Plantar fasciitis

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by Cheylana, Aug 31, 2010.

  1. Cheylana

    Cheylana Well-Known Member

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    Has anyone had this??? This basically came out of nowhere while I was running in Central Park last Tuesday. It was extremely painful! A podiatrist diagnosed me last Wednesday with acute plantar fasciitis, and now I'm being fitted for orthotics. I never even heard of this before. I'm particularly wondering how long it will take before that foot is pain-free and I can go back to my yoga practice (I'm thinking downward dog and balance moves are out for the time being). Also, should I quit running entirely? I definitely don't want to get this injury again. Any thoughts are welcome!
  2. dbny

    dbny New Member

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    I've had it, my DH had it and several friends of mine have had it. I never went to a doctor for it, but found accidentally, that if I tied my sneakers especially tight over the arch, I could go pain free longer. Mine went away on it's own within 6 months. Most cases do resolve for no known reason. My DH was told to stretch the achilles and began going down stairs backwards on the balls of his feet daily to do that. That did seem to help and his case resolved faster than mine had. He still does the backwards stairs at least once a day. One of my friends already wore orthotics and also did yoga. I'm sorry, but I don't know what she did to help, but hers also went away. The other friend got orthotics and custom Birken$tock$ (my favorite sandal, but they are expensive.) I think she did PT. I don't know anyone who suffered for more than a year, but that is a pretty long time to have pain while standing! Hope this helps and hope yours goes away soon.
  3. AxelAnnie

    AxelAnnie Well-Known Member

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    Oh man....nasty stuff. I suffered with it for several years. I had three cortisone shorts during that time. Thank goodness for the pain relief. I used Orthotics....helped a bit.

    I just have to be really careful about what shoes I use. Good luck.

    If it is fresh, and an isolated incident, I would highly recommend the shot.....calms everything down, reduces the swelling so things can heal. Then you could just be careful.
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  4. BigB08822

    BigB08822 Well-Known Member

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    I also had it, very painful! Mine would come and go. I haven't had a case of it in years, probably because I quit being so physically active. Mine was at its worst when I was on the tennis team in high school. I didn't do anything that I know of to make it stop, it just finally would go away.
  5. PRlady

    PRlady aspiring tri-national

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    I'm just getting over it. Learning to sleep with my foot in the equivalent of a ski boot wasn't easy. I finally figured out I had gotten it because I changed workout shoes, when I went back to my old brand, and eased up on high-impact exercise for a few months, it got better.

    I also spent about $500 on new shoes. :( For several months, all I've worn have been Naots, Softts and a too-expensive pair of Italian pumps when I had to look dressed-up. It's not just the heel-height, you need cushioning inside the shoe (the orthotics)and a bit of a heel, never wear flats or flip-flops.

    And, this is the awful thing, you can not go barefoot. At all. I bought a pair of soft, thick spa flip-flops to wear inside and I put them on even to go pee in the middle of the night. No barefoot til you're all better!

    (And ETA to say that the best advice I got on this, back in March-April, was.....on FSU. :D)
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  6. Kasey

    Kasey Loving on babies!

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    I had it quite a few years ago, in both feet, because I have bone spurs in both heels that tends to trigger it. I got a cortisone injection in each heel at the time, and have had NO problems since (and am a lot more active now than I was then). Don't have orthotics, and have had no troubles. I hope that what they are doing for you will help, cuz I remember that pain! My sympathies to you.
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  7. smurfy

    smurfy Well-Known Member

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    I had it in both feet, one not so bad, and not extreme. But I did what my doctor told me to do:
    -do not walk barefoot - I invested in decent slippers (Haeflinger sp?) - really makes a difference
    -took a water bottle, put water in it and froze it. At night roll bottom of feet on it, it does help
    -I walk for exercise, always bought walking shoes and this one shoe store in town that is really good, they recommended running shoes. That seems to help.
    It has gone away!
    -the orthotic I used - DrScholl's over the counter helped too
    My doctor recommended these steps and if they did not work, she said to call back. It did get better. I do not walk barefoot ever now (not even to bathroom in the middle of the night same as PRLady). It is odd how in such a short amount of time, my habits changed to always put the slippers on!
    Good luck.
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  8. tahoesky

    tahoesky New Member

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    I have it. It is under control now but was very painful at it's worst. I didn't end up going to a doctor because someone I knew at the time had been dealing with it and gave me her doctors instructions. Like above first and formost is shoes. I ended up in $100 plus sneakers for quite a few years. I now have more leeway in shoes I can wear but am still very careful. No bare feet walking at all. She also passed on a flex exercise from the doctor that was very helpful. When you wake up in the morning before you get out of bed flex your feet forward and back about 5 times or so on each. Also you can do this if you have been sitting quite awhile before you stand up. It did help quite a bit. Between shoes and flexing I was able to start walking without a limp and minimal pain in quite a short time.
  9. skatemommy

    skatemommy Well-Known Member

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    My chiropractor does kinesio taping and cold laser. A good one can help you.
  10. scheherazade

    scheherazade New Member

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    Eek, I'm so sorry! I've never had it but it's one of the things I'm always afraid of while I'm training. I've barely been running since the Brooklyn Half (weather, sprained toe, blah) but when I started up again I started developing shin splints, which I hadn't had in over two years. Taking another break but hoping to get back to it next week when the weather cools down again.

    My best advice for any running injury, though, is ice. Ice ice ice ice ice. Without it I never would have gotten through my first half marathon. (Ice heals the body and the soul! Ah, figure skating...) And definitely take time to let it heal. And then for sure make sure you're wearing the right shoes. I really recommend JackRabbit -- they have a store on the UES (85th and Lex) and also on 14th.

    I hope the pain simmers down enough for you to run in the fall! I can't wait to hit up Central Park when the leaves start to change. Good luck and let us know how you progress!
  11. Wiery

    Wiery Well-Known Member

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  12. Octoberopals

    Octoberopals New Member

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    Both of my sisters have had it [1 sister in both feet & the other sister only in one foot, so far]. They did all that is mentioned by everyone in this thread, but in the end they both had to have surgery to make a little cut in the tendon because it simply would not loosen up. 1 week, no contact with the floor, then 3 weeks with crutches, & then 6 weeks of therapy. The sisters & their feet are fine now, but the time involved was immense. Good Luck!!!!
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  13. sk8pics

    sk8pics Well-Known Member

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    I had it, too. Lots of massage and stretching. I would stretch the bottom of my foot before I got out of bed in the morning. And really dig in and massage the tender areas. Advil at prescription strength doses. Mine went away, too. Now I'm also careful to not wear the same pair of shoes two days in a row, since if you are wearing the same pair all the time that can cause issues. I have two pairs of shoes I use for walking/jogging, and I alternate them as well.

    Good luck!
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  14. Cheylana

    Cheylana Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for all of this!!! It's encouraging to know that it can go away, but a little discouraging that it seems to take so long. It's also troubling that I can't be barefoot at all. I guess that means no yoga for quite a while? Yoga is done barefoot, I can't even go into the studio with shoes, let alone practice... Stupid running is screwing with my yoga! :(

    I've been icing the foot and taking a prescription anti-inflammatory. I'll have to add the stretching and massage to the repertoire and invest in those special slippers too.

    PRLady, my podiatrist is also urging me to stay in high heels. I have bad feet and find high heels very uncomfortable as a general matter, so I'm all about flats... I'll need to get to the store pronto to find a comfortable pair of high heels. Hmm...
  15. Lacey

    Lacey Well-Known Member

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    So, I was going to jump on here and say that both of my girls had it. They have different fathers and very different feet, so nothing inherited here. And, aha, I realized that I went walking in my Mephisto standard sandals (sort of supported flip flops) in an indoor mall to escape the heat a month ago, and came home with a very sore area on the bottom of my foot near the arch. Have truly suffered for a month. I switched to a great pair of Naot mary janes and added a Dr. Scholl under heel pad, but that didn't make it go away. Now I read this thread and---ta da, what I have must be what plantar fasciatis is. Now I have changed my shoe insert to a much bigger orthotic type arch support. Will let you know if I improve. And I think I will try the no bare feet thing too.
  16. PRlady

    PRlady aspiring tri-national

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    It seems so counter-intuitive, when you have sore feet, high heels? But otherwise the angle of your foot to your leg when walking will make the condition worse. You don't need stilettos, a modest 1.5 inch heel will do. These, in two different colors, are pretty much what I've worn all summer: http://www.zappos.com/naot-footwear-cannes-midnight-black-leather.

    And those Italian pumps that cost way too much at Comfort Shoes are also less than 2" high. But believe me, a few more days of the pain and the investment will be more than worth it. :(
  17. Cheylana

    Cheylana Well-Known Member

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    Lacey, yes, it definitely sounds like you have plantar fasciitis. Apparently it is fairly common even though I had never heard of it before my diagnosis last week. You might want to start icing the foot and maybe invest in some orthotics, although they are expensive.

    PRLady, I'm definitely going to invest in some of those heeled shoes you mentioned. Like, immediately.
  18. Moto Guzzi

    Moto Guzzi Well-Known Member

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    I've had it and months of doctors' visits and foot exercises helped a little but not enough. I finally gave up on hoping the pain would go away and started going to tap and jazz classes again. Within a few months, the pain was gone and it's never come back. I think all the dancing on the balls of my feet stretched my feet far more than the foot exercises did.
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  19. dbny

    dbny New Member

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    My DH was told to stretch the achilles. Wearing any kind of heel does the exact opposite, so it makes no sense to me. I hate high heels as the pressure on the balls of my feet is painful. Birkenstocks have been the one shoe that is comfortable for me all the time. (I only had two pair when I had PF, and rarely wore them back then.) I always wear them inside instead of going barefoot, it just feels better.

    I'm not so sure it's plantar fasciitis. The one really diagnostic symptom is that your feet hurt the minute you stand up on them in the morning.
  20. Icetalavista

    Icetalavista New Member

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    I have it too.

    For me, it makes *ALL* the difference to stretch my feet/calves strongly *before* getting out of bed in the morning. I take the sheet, hook it around the ball of my foot, grab both ends, and pull. If I don't do this I'm mincing around in pain. If I do do it, I can walk comfortably. And I still walk barefoot in the house sometimes. :slinkaway

    I also take a tennis ball and roll it under my arch to stretch it further.

    Not sure when it will go away. I'm a nurse and pound my feet on hospital floors.
  21. Icetalavista

    Icetalavista New Member

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    And I wear custom-fitted orthotics in both shoes.
  22. backspin

    backspin Active Member

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    I had it several years ago. Here's what my doc told me to do: twice a day (morning/night), roll a golf ball over the sole of your feet, especially the heel (ball on the floor, running your foot over it), as hard as you can bear, for 5 minutes or so. This is going to hurt!! But I did it, and it went away for good. I can't remember how long it took--for me I don't think it was super long, but it wasn't a super bad case to begin with.

    I have a friend who is a long distance runner, who also got it & had to quit running. I told him about the golf ball thing--it went away for him too & he was able to run again! And still is running years later.

    Good luck--I hope one of these remedies works for you!
  23. Lacey

    Lacey Well-Known Member

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    Yes, that's exactly right, the pain on getting out of bed in the morning is on the money. I am going to stop going barefoot. And I may try that thing about walking down the stairs backwards. And maybe heels too, but haven't worn them in years.
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  24. Lurking Skater

    Lurking Skater Ms Lurker if you're nasty

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    I've had nine cortisone shots between my two feet along with the night splints and orthotics. I'm pain free unless I walk around too much in sandals or barefoot. Stretching and ice also help but it just takes time to heal.
  25. Ice Queen

    Ice Queen New Member

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    Sorry to hear you have plantar fasciitis, and hope your feet feel better soon.

    I've had it in both feet since I was a teenager. I severely injured both feet taking ballet (toe) dancing. Back then I was misdiagnosed and told to go barefoot as much as possible. They also taped my feet which increased the pain. So my foot pain has been a chronic problem ever since. My pain is all in the arches of my feet. The dr also said I had deformed bones in my feet, which made me more prone to this condition. I inquired about orthotics, and he did not recommend them after doing x-rays of my feet. He felt it would increase my pain. Since I cannot wear anything "hard" on my arch area. I do use an over the counter arch support all the time. All these years I've tried every brand on the market. The trick is finding one that works for your feet.

    I am now in my early 50's and saw an orthopedic a few years ago. He gave me the stretching exercises, as mentioned in the other posts. At first it really hurt to do the exercises, but they have been the miracle I was hoping for. As the others have suggested, start stretching before you get out of bed. I've been doing them daily as often as possible really helps. My pain worsens when I have to stand for any period of time. Now when I have to stand I just do the stretches and it helps. I also found balancing on the balls of my feet while standing, takes the pressure off the arch.

    Comfortable shoes are a must, and this is basically trial and error to find which works best for you. I have tried many types of athletic shoes. (Nike, Reebok, Asics). I now wear Easy Spirit, comfort level 3 shoes. They make dress/casual shoes too. These shoes have enabled me to walk and bike for miles. I can tell you that I cannot run at all, the pounding will bring on foot pain.

    Also ice has never helped me. Soaking my feet in warm water or better yet a whirlpool really helps. Or I use a heating pad.

    I am fortunate that skating has never bothered my feet, but makes them feel better. :)

    Please keep us updated on how you are feeling. Let me know if you have any questions, as I'd be happy to offer more advice.
  26. Cheylana

    Cheylana Well-Known Member

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    I am so grateful for all of this advice! Going to start putting some of this into action tonight. I had forgotten that one of my yoga instructors had also recommended the golf ball method, so that it definitely on my list! I sure hope to go barefoot again someday, I really enjoy being barefoot, especially in 93 degree heat (like today!)

    Additional stories, advice, etc. all welcome!!!
  27. dbny

    dbny New Member

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    Sorry. Have you ever worn Birkenstock sandals? You could try them in a store and if they feel right, look for them on ebay, where you'll get a better price. I've worked 5 hour days on the ice, and putting my Birkenstocks on has been a tremendous relief.
  28. Jem X

    Jem X Awaiting Skate America

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    Good luck, Cheylana. I found that Brooks running shoes really helped with arch support. Also, I took an anti-inflammatory for about 4 mths. You might be able to use these arch supports while doing yoga. I used to have them and I would wear them while sleeping.
    http://www.footsmart.com/C-Foot-Arch-Supports-46.aspx
    I had the arch-huggers, or something very similar to them.
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  29. Bev Johnston

    Bev Johnston New Member

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    Keep in mind that by "high heels", I believe that everyone means heels that are no higher than 2". The heel really helps if you have high or fallen arches.

    I had it off and on for about 12 years; flareups caused from years of teaching aerobics, playing tennis, and from stand-up training done for 8 hour stretches in cheap flats.

    My doctor suggested all of the things that people here are suggesting. I've followed this regimen and have been relatively pain-free for four years. I've also all but given up high-impact sports like running (which I never really liked anyway). I still attend the occasional step aerobics class, but not really with any kind of regularity, so it doesn't bother me. I feel that with cycling/spinning, roller blading, and ice skating that I get more than enough workout without pounding my poor feet to death.

    A word about orthotics/heels: You can have orthotics made for varying heel heights. Plantar F was my excuse to give up 3"+ heels, so I had orthotics made for flat to 2". If I wanted to wear something higher, I could have had orthotics made for it.
  30. Rob

    Rob Beach Bum

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    I had it for about 2 years. I wore the socks/boots, went to therapy, changed my shoes, nothing worked. My insurance stopped authorizing therapy after 9 weeks because it wasn't doing anything. So I just suffered, until one day I got up and it was gone. No idea why. Never came back. I haven't had it in 8 or 9 years.

    I wear mostly Mephistos, Munros (usually with additional arch support), Orthoheels, Merrells, MBTs, and a couple of other brands I see in the Foot Smart catalog. My friend who had it said Naots are good, but they are generally too narrow for me.

    Foot Smart catalog has a number of things like the boots, socks, cushioning pads etc.
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  31. ArtisticFan

    ArtisticFan Well-Known Member

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    I have had it in both feet from the abuse I heaped on my feet as a former dancer. One thing that has worked for me is icing. However, not just an ice pack.

    My doctor suggested taking a bottle of wanter and emptying out about half of it. Then put it in the freezer and let the water turn to ice. Put the bottle on the floor and roll it with my foot for 20 minutes. It sounds stupid, but it does work.
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  32. Cheylana

    Cheylana Well-Known Member

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    These are all fantastic suggestions. Again, thanks to all! :)
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  33. kathy sullivan

    kathy sullivan Well-Known Member

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    I'd add one more suggestion. I had it and it was so amazingly painful. Tape, ace bandages to raise my arch, and ice helped a lot. I also got wind from my martial arts friends about a cream called Topricin. They said it worked wonders in some cases. Desperate, I tried it and it worked really well for me. You can buy it at most health food stores or online. Make sure you get the formula that advertises relief for plantar faciitis. I used it liberally and a lot - it is very comforting and feels it like you have ice on you feet when your just waking in shoes. I recovered in about 3 months almost completely. And had a lot of relief from it from the time I started using it. It seems to work best on the type caused by injury as opposed to the type associated with aging. Good luck.
  34. bk_skates

    bk_skates New Member

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    I'm a physiotherapist and have treated a few people with plantar fasciitis. If you can I'd recommend going to see a physio who can do some modalities (eg. ultrasound) on you to help get rid of the inflammation. They can also show you some exercises or how to tape your foot. I wouldn't run out and spend a ton of money on orthotics just yet. I've also had plantar fasciitis myself and I can walk around barefoot today.

    As for treatment, you definitely want to start stretching your calves. You should do the runner's stretch where you lean into a wall with your arms and keep the back leg straight (which should be the painful one). Try doing 3 stretches with 30 second holds. You'll also want to repeat this exercise with a bent knee in the back leg in order to stretch the 2nd muscle in your calf. You should stretch 2-3 times/day.

    Filling a bottle of water and freezing it is also highly recommended. Then roll the arch of your foot back and forth on it at the end of the day or if you've been on it for a long time. Put a can of soup or some other canned good beside your bed and roll your foot back and forth on it for 1-2 minutes in the morning before putting your feet on the floor. It helps to stretch out the tight tissues in the foot.

    Another good exercise for the little muscles in your foot is to take a tea towel and lay it on the floor (tile or hardwood...carpet is too hard to work with). Sit in a chair and put your foot on one end of the towel. Keep your heel planted and use your toes to crunch up the towel under your foot. Do this a couple times.

    Hope this helps!
  35. Karina1974

    Karina1974 Well-Known Member

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    I've dealt with foot and ankle problems for a while in my right foot. Last winter my sore heel flared up into PF, and I spent the winter taking a break from the rigorous folk dancing and fitness walking that I did all last summer and winter. Taking a step on my right foot felt like I was stepping on a knife edge - a very dull knife edge. Stepping on those little metal strips they put on the floor in doorways especially killed.

    Luckily, the pain really backed off in time for me to start up dancing again in April/early May, and I've been dancing ever since, 3 times a month since May. I have also biked almost 200 miles (avg. 20 miles/weekend) since the beginning of June.

    The discomfort is back in the heel area, at the base of my Achilles tendon, where it's been very mildly sore for about 2 years now. It is at its worst when I get out of bed in the morning, but after a warm shower, I can walk without discomfort. I wear sneakers all of the time when I am out or at work, and nothing on my feet at home, and character shoes with 1.5" heels for contra/square dancing. Before the dances start, I can always be found standing in a corner of the room, doing heel raises and just standing in as high a releve position as I can get, which helps a lot. I can dance all night after that. :)

    I'm curious as to the emphasis on using ice to treat this condition (or any condition involved strained ligaments/tendons/muscles for that matter). I use heat to treat any strains that occur. There's a reason why you warm up your body before performing any vigorous exercise, and why once you've been on your feet for a bit with PF it hurts less (like after standing in the lukewarm shower for several minutes); chilling an injury I would think would make the muscles/ligaments/tendons stiffen up and make it more painful, not less. Just yesterday I went out riding and mildly strained a muscle in my calf (you can feel it flex when you put your hand on the outer lower front of your lower leg and lift your toes off the floor). It hurt to put weight on it, so I wrapped a heating pad around it when I got home and, this morning, the pain was completely gone.
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2010
  36. loopey

    loopey Well-Known Member

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    I would suggest that folks check with their Dr. BEFORE deciding heels (even 2" will help). In some cases the inflammation of the fascia can put more pressure on the achilles tendon (especially if a bone spur has manifested). In these cases a "high" heel can help relieve some of the pressure. If this is not the case, a heel of even 2" can put MORE pressure on the fascia which is counter-productive to heeling. I would hate to think someone with plantar fasciitis is assuming "heels" is a good solution.

    The reason Dr's recommend rolling the ice bottle is because while the ice is helping reduce any inflammation, the rolling action is keeping the fascia loose. When you have plantar fasciitis, when you first wake up in the morning, or if you are inactive (off the feet) for more than 45 minutes, the fascia can tighten up and then when you stand up OUCH!. Some Dr's do recommend that patients alternate between heat and ice, but the stretching is really important either way.
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  37. dbny

    dbny New Member

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    Aha! I wondered what caused that. Thanks for the info!
  38. Yazmeen

    Yazmeen Well-Known Member

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    I had it about 10 years ago not long after I started skating. I cannot emphasize enough as others did - before you get out of bed, do foot circles with both ankles and flex and point your feet - STRETCH!! Also, stretch both calves before you go to sleep. These exercise have become natural for me, I never get out of bed or go to sleep without doing these moves, and I've never had a recurrence since the first bout.

    Another good site:

    http://heelspurs.com/index.html

    You can buy surgical tape in the drugstore to tape your foot. Best of luck, and I hope you feel better very soon!
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  39. bbtano

    bbtano New Member

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    I've had it off and on for about 10 years and stretching my calves has been the best treatment for me. I also got a pair of Birkenstock shoes to wear to work and they've been great. I've never stopped walking around the house barefoot, but I did stop wearing flip-flops and other shoes that don't have any heel/arch support.

    I hope your pain subsides quickly! But if it doesn't, be patient and keep up with the stretching because it can sometimes take a few months to heal.
  40. Lara

    Lara Well-Known Member

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    After reading this thread, I'm pretty sure that's what I've had this month...pain and tightness by the achilles tendon that's worse in the morning. Ugh. :( (Medical school didn't really cover this condition and I never came across it in my two years of pediatrics.)

    I'm guessing it was starting jogging that triggered it (or some combo of the sneakers and new sandals) and has finally started easing up. Thanks for all the input.