Injury: What Has and Hasn’t Worked…

I feel like in the last month I have tried every pain relief option I can possibly think of or google (or that has been advised to me).  Some have worked and some have not worked.  I would rather be proactive and try everything than not try things and wonder.

Something I have been wanted to announce for a few days now is that my foot has felt completely better.  I haven’t had any aches, pains or soreness.  The only thing I feel is….out of shape.  So hopefully this is the beginning of a new chapter or running.  I will slowly add miles and hopefully be lucky.

Maybe some will work for you if you ever find yourself in my shoes…maybe not.  Since we don’t share the same body (that sounds incredibly awkward) only you can really decide.  I still don’t know exactly what was going on in my foot (and at this point probably never will).  I knew it was a combination of inflammation in my arch, possible minor plantar fasciitis but no ripped or torn tendons.

What I’ve found that has worked:

  1. Foam rolling like a boss. Tim foam rolled my legs as well as my plantar fasicia.  He has been incredibly supportive and did it nearly every night.  (Even nights he has literally flown across the country or to the UK and back).  He wins significant other of the month…or just he is extremely good to me.  He can get down deeper into my muscles than I can.  I found he was able to dig the massage stick deeper into my calves and arches than when I put full body weight onto it.
  2. Deep Tissue Massages. They are costly but they work a lot to relieve tension and knots in my legs.  I truly believe without this I would not be running.  In fact I need to schedule another one soon.
  3. My foot always felt better after stretching.  In fact there was’t one time I didn’t feel a 50% improvement (at least) after stretching.  Especially in the earlier days, stretching helped a lot.
  4. Something I haven’t talked about is wearing proper footwear when I’m not running. I’m not one to give up flip flops right now.  When my feet aren’t in tennis shoes (for work, running or cross training) I don’t like them in shoes.  I purchased a pair of Reef sandals about 2 years ago that have some of the best arch support.  Yes, they are more expensive but I also haven’t bought a pair of flip flops in two years.  They are the most comfortable flip flops for woman I’ve owned .  (These are the updated version to what I own…”The skinny “J-Bay“). A post for another day (I’ve ranted about this too) is that running is one of the few sports you have to take care of yourself (your feet) all the time, not just while running.

What has not worked:

  1. This time around a cortisone shot did not work. I can’t say I felt any better at all after getting one (or a few days later).  It completely cured me last injury.
  2. Honestly I iced most nights and I didn’t feel any better once the numbness of the ice wore off.  The ice felt good directly after icing an effected area but once the numbness wore off, the pain came back,
  3. I tried hard orthotics (I have extremely high arches) and I felt like they provided no extra support.  In fact, my foot felt worse when I did use them. I have taken them out and felt better.  The firmness of the actual orthotic hurt.
  4. Changing my nutrition. A lot of people have said that nutrition and changing it really helped their inflammation.  I was all about trying new things….but it did not work for me.  (No cherry juice did not decrease inflammation nor did any of the spices, etc.)  I feel silly even typing that out now.

It’s still a work in progress but I’m learning to continue

Question for you:

What are you favorite pair of nonathletic shoes?

For me either my reef sandals in the summer time or my UGG boots (I know, I know…I do put inserts into those) in the winter time.  When I went to college in Upstate, NY, UGG boots were critical.


  1. I think most of what worked for you has worked for me too. My leg started acting up again this week but not in the same way. Swear I cannot win. But I think I just strained a muscle is time. My massage therapist will fix me for sure, but I have to wait til Tuesday to see him…boo! I would totally agree, massages are expensive but worth it!

  2. call me a tacky hippy from Ithaca/Boulder…BUT if I’m not in my running shoes, I’m in my Birks.

    Also, while my upstate NY campus had its fair share of UGG boot fans, Hunter rain boots with sock liners were the must have.

  3. WHAT CHERRY JUICE DIDNT WORK? What kind of blogger are you? 😉 My calf has been cranky for over a week now so I just read all your tips and advice thoroughly. Did you wear compression socks? I completely agree with you on the proper foot wear when not running. I always am good about it for months then I slack off and start to feel it. We have hard wood floors and I know most people love to walk in bare feet but it starts to bother my feet. It’s the little non-running times that you mention, like that, that add up.

    1. Compression socks save my calves. Have you gotten a deep tissue massage and asked to focus on your calves? Whenever they do that for me (and you know my run style that calves seem to be my biggest issue) I go from slogging runs to feeling amazing. (My calves get so tight sometimes that stretching is even really ineffective) I would recommend compression sleeves as well a a deep tissue with more focus on your calves. 🙂

  4. Icing works for my problems.
    Last summer I bought a $250 pair of shoes for work. I never spend that much money on shoes. But I came to the realization that I spend more time in my work shoes than any other pair. If I want to run untill I’m 80, I better take care of my feet.
    The shoes look great and I often get compliments on them. So I guess they are my favotires.
    Cheers – Andy

  5. I have “special needs” feet. I have worn orthotics designed by a podiatrist since I was 12 years old for my severely pronated, flat feet. I’ve had my current pair of orthotics for about 4 years and get them recovered with a new pad once or twice a year. So no matter if I am wearing running shoes or dress shoes, they are generally comfy as long as my orthotics fit. (But I still wear flip-flops and Tevas in the summer)

    PS – maybe it was supposed to be spiced cherry juice. 🙂

  6. I’ve been having similar foot pain for the last 2.5 weeks of my training and soaking my foot in Epsom salt has been the best thing that I have come across so far. It seemed more beneficial than an ice bucket. I also noticed that flat and even running surfaces help prevent the muscle from flaring up, so I’ve cut down on my off-road running. Definitely continue foam-rolling and lots of calf stretches and hopefully some of your pain goes away! 🙂

  7. It’s weird to me how one method will work for one person and not another. When I had PF back in the running days NOTHING brought me relief except for staying off it completely. Which was really frustrating.

    Now I found out my kneecap is shifting and aggravated because weak hip muscles and poor mobility so I’m doign everything in my power to zap this before it’s a bajor issue!

  8. I think that finding out what works for you is really important – so good for you on the learning front!

    Funny that Andy said the same thing I was about to – my first 4 years with Corning I needed steel-toe shoes about 10% of the time, so I had bought a pair that were mediocre and just dealt with them. But last year for my project in Kentucky and this year for the one in development, I need steel-toes all the time – so last year i bought an excellent and really supportive pair, and will replace them next spring with an equally good pair. You really DO have to take care of your feet!

    At home I tend to wear my Merrell Vapor Gloves around from spring through fall – they are ‘too little shoe’ (2mm cushion) for me to wear running, but great for walking around.

  9. I run in asics and cross train in nike frees. I have separate nike frees that I wear most if the time I’m not exercising. With jeans I like to wear coach tennis shoes or UGG boots in the winter.

  10. I like some cute sneakers and I’ll admit to being a Crocs fan….I’m such a fashionista. But I spend all evening at the pool deck after working all day so crocs it is! And I am so happy about the foot feeling better!

  11. I have a sports massage scheduled for this evening after work because I have what feels like a massive incapacitating knot somewhere in my upper leg/glute. I used to get massages when I would get tight muscles as a figure skater when I was a kid, and they helped a lot. This will be my first one it at least eight years and I hope it’s as helpful to me as it is you! (I’m sitting in a chair and it literally feels like there is a little ball under my butt… ugh.)

    1. It will work. Let me know how that goes for you. Point and tell them directly where it hurts, I’ll often beg for them to work in one specific area and not waste both of our time in others 🙂

      1. It helped a lot and I feel probably 50% better (just walking around). He also gave me some stretches and told me to ice it, which I hadn’t been doing. Hopefully the massage kick-started the healing process.

  12. Ice doesn’t work for me either, can’t say I’ve tried cheery juice, damn should have tried that hehe… My favs in summer are thongs (as us Aussies say) or as you say flip flops?! And I also love my ugg boots in Winter and Nike frees. Hope you enjoy the rest of the week 🙂

  13. I hear you about not wanting to wear actual shoes when not running since our feet are confined during those miles. And also in the summer I want my feet FREE! I read an article about how much it strains your tendons/arches to keep flip flops on your feet (b/c if you don’t curl your toes they’ll kind of fall off). so now I strictly wear sandals with backs on them. I threw out all my flip-flops so I wouldn’t be tempted to wear them (they did hurt my arches). Now Clarks sandals are my favorite. At first I felt like I was 80 years old going into the store but they have much “hipper” styles now and they are so comfy. DSW often has them cheaper for previous year’s versions.

    You made me LOL at your comment about how it made YOU laugh to write that changing your diet and eating the spices didn’t help 🙂 Sometimes I get caught up in that hype about wonder foods being curative and it’s rare to hear someone admit that they tried it and it just didn’t work. Keep it up, Hollie! Your outlook is refreshing and fun 🙂

  14. I can see where with high arches orthotics wouldn’t do much good. I also feel like ice is overrated. With somewhat flat feet orthotics really helped me prevent pronation for a while when I was injured. I have yet to find good supportive non-running shoes so it’s always flip flops and boots for me. It’s great that you figured out what has worked and what didn’t since that’s a huge thing for the future!

  15. I’m probably horrible about what shoes I wear. The bottoms of my feet were really bothering me before I went home and I had Jon massage them like crazy at home and now they feel all better!!! But I wear flip flops or my New Balance Minimus shoes all the time. Well, I wear 3 year old Nike’s to work, but I keep trying to find a new pair of shoes that I like for work. It’s harder to find work shoes that don’t rub the sides of my little toes by the end of the day but I definitely need new ones! Too bad those cherries didn’t work for you.

  16. I will definitely have to look into those flip flops. I haven’t worn any all summer (except for around the water park), and while I know it’s smarter (I was an idiot last summer…about a lot of things running related actually haha), I miss the feel and ease of just slipping them on and going. I do love my Toms now, though. They’re great for days/nights when i don’t want to or can’t wear my brooks (now go to day shoe since I don’t wear them for running anymore). I need a massage on my legs too. Maybe sometime in September i can fit one in!

    1. I payed for more expensive flip flops and honestly I don’t regret it. They have lasted as long as buying a bunch of cheaper, less supportive ones!

  17. Massages have made a world of a difference. I also have found that the use of my tens machine has really helped my calves recover from workouts, and we all know how shitty my calves normally are. Changing my daily shoes also made a huge difference. Stopped wearing heels(regularly) for my achilles and stopped wearing flats all the time. Shoes with a little more support has really helped.

  18. So how does having your SO foam roll you work? I am imagining it’s something like you lie down and he kind of uses the roller like a rolling pin? Maybe I should get my husband to try that on my legs. Hm.

    Ok, so for my PF issues (I could write pages at this point–first one foot, now the other), I’ve been using a Strassburg Sock, which is one of those socks that has the toe tied to the mid calf to keep your foot in a specific position during the night. I really do feel better in the morning, but then I have pain again when I go running, which makes me wonder if I would have felt better anyway just from being off my feet for several hours regardless of whether I wore the sock or not. It seems to be getting better gradually regardless. But so gradually. Anyway, congrats on your recovery!

    1. I have a massage stick too that makes it a lot easier for someone else to foam roll you. It’s basically a small compact foam roller. 🙂

      1. You should warn him, that once he foam rolls you once he will be hooked for a life-long daily foam rolling session before bed. Trust me 😉

  19. I had PF for almost a year :/ I started wearing Danskos when I wasn’t in running shoes and they seemed to help.

    1. Wow an entire year? That sounds like a nightmare! I’m glad something seemed to help though. 🙂

  20. I probably wear heels 6 days per week, but when I go on vacation and wear flats for days straight, my legs do feel so much better! I really think there is a lot to that!

    That’s so awesome that Tim rolls your legs for you when he’s able, it’s so crazy how much deeper other people can roll out your legs than you can! I always try and get my brother to help me haha.

  21. I think the real reason Tim is good at rolling is because he likes to make you cry. Or is that just in my house? I have super janky calf muscles, and Justin really loves to dig into them with a tennis ball or my stick. He likes it best when I’m left in tears with giant bruises…That might not sound right…

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