Jul 18

RBG 95: Plantar Fasciitis with Caity

It’s my birthday and I’ll rant if I want to, rant if I want to, rant if I want to! You would rant, too, if plantar fasciitis happened to you.

Today I’m talking to myself and YOU about plantar fasciitis, barefoot running, the barefoot movement and veganism. For over an hour.

- Find Episode #95 on iTunes or RSS Feed
- right-click to download the MP3
- or listen to it here:

Links from this episode:

Trigger Point Therapy is so awesome. I highly recommend it for any athlete, injured or not.

Rick Merriam – Engaging Muscles – pro-barefoot perspective, holistic approach.

The Sock Doc’s philosophy works very well for me:

Correct Toes – their position on plantar fasciitis is worth exploring

Wishing you all health and happiness!



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  1. Philip

    Dear Caity,

    Re. your frustration w/ plantar fasciitis….
    I’ve never suffered from that. Maybe just a hint. I’ve had knee problems, hip problems, back pain and shoulder pain. The shoulder pain was MY crisis because I’m a professional violinist. Unhandled, persistent shoulder pain threatened my life’s mission, the thing I love most – playing music.
    I found my answer in the Egoscue Method. Heard of it? I recommend getting a hold of the book Pain Free by Pete Egoscue, read the intro and see if it resonates with you. Then try whatever therapies described in the book that you think might help. If still interested, hopefully there is a certified Egoscue therapist near you. Yes, it does cost and insurance won’t cover it. But you can start with one session and take it (or leave it) from there.
    My Egoscue therapist first helped relieve my shoulder pain, then my back pain, knee pain and now my injured hip (from over zealous fencing). I’ve done yoga, tai chi chuan, conventional PT, Alexander Technique, Pilates. All had their benefits but only Egoscue is providing continuing relief from chronic pain and promoting steadily improving health.
    Re. nutrition: Dr. Joel Fuhrman, author of Eat to Live. I never thought I’d reduce my meat intake so drastically and up my vegan foods so much, but now I wouldn’t trade the health and energy benefits for anything. No pricey supplements, just a ton of fruits and veggies and nuts and seeds, etc. My doctor went from gravely disapproving to very happy with my bloodwork.
    I’m 51 and in the best health of my life. I’ve dialed back my BF running pace a lot because going relentlessly for speed and medals was making me feel awful and making me hate running. Now I’m slower and happy again. And getting effortlessly faster.
    I love your podcasts, your generous, honest spirit and your eloquence. I don’t know if these recommendations will help you but they’re the best I have to offer and I truly hope they will.
    In any case, TRUST YOURSELF! I’m confident you will find your path to healing and joyful good health. And I’m sure you will help many others along the way as you share your adventure.

    xoxo from a total stranger and kindred spirit

    1. caity


      Sorry for lagging so much responding to your lovely, thoughtful post!

      Through this process, there have been messages, clues that have shown up along the way. One of them is the book Pain Free that you wrote about. But it’s sitting on my shelf gathering dust. So your post reminded me to crack it open and look at the perspectives and exercises there. It’s really life-changing information.

      You are so generous, and I’m so grateful for your capitalized words: “TRUST YOURSELF.” I was re-reading it yesterday and got really tuned in to how that felt in my body. Trusting myself, particularly with regard to my health, is paramount right now, and it ties in with the psychological benefits of being in tuned with my needs. Many people have told me that Plantar Fasciitis has a lot to do with unmet needs, stress… so I’m learning to take a look at that and trust.

      Thank you so much!

      1. Philip

        You are so welcome! I feel like such a rock star that you replied to me and such a lovely, warm reply at that. But that is just you and why you are beloved by so many.

        Your words “tuned in” made me realize that anything I have done or tried that has been a “keeper” has always in some way gotten me more tuned in. Greater awareness . . . of body, of emotions, of behavior patterns, of others and the world around us . . . always seems to bring happy rewards.

        I leave you with a new-found favorite quote by Brian Andreas of Story People. It’s about music but, metaphorically, about all of us who reach out to touch others and magically experience that beautiful oneness that hints at the potential harmony we might someday achieve:

        “There came a moment in the middle of the song when she suddenly felt every single heartbeat in the room & after that she never forgot she was part of something much bigger.”

  2. Skipp

    Wow – honesty galore!

    Being 59 and situated in a place where there aren’t many other barefoot running folk, I have enjoyed your pod casts. Hope you get better soon. My (barefoot running) struggles have been with a persistent calf strain. Just when I think all is well it comes back to nag me once again. But, it is so much fun that I am not ready to give it up just yet.

    Perhaps a year from now this rant will be just a faint memory.

    Thank you!!!

    1. caity

      Dear Skipp,

      Yes, I trust this will be a distant memory – and that I’ll learn so much and look back with a smile!

      I’m sorry to hear about the calf strain you’re experiencing, but I’m so glad you’re continuing to enjoy barefoot running. I went on a long bf hike yesterday – alone, no dog, no children, etc. – and it was such a great opportunity for introspection. There’s nothing like being barefoot for connecting to the self. I’m glad your calf doesn’t prevent you from the experience you have of running!

      And I’m so glad you know how great barefoot running is – that you do it in spite of the fact that there aren’t people like you where you live! Thanks so much for listening to the podcast, Skipp! :)


  3. James

    Hi Caity,

    This is the first of your podcasts I’ve listened to – very much enjoyed your extended grouse about your plantar fasciitis – I know exactly where you’re coming from.

    I’ve got it too, eighteen months or so after switching to a forefoot strike and barefoot/minimalist shoes, fell in love with it completely, all that work building up my new muscles and bam, left heel starts hurting. Ten months later it still hurts, so I’m not running and I’m getting fatter by the week because I find other types of exercise unsustainable.

    Of all the recommendations/cures I’ve been touted, the only thing I’ve found that’s made a real difference is diet. When I eat paleo (i know this is of no use to you because you’re vegan) it gets an awful lot better. But I really struggle to eat paleo consistently.

    Your frustration about the lack of concrete information and advice about this condition mirrors my own. For every opinion on the subject there seems to be an equal and opposite one.

    I do have some sort of weird faith that this will repair itself one day and that nothing I really do now will have much impact.

    Anyway, just wanted to say I enjoyed the podcast, will listen to more of them, and your pain is shared.


    1. caity

      Wow, James, I feel like we are kindred spirits. Thank you so much for sharing with me the experience you’re having. If there were a support group in my area about PF, I’d go to it, since it’s really nice to read your words about having the same struggles. Not running – ug! It’s like being turned away by a lover.

      And I’m interested in what you wrote about paleo making a difference. I’ve always said that if I weren’t vegan I’d be paleo since I’ve seen nothing but positive impacts on people I know who have transitioned from Standard American Diet to paleo. But I’ve taken the blue pill (or is it the red pill) so there’s no going back (at least at this point). I’m going to a 7-day fruit festival (all raw food, 90% fruit) in a week, and I’m wondering if that diet will make my PF better or worse or no impact. Wouldn’t that be interesting to see a difference? (I’ll also be swimming, doing yoga, meditating, etc. so if the PF gets better, I probably shouldn’t point exclusively to the raw diet.)

      I’ve started doing my own “scraping” of my ankle, calf, foot with a spoon and lotion. As we’ve heard a million times, “a friend of mine tried ______ and it worked.” In this case, my friend tried spoon scraping massage. I’ll let you know if it helps.

      I, too, have faith that it will repair itself and we’ll be back to running and its inherent play. We can do this!

  4. Russell

    Hi Caity, I just wanted to thank you for your honesty. I appreciated your raw sharing, experiences and opinions. I have no advice to give other than keep doing what you are doing with this show! Russellx

    1. caity

      Russell! Thank you, from my heart, for your comment! I’m grateful you listen to the show and grateful for your positive thoughts!

      My best to you,

  1. Healing achilles tendonitis and plantar fasciitis | Yoga Runner

    [...] finally, if your misery needs company listen to Caity McCardell’s funny and poignant rant about her own struggles with plantar fasciitis and the wide spectrum of remedies she’s [...]

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