Plantar Fasciitis Heel Pain Could Be Your Friend: Working On The Second Edition Of FitOldDog’s Treatment For Plantar Fasciitis

Rebecca works on FitOldDog's plantar fasciitis

Decoding my heel pain, with Rebecca, using the FitOldDog treatment for plantar fasciitis, to find the proximate cause. Photo by FitOldDog.

Ileotibial band artice.

That pesky ileo-tibial band was playing a key role in my second case of plantar fasciitis heel pain – fascinating. Click image for excellent source article.

Why would I say that my plantar fasciitis heel pain could be my friend? Because it was a warning bell, indicating bigger trouble yet to come if I didn’t address the issue. Yes! Pain can be your ally, though that is not always the case.

When I told my co-author, and body movement teacher, Rebecca, that I had just contracted my second case of plantar fasciitis heel pain, she laughed and said, “That’s great! Now we can prove that our method really works. This turned out to be true, and furthermore I had the opportunity to learn a great deal more about this odd condition that makes getting out of bed in the morning such a trial.  I got to watch it closely, first hand, and this time with a great deal of body awareness training under my belt and an e-book on plantar fasciitis treatment in my portfolio. Furthermore, I had Rebecca at my side to help me determine exactly what was going on, or to find the proximate cause.

My first case of this horrible heel pain was in my right foot, years ago, and it responded well to the use of a TriggerPoint Performance Roller on my calf. I never really tracked down the original cause of that particular case of heel pain, as I had a lot to learn about Biomechanics, but I suspect that my guarding my right ankle played a role, combined with ramping up my running distance and speed. I fixed it after about a year of struggles, using boots and orthotics, until I came upon rollers (advice my from my son, Nick), and then I went on to qualify for the Boston Marathon in 2009.

So years later, about six weeks ago, in fact, as I was attempting to fix a tight right calf muscle, prior to another race, I inserted my old arch supports in my shoes, and went for an easy 2-mile run. Sure felt great for my tight right calf, but the next morning, much to my surprise, I had a severe case of plantar fasciitis on the inside of my left heel. GREAT!!!! Now to fix it with my own method.

Finishing 2014 Eagleman pissed

THE PLOT THICKENS: I was prevented from running the second half of the run, due to severe ileo-tibial band syndrome (ITBS) in my left leg, in the Eagleman Half Ironman a few months ago – it was trouble waiting to happen, and it’s only happened twice, as has my plantar fasciitis. Both times the pain was a warning.

ASIDE: why did arch supports trigger the problem, you might ask? Our theory is that they throw your feet and thus your legs to the outside (laterally), and as I’m a ‘bit bandy’ from a childhood case of mild rickets, this puts my legs at even greater risk of stress on the outer or lateral lines of my legs.

With a little work to find the source of my problem, combined with the observation that rolling my left calf was not very effective, in contrast to my previous case, we tracked the cause down to an extremely tight muscle in the region of the gluteus medius and the ileo-tibial (IT) band in my upper left leg. How did we work this out – by feel, pressing different regions of the leg until you trigger the heel pain, and you can feel the link – this is what body work is all about, working it out. It’s detective work, really. Focusing my roller and other work on this area of my left leg reduced my heel pain dramatically, and six weeks later it’s pretty well gone, leaving some residual tightness in my left IT band.

Now to fix my tight left IT band, which could lead to knee pain when I run (see excellent article linked to the adjacent figure). But that’s another story, though I do have some ideas. I’ll keep you posted.

Happy Trails,



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Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.