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It May Be Plantar Fasciitis
In 2020 I was diagnosed with plantar fasciitis in both feet after experiencing painful foot pain. Two years later, I am happy to say that it has not returned. I attribute that to my doing foot stretches EVERY day including rolling my foot on a tennis ball. And, I consistently wear supportive shoes or orthotics in my less-than-supportive shoes. You don’t need to hit me on the head twice. The idea of having this extremely painful foot inflammation again is all the motivation I need.
Many of us were outdoors during the pandemic to safely exercise and get fresh air. I was fortunate to live in South Florida. My community has a wonderful walking/running system. About one month into my daily 3 mile walks, I had foot pain in the heals of both feet. I have had plantar fasciitis in the past and suspected that was what it was. But, the mistake I made was continuing to walk on the pavement every day trying to power through the pain.
What Does Plantar Fasciitis Feel Like
The type and location of the foot pain vary for everyone. Mine was in my heels and the side of my foot. I could barely put pressure on my foot so severe was the pain. It feels like sharp, stabbing pain near the heel. Because my feet were not stretched during the evening, the mornings were the worse. I did what many of us do and googled home remedies. Between Google and TikTok, I found several exercises.
The plantar muscle runs down the center of your foot. It is basically inflammation of the tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes. Plantar fasciitis is very common. HaveUHeard there are more than 3 million cases per year? It is usually self-treatable, self-diagnosable. After four months of foot pain and still not seeing enough improvement, I did seek medical advice.
Prior to going to the doctor, I tried several remedies I read about online. First, I ordered a splint that would stretch the foot. I rolled a tennis ball around the foot to loosen the inflammation. And, I lived on anti-inflammatories. Other suggestions include freezing a water bottle and rolling it along the bottom of the foot.
Luckily, I did not have any additional foot issues after having the foot x-rayed. My podiatrist told me they are seeing an enormous increase in plantar fasciitis during the pandemic as more and more people took to walking and running outside.
Naturally, I had to stop my daily walks. One thing about plantar fasciitis is that it has to heal on its own Some of us heal quickly. The first time I had plantar fasciitis was more than 10 years ago. The orthopedic put me in a boot 24-7 and it healed quickly. Wearing a boot is not comfortable and during the night, I would pull it off.
My feet are much better but not quite 100%. In addition to daily stretching, I now wear special insoles in my shoes. Being a shoe addict, it is difficult to give up wearing some of my more fashionable shoes. You cannot wear an insole in backless sandals or mules. But I have been able to wear an orthotic in certain summer sandals. Here are the shoes or brands I recommend:
Protalus – I have every one of their insoles. You pick yours based on your foot symptoms and the type of shoe. The H-75 is pretty narrow and does not run the full length of your foot. I am using these for sandals with a back and, while sometimes they slip, if you have the sandal on tightly, they will stay in place and allow me to wear some of my flatter sandals without the discomfort.
The other insole that comes recommended is the Powerstep Insoles.
Vionics – My first purchase was their slippers which I always wear in the house. I’ve learned how bad it is to walk around barefoot on hard floors. I recently bought the Vionic Beach Collection Pismo Lace-Up sneaker. I purchased the white ones from Nordstrom but they did not have my size in some of the other colors I liked. You can also find them at Dillard’s. That is where I was able to get the sneakers in black and for summer fun, seafoam.
Birkenstocks – My foot doctor approves of these for their arch support so I now have several. I am fortunate in having a Birkenstock store nearby, but you can grab them at most department stores.
Marion Parke – These were huge splurges since I was so upset about having to wear shoes I did not like. They were created by a foot and ankle surgeon. This luxury footwear is tasteful and discreetly comfortable. I now have the Carly Braided Leather Thong Sandal with Contoured Footbed, the Charlotte Leather Slide Sandal with Contoured Footbed.
Treatment of Plantar Fasciitis Syndrome
Now, I do the stretches the doctor gave me. The doctor also recommends using ice (I prefer a frozen water bottle). If the pain is very severe, as was mine, you can use Voltaren gel. Additionally, I use orthotics in all of my shoes for further support. I am using Prolatus insoles. They make different insoles for different shoes- boots with heels, boots without heels, converse, flat sneakers without the insoles, shoes with the insoles. As for sandals, I am afraid I will have to stick with my Birkenstocks and avoid the flat, trendy sandals.
In conclusion, my advice to people who have plantar fasciitis is to listen to their bodies. If I had done that instead of trying to power through the pain, perhaps would have not exasperated the situation and healed faster.
Let me know any tips you have or if my tips help you!