Which kinds of runners need a fracture walking boot for plantar fasciitis? Well, that’s what we’re talking about today on the Doc On The Run podcast.
Which kind of runners really do need a fracture walking boot for plantar fasciitis? Is it somebody with mild plantar fasciitis? Moderate plantar fasciitis? Or severe plantar fasciitis? Well the reality is, there are only two kinds of runners that I think really need a fracture walking boot for plantar fasciitis.
Number one is runners who don’t mind losing all their running fitness. Now I’ve done lots of episodes on fracture walking boots, and I actually think they can be fantastic tools used for a short period of time for lots of different conditions. But when given the normal four to six weeks of time in a fracture walking boot just to see if something will get better, you only have one guaranteed result with that, and that is that you are going to lose your fitness.
You’re going to get weaker. You’re going to get stiffer. You’re going to obliterate all your neuromuscular connections that make you efficient and have you maintaining good balance and form when you’re running, and all of those things together create this constellation of symptoms and problems where you’re more prone to re-injury. So you really have to make sure that you need a fracture walking boot when you’re going to be in one for a month or a month and a half because you’re paying a heavy price as a runner in terms of losing your fitness and developing other things that might put you at risk of another injury later.
The other group of runners who really need a fracture walking boot for plantar fasciitis are those that basically assume they have the wrong diagnosis. So if you’ve been told that you have plantar fasciitis, but you don’t really think it’s plantar fasciitis, you think you have something like a calcaneal stress fracture or a partial tear or rupture of the plantar fascia, well you might really need a fracture walking boot then. If you actually have something else like flexor hallucis longus tenosynovitis, it doesn’t really matter what that is right now, but if you have another condition that really needs to be held still, where you really need immobilization, then yeah, you might need a fracture walking boot. But for straight up real plantar fasciitis, no way.
Never would I put somebody in a fracture walking boot. It’s not even rare, it’s never, that I would put you in a fracture walking boot if you have real plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis you can cure most of the time with really simple things that you can do yourself at home without injections or surgery or magical mystical snake oil. You don’t need any of that stuff. So you can check it out in the Runner’s Heel Pain Course, and I’ll teach you all about it.
But there’s really one thing that you might find even more useful right now, and that’s the two reasons runners with heel pain don’t get better. So if you thought you had plantar fasciitis, and you went to the doctor and they said, “Yeah, you have plantar fasciitis,” and they gave you some stuff to do and you didn’t get better and then you went back and they said, “Well, you’re not better, so let’s just try a fracture walking boot,” you need to check this out.
You do not want to use a fracture walking boot unless it’s really necessary when you’re a runner. So check out the two reasons runner’s heel pain don’t get better. You can get it for free. It’ll be in the show notes at the bottom of this episode. If you go to docontherun.com and click on the podcast tab, you can find it there.
Now if you found this useful, share it with somebody, like it, subscribe, but help us get in front of other runners who might find this useful, so they can get back to running quicker as well. Thanks very much, and I’ll see you in the next training.