previous year. The hospital I was referred to was Royal Glamorgan Hospital, South Wales just in case this information helps. Good luck, Lane.


Hi Lane, thanks for this. I'm going to try a combination of all the suggestions here as it seems to be getting worse now the runs are getting longer.


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