Alternative Plantar Fasciitis Treatment

Between recovering from my not-quite-a-race last weekend, resting up for our century ride, and focusing on my plantar fasciitis treatment, this week was relatively quiet on the workout front. While I had a break from business travel, work still kept me busy with 12 hour days Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday–but I made it home just in time for the season premiere of Grey’s Anatomy! #priorities.

Plantar Fasciitis Treatment
Since plantar fasciitis is an injury that can plague runners, I thought you might be interested in learning about my alternative plantar fasciitis treatment–especially since it seems to be working.

Plantar Fasciitis Treatment

This is probably the third time I’ve dealt with plantar fasciitis.

The first time, I could barely walk by the time I made a podiatrist appointment. He prescribed rolling my feet on a frozen water bottle, rest from running, more supportive shoes (running shoes and everyday day shoes, and various foot and calf exercises/stretches

The second time, I was a few weeks out from the Army Ten Miler, and sought treatment as soon as I felt that tell-tale pain in my arches. This time, I saw a chiropractor who treated me with Graston therapy, which was painful but effective. I was able to keep running and didn’t have to miss my race.

This time, the pain came on more gradually, leading me to ignore it for longer than I should. It became undeniable when I was in Colorado. Although it didn’t bother me during my hike with my daughter, it certainly flared up later. The chiropractor I had seen before moved out of the area, so I made an appointment with a different chiropractor who supports other women in my Moms Run This Town group. He told me that he does do Graston, but has found other techniques to be more effective, including cupping and dry needling.

My plantar fasciitis treatment sessions typically include:

  • calf massage
  • cupping on my feet
  • ultrasound on my feet/ankles
  • electro stimulation on my calves

I had never experienced cupping before, but since it is non-invasive and doesn’t hurt, I was willing to give it a try. (It works by crating a strong vacuum at specific sites that is said to increase blood flow.)

The electro stimulation is supposed to fatigue my calf muscles and help them relax–they are ridiculously tight mo matter how much stretching, rolling and massage I do. It’s quite a weird sensation as the electrical pulses make my muscles contract and release!

He also also has me doing ankle mobility exercises, walking the length of a room forwards and backwards six different ways: on my toes, on my heels, pigeon-toed, duck-footed, on the outer edge of my feet, and on the inner edge of my feet (which I can barely do). 

Doing my ankle mobility exercises after CycleBar

After a few sessions, my PF is definitely getting better. I decided to increase my odds of a full recovery by skipping OTF and not running at all this week. I’d rather be able to run the Army Ten Miler than squeeze in a few miles before work, although I do hope to feel good enough to run in Milwaukee next week.

Weekly Wrap

Monday/Wednesday/FridayQuick Strength For Runners 
(^ ^ ^ ^ ^ Amazon affiliate link — check it out! ^ ^ ^ ^ ^)

Tuesday/Thursday: Indoor cycling at CycleBar
(12.5 miles in Aimee’s class, 14 miles in Francine’s class) 

Saturday: 60 min Hot Power Fusion class at Core Power Yoga

Hey, look! New Athleta yoga tights!

Sunday: ??? mile bike ride (full recap to follow)


Weekly Wrap


I’m linking up with Holly and Tricia
for the Weekly Wrap .

Please stop by next Saturday for the
October Ultimate Coffee Date Link Up!


Have tried any alternative treatments for running injuries?

Have you dealt with plantar fasciitis?

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29 Responses to Alternative Plantar Fasciitis Treatment

  1. steena says:

    You really need to incorporate swimming into your routine! When I have hurty things the pool always helps. 🙂
    steena recently posted…Dousman Duathlon 2017My Profile

  2. Sara says:

    Glad to hear that you are already feeling better! E-stim is a weird sensation. I’ve only had it on my back. I think it would be a different feeling on your ankle with the smaller muscles. Hopefully this clears up quickly so you can keep up with your training!

  3. You will have to show me some of those ankle exercises. Can’t hurt to add those in right? Glad the cupping is working I have not tried that. PF is the worst!

  4. I have found alternative treatments to be very helpful in the past, especially with my ITBS. Glad your PF is getting better!

  5. I’ve had all kinds of remedies for PF but no magic bullet. Shockwave therapy was something that seemed to help a lot.
    Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home recently posted…Desperately Seeking MojoMy Profile

  6. Jessie says:

    I have heard so much about cupping but have never tried it…Interesting to read that it’s helping with plantar. Good to hear!

  7. PF is no joke! Thankfully, both of my episodes were pretty mild in comparison to what I’ve read others sometimes experience. Both of my “flares” started with a heel spur (it felt like I had a thumb tack poking my heel every time I stepped. The first episode (which definitely was the worst because I had no idea what it was at first) also spread to the arch. I do arch massage (and various ankle rotations) almost every morning before I get out of bed…more as a precaution than anything. I also have heard that tight calves are often a contributing factor because everything is connected. Good luck!!
    Kimberly Hatting recently posted…Can You Say EPIC?My Profile

  8. Oh man that just stinks you are dealing with that again. I have no idea what you are going through and hopefully never will. Knock on wood! Your new Athleta tights are super cute!
    Lacey@fairytalesandfitness recently posted…Weekly Wrap…October 1My Profile

  9. I wrote a long comment which is either in spam, cyberspace or moderation, but the gist was to keep up with your stretches and strengthening exercises even when you’re better and to remember that the plantar fascia is part of the superficial back line of the body and connects all the way to the top of the head. Therefore go beyond just calves and think about hamstrings, glutes, and even your back when you stretch, roll, and strengthen. (I’m a fascial stretch therapist.)

  10. Kimberly G says:

    I’ve never had PF (knock on wood), but thank you so much for sharing the alternative ways you are treating it. I have a friend that suffers from PF on and off so I’m going to send her the link to your blog post 🙂
    Kimberly G recently posted…Chicago Marathon Training Recap – Week 19My Profile

  11. Lesley says:

    In a way I’ve had to use alternative options with ITBS since there isn’t a surgery for it. I got a cortisone shot in 2014, and the doc told me that, which I was happy about because I don’t like surgery options. Between PT, Airrosti, chiropractor sessions, massages, dry needling, Pure Barre, and stretching, I seem to be getting better.

  12. Your PF treatment really sounds interesting. Thankfully I haven’t had any recent PF woes, in general, it seems that seeing a chiropractor would be very helpful with some of my issues.

    Taking a rest from running is smart. Hopefully you recover quickly! Love those tights!

  13. Chaitali says:

    Interesting! I’ve been trying to get better about my feet and calf exercises but I’ve never heard of cupping for the feet and I hadn’t heard of electro simulation at all. Great news that these new techniques are helping 🙂
    Chaitali recently posted…WDW Marathon Training – Week 4My Profile

  14. Teresa says:

    I need this Graston therapy for my ankle I think. I may have to break down and give it a try.

    I can’t wait to hear all about your century experience!!! Hurry up with that recap! 🙂
    Teresa recently posted…Marathon Training Week 4: If’s, And’s and Sore ButtsMy Profile

  15. HoHo Runs says:

    I’m anxiously awaiting your century recap as well! I would be willing to try any type of treatment if it speeds up the healing process. Unfortunately, most of my problems seem to require a lot of time. Good luck on the Ten Miler! Thanks for linking.

  16. Sharon says:

    Hope you are recovering well and will be able to run your race ok! I haven’t had issues with PF yet so this info is great to know if I do come across issues in the future! Thanks for sharing!

  17. Marcia says:

    Knock wood, I’ve not dealt with PF but the treatment you’re receiving sounds a lot like my Chiro’s protocol, which has worked wonders on my tendon strain. I think that ankle mobility is so key. I’m keeping those exercises in my routine.

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