Monday, May 3, 2021

How I Tamed My Plantar Fibroma


After coming back from Vermont and doing a lot of barefoot walking on wooden cabin floors, I noticed my left arch was hurting.  I freaked out when I felt then saw a lump sticking out.  Even the Mr could see it when I asked him to look at it.  After a little research, I saw it was called a plantar fibroma.  It's basically a fibrous knot on the arch caused by, you guessed it, walking barefoot on hard surfaces,  friction from wearing shoes and walking for an extended period.  It's benign but if it grows, it can become painful especially if it hits arch support in your shoes.  Different websites talk about how you can get it diagnosed and potentially treated which I recommend checking out so you can decide what is best for you.

Given I discovered this during a pandemic, I wasn't going to make any unnecessary trips to a doctor's office for something I could potentially treat at home.  In looking at the treatment options, many of them looked like they weren't going to be something that actually treated the issue, only make you more comfortable except for one...physical therapy.  I've been to enough physical therapy, chiro appointments and massage therapists as well as my own anatomy research to know where to start.  *This is how I chose to treat my plantar fibroma.  I am NOT suggesting this is how you treat yours.  Consult your doctor to decide what is best for you.*

Given I've dealt with knots in muscles and tendons in the past, I know the biggest thing I've learned is that the Graston technique along with increased blood circulation to the area can do wonders.  The first thing I did was get out my gua shua tool that is used for scar tissue and adhesions.


This tool is a lifesaver whether you exercise or not.  There are knots that can pop up whether from exercise, injury or everyday life and for under $15 you can banish them to the pit of hell they came from.  This little jerk on my foot was no different.  I applied lotion to the bottom of my foot.  I like to use something thick and for extra dry skin like Eucerin because it reduces friction and it stays on the skin's surface longer making 'scraping' more effective.  

I flexed my foot so the bump was more prominent and gently ran the curved part of the tool over it.  You don't want to go digging in there or feverishly go over it like a 2 year old coloring for the first time or you're going to be sore in an hour or so and definitely the next day.  You have to stand on it, so I treated it with respect.  The blood flow to the area gets pumping when it's scraped to help aid in healing from what I've been told over the years when dealing with scar tissue.

I already had a magnetic field therapy pad from a previous injury so I used that in conjunction with the gua shua tool to aid with circulation.  This acupressure mat and pillow set also got a workout for circulation because I would sometimes just rest my arch on the pillow for five minutes to help with blood flow.  After about 30 minutes of rest from scraping and circulation, I would put an ice pack on it or especially before bed so any inflammation would calm down.

The next day it felt slightly better so I continued doing that and and within a week it was almost unable to be detected on touch and I had no pain.  (This may not be your experience should you try it.)  I will say after 2 months, it did come back just a little because like most humans, I was like "I feel better, I can stop."  No you can't and I should know this by now.  So I will make sure to do a maintenance scrape twice a week to keep it at bay.  What I did notice before it came back was I was doing a lot of lower body stuff that involved either walking or lunges where my arch was getting overextended.  I will definitely make sure to scrape after activities like that and it's just a good idea in general to keep that area pliable anyway.  

I'm thankful it didn't take too long to treat this since I got it at the first sign of pain and now that I have the lesson that it can come back if it's not maintained, I'll keep on top of it.

Have you ever dealt with a plantar fibroma before?

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1 comment:

  1. What a horribly painful thing to go through. I have a lot of foot problems, but I've never experienced what you went through. Glad you have some tools in the arsenal to keep it from flaring up again.


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