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Fix Plantar Fasciitis

I am no medical expert so any thing I write here is merely my personal experience with the dreaded plantar fasciitis condition.

It has been the topic of quite a few conversations lately with people I know or attend my yoga classes. Running and walking distances appear to be a common thread.

It’s a horrible condition, there’s lots of information on the web as to the causes, possibly due to ill-fitting shoes and overuse, but there may be other circumstances as well.

My experience with plantar happened some 20 years ago now, I was running quite a bit, it was the time I was running marathons and the training required high weekly mileage. I recall the condition seemed to develop quite quicky, I noticed it when I got out of bed in the morning, specifically in the left heel, and it was like standing on a hot poker, I literally hobbled around for a while until the pain alleviated, I was quite fortunate in that the pain did recede during the day although some aren’t so fortunate.

It lingered for an age, I stopped running, bought new shoes, sort of stretched, took pain killers and eventually went to the doctor. We agreed a cortisone injection was the course of action, although I was not keen on the process, particularly the size of the needle!

I followed the recommended rehab to the letter, and when I gingerly started gentle running again, the condition, for me, remained.

I started to research the weird contraptions on the market that apparently helped. I had a good handle on the cause and knew that in my case the tear of the plantar fascia was probably across the width of the foot, rather than the length, perpendicular to the foot movement. This made sense as when asleep and the body started to repair, scar tissue forming, as soon as I stood and walked, the tissue would tear again…ouch!

I knew there was no quick fix also, no pill, no foot replacement but that I needed to intervene in some way, and this was the start of my yoga journey.

I started to practice daily, particularly sun salutations, downward dog and anything that stretched the calf muscles and the sole of the foot, lengthening the connective tissue.

I can’t quite remember how long it took for the condition to resolve but I do know that the yoga worked. I still do yoga, I still run, a lot, and in the 20 years since, my plantar fasciitis has never returned. The hips, ankles and knees are pretty good as well.

Runners aren’t that good at maintaining a stretching regime and there are still mixed opinions around pre\post stretching and the benefit. It makes sense to me that the inherent flexibility in the fascia, the tissues, the ligaments, and muscles that yoga provides, reduces the risk of tears to aid recovery or as a preventative measure.

In closing, if you are suffering with plantar issues, please take some professional guidance and please be assured that it’s not permanent, it will resolve over time, and you will be able to do those things you may have to put on hold temporarily.

You could try some yoga as well and see if that helps to expedite your recovery.

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