ICE is Nice & SHOE Advice: PART 3 of our Plantar Fasciitis series!
In general, ice is best for “acute pain” (short-term pain that tells our brains that we are injured and turns on our fight or flight response) - e.g. a sprained ankle. Ice is great for treating inflammation, while heat relieves muscle tension, stiffness and spasms. A Plantar Fasciitis research study conducted at Loma Linda found that COLD was the most effective treatment to reduce symptoms caused by inflammation. Ibuprofen further reduced pain when used with cold. (If interested, DM me for the source.)
I iced in the AM, after a run, and before bed, using a soft, reusable gel ice pack. Just put the ice pack on the floor and rest your heel on it.
Many sources will tell you to get MORE supportive shoes with MORE cushioning. I went the opposite direction. #minimalist shoes have little to no padding so you have full contact with the ground.
💪STRONGER ARCHES+CALVES: Minimalist shoes allowed for all of the muscles in my foot to engage and forced my arches & calf muscles to stay active.
💪IMPROVED POSTURE & FORM: I began to rely on my feet to balance my entire body, which fully aligned my body so that I didn’t have to rely on my shoes for stabilization.
❌DON’T try to run far right away
✅DO try short walks and easy hikes
❌DON’T wear them all day at first
✅DO wear them for short periods of time to allow your foot to strengthen
❌DON’T run on cement to start with (your foot needs time to adapt)
✅ DO try softer surfaces (grass, dirt)
I used minimalist shoes to strengthen my feet (and calves!), which also helped me with PF, posture, and form. But I don’t use them for 8+ mile runs OR for backpacking. I’m currently trying out New Balance Fresh Foam for long runs, and I use hiking boots with ankle support when backpacking.