59 answers

My Feet Are Killing Me!!

When I was pregnant with my son, I had occasional pain in my feet and ankles. Now that I have had another kid, my heels and pads of my feet have constant sharp pains in them. I have seen a podiatrist , and he gave me arch support insoles to wear in my shoes. He says I have plantar fascitis. All I know is that my feet only ache when I have shoes on , but are very painful without my shoes on, WhenI wake up in the morning, I have a very difficult time walking. It feels almost as if the bottom of my feet are bruised. My question to all of you is " does anyone know how I can make them stop hurting?' Any advise would be greatly appreciated. THank you

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Great big thank you's to all who have responded. I am tryingthe calf stretches, along with massage, heat and ice. So far the pain has aleveated immensly. You all are a life saver. Thanks again, C. D

Featured Answers

YES! Earth Shoes. They HEALED my plantar facitis (within 3 weeks of wearing them exclusively.)

I have had major foot issues since childbirth. I also invested in a pair of Danskos to help with the outer foot pain.

The platar fac. seemed to come back after my 3rd, and i think it was from getting up rapidly in the middle of the night to go to my Little one. (Hobbling to my LO is more like it, as my feet were in Excrutiating pain!) I tried to remember to put my Earth shoes on first, but that was hard to do at 2am, 4am or whenever he was up.

I still religiously wear my Earth shoes inside the house (we mainly have hardwood floors). ANd now - i am pain free.

Hi C.,

I have planter faciitis and I had to get custom made orthodics, which has virtually taken away the pain. It used to be pretty severe (couldn't walk, etc), but the orthodics helped a ton, that and new shoes as soon as they wear out. It can be pricey, but worth it! Good luck, Rox

I had the same thing and they told me to strech my feet before I got out of bed every morning. Also to always wear shoes and supports in them. However the thing that really helped me was a cortizone shot in the bottom of my foot. Then I always work the New Balance shoes with a number over 600 with a support in them. I hope this helps. It is hard with a little one to run after.

More Answers

My husband (who is a coach), takes white, athletic tape and tapes the sole for support. He says a few days of being supported make it go away for weeks/months at a time.

Hi C.,
I also have plantar facsitis. There are several keys to living with it (unfortunately it is a chronic condition but the good news is that you can manage it):
1. ALWAYS wear the support insoles in your shoes.
2. NEVER go barefoot.
3. Strech your calf muscles! I stretch several times during the day.
4. Ice your foot when it is painful or after a lot of activity. (I play tennis so after I play I sit down and immediately ice my foot for 10 minutes.) Fill a styrofoam cup with water and put it in your freezer. After the water has frozen, take the cup out and peel back the top a little bit so just ice is exposed. Put that ice directly on the bottom of your foot on the arch (yes, it will be shockingly cold but you will get used to it, make yourself do it) rub the ice back and forth across the arch and down onto your heel. Have a towel handy to catch the water as your ice melts. Do this for 7-10 minutes until the bottom of your foot feels really numb.
5. If you are still having problems, see a physical therapist. They can do treatments to help with the pain (I had to have an ultrasound treatment a couple of times a week for several weeks), explain what the condition is and help you manage it.
Good luck! Take action, the pain will only get worse if you don't but it will improve if you do. I am pain-free as long as I consistently wear my supports, stretch and ice after tennis.

My husband is an Applied Kinesiologist and fixes foot problems like this all the time. Arch supports are great if the bones and muscles of the foot have been checked and are aligned and working properly. If that hasn't been addressed, they are worthless. So, I'd look for an Applied Kinesiologist near you. If you need help, let me know.

I have it too. Mine really intensified after my second pregnancy. Don't ever walk around barefoot--always wear some sort of supportive slipper or shoe. I have had a hard time finding slippers with soles thick enough for me so I now use Crocs as slippers in the house. It works well for me because they have such thick bottoms. When I buy shoes I always make sure they have strong, supportive soles. No thin-soled shoes or flats. I always wear water shoes at the beach or pool too. Land's End makes some nice supportive ones that are sturdy and wear well. About the only time I am barefoot is when I am sleeping or in the shower. If you take care of your feet it does improve with time. Good luck.

I'd suggest consulting a personal trainer about working with something called a Peroneus Prehabilitative Tensile Band (it's basically, a giant rubber band). It's known for being used by Michael Jordan when he had ankle injuries. But, it's not just for ankle rehabbing. You might also consult a massage therapist. The massage therapist might be able to work with your feet to alleviate the fascia spasming. The personal trainer can work with you train your feet muscles to basically, work better so that they don't cause you pain with the spasming. Good luck.

I had a similar experience, but for me it seemed to be a cumulative effect of walking on hard wood floors (or tile) for several years. I found I did a lot more standing in the kitchen after my kids were born and my feet started killing me. If I remember to wear my shoes always in the house, I have no pain. If I forget and wander around barefoot, they hurt even after just a few minutes. Crocs or something similar are the perfect in-house shoe. Soft, and not too hot. Hope that helps!
T.

Hi C.,

I have planter faciitis and I had to get custom made orthodics, which has virtually taken away the pain. It used to be pretty severe (couldn't walk, etc), but the orthodics helped a ton, that and new shoes as soon as they wear out. It can be pricey, but worth it! Good luck, Rox

C. D,

I also suffer from this problem. I have two children (9 and 6) and have noticed this condition for a while now. Sometimes I will rub and squeeze my feet and heels before I get out of bed, or just when they are feeling sore. Also, stretching your feet in the morning helps ease pain. You grab hold of your toes and pull back towards you as far as you can and hold it for a few seconds. Another recommendation is rolling your feet across a tennis ball to massage the bottoms of your feet. It really helps! Hope these ideas will help you out. I noticed several people that mention these tips.

A.

Take an old water bottle and fill it and put in the freezer. Try rolling it under the arch of your foot at night before bed. Also, when you wake up you need to stretch out your calves and achilles tendon (can't hurt to do throughout day if tightens up. I too suffer from plantar fascitis and this will help. Never walk barefoot! Over time you will definitely see improvement. I got plantar fascitis after being on bedrest with my pregnancy. It does take time, but gets better! Good luck!!!

Sorry to say, I've dealt with this too over the past 13 years (with differing degrees of severity), since I was pregnant with my first child. In addition to all the good advice already given (stretching, icing, good shoes, etc.), I also got some relief from rubbing the bottoms of my feet with 2 drops each of lemongrass & cypress (note the spelling--NOT cyprus) essential oils diluted in about 1 tsp. of cold-pressed canola or olive oil. If you don't like the smell, add a drop of peppermint essential oil too. All 3 of them help to decrease swelling/inflammation. I would rub them on 1-3 times a day, depending on how badly I was hurting, but always before bedtime. The more you do it, the better. Give yourself a good foot massage while doing it! When I stretch in the morning, I do it by standing facing a wall. With my heel on the floor I put the rest of my foot up on the baseboard & lean into the wall for several seconds. Then I bend my knee a bit to change the stretch as well. Good luck!

Have you tried massage therapy? If not it may be something to consider, however be sure the therapist is aware of the areas to stay away from for pregnant women.

YES! Earth Shoes. They HEALED my plantar facitis (within 3 weeks of wearing them exclusively.)

I have had major foot issues since childbirth. I also invested in a pair of Danskos to help with the outer foot pain.

The platar fac. seemed to come back after my 3rd, and i think it was from getting up rapidly in the middle of the night to go to my Little one. (Hobbling to my LO is more like it, as my feet were in Excrutiating pain!) I tried to remember to put my Earth shoes on first, but that was hard to do at 2am, 4am or whenever he was up.

I still religiously wear my Earth shoes inside the house (we mainly have hardwood floors). ANd now - i am pain free.

I am a PT and I would agree w/ your podiatrist...it sure sounds like plantar fascitis. Deep friction massage is usually a good treatment. You could try using a small ball and rolling it over your "bruise" and add body weight to get the massage deep but I'd really recommend asking for an order for some therapy from a PT. This can get better but probably not on your own.

Yeah! Plantar Fascitis! I hate getting out of bed in the morning. I have to crawl to the potty. Literally. It has gotten so bad that if I don't have shoes on I have to walk on my tip toe (cuz that feels ok) or on the side of my feet and then I twist my ankles. My regular Dr. had me do some stretches, I don't feel they really help, but I am going to keep that up. ASK YOUR DR for some exercises. Also I ahve heard about making sure you do something like Pilates or Yoga to stretch out your CALF muscles. I am a mother of 4 (15,13,11,9) and hadn't had to work full time in many years. I am now divorced and work 40 hours a week. My arch is killing me. Putting ice on it helps and putting a tennis ball under and massaging the arch seems to hlep alot. Good luck. Oh and I cannot see a podiatrist (no insurance), and I would love to try some good arch supports. Best of luck to you

This sounds like CLASSIC Plantar Fasciitis. The only things you did not mention is that it feels like a thousand needle pricks and sometimes it's in the heel and sometimes in the arch and sometimes it's more in one foot than the other.
There isn't anything you can do to MAKE it go away but there are things you can do to make it a whole lot more manageable. The doctor can give you anti-inflamatories. They might help a little. In my experience, aspirin does about as much good.
Do you have a really good pair of walking shoes? If you notice when you go the hospital, most of the nurses are wearing NEW BALANCE walking shoes. There is a reason for that. If you have never tried them, they are made in USA and they are the most comfortable I have ever tried. Atheletic shoes do NOT give the same comfort. Also don't let the store clerks sell you other insoles. The ones in the New Balance walking shoes are better. OR, you can go to a specialty foot store.
Another thing you can do is stay off hard surfaces as much as possible. Get some thick carpet samples, double them over to provide more cushion, and place them at locations where you stand in one place a lot, like next to the kitchen sink or stove. You'll have to move them out of the way when you are done so no one trips. Walk on grass rather than the sidewalk or cut through the carpeted sections of department stores rather than the hard ailes.
There are whole websites devoted to this condition and they have excersizes you can do but I didn't think they helped that much. I've had it three years but since I have been more conscious about wearing the right shoes and standing on the carpet pieces, my feet have gotten so much better. Some days I don't even notice it.

I had this too and I got it during pregnancy and it just got worse later. I was able to cure myself of it without wearing those shoe insoles.

First, I figured out which of my shoes were causing the problem. (in my case, they were my workout shoes, and every time I wore them, my feet hurt the next morning even worse than normal. Experiment around with your shoes a bit wearing one pair for a few days and try and pin point a pair that is causing more pain than others. When I figured that out, they went in the garbage. in the meantime, I stretched my foot muscles by standing with my tip-toes on a step and then, hanging my heals over the step going lower than level with my toes. (Don't go higher than your toes,...only lower.) Do this as many times a day as you can for a few minutes a time. That helped HUGE! I did it about 3 times a day for about 5 minutes at a time. Eventually, when I took my first steps in the morning, there wasn't any pain anymore.

Now, approx 1 year later (after really working through my problem and trying to solve the issue) I can say I'm cured, however, I still do some of my stretching on the steps because I figured it can't hurt and I REALLY don't ever want to get it again.

Good luck. There is hope!

Good luck. :)

Go see a chiropractor, I have the same thing and they did wonders. He also told me to get a hard object that rolls, golf ball, frozen bottle of water and put your foot on top of the object and roll it on the bottom of your feet. It hurts like heck but it also stretches the plantar fasia. I also had cortisone injections in the plantar fasia and that also helped. Good luck.

I had the same problem after having my second child. I went to an excellent podiatrist who took a mold of my feet and made special arch supports based on the molds. He told me to buy shoes with no arch supports in them that also have a flat sole. This isn't easy to find, but I did come across Sketchers shoes. I found that the extra thick soles on the bottom worked wonders in cushioning my feet no matter how long I was up and about and they work great for fitting my arch supports in them. At first, my arches did cramp with the arch supports, but this went away after a couple of weeks and the morning pain went away almost immediatly. This was several years ago and I still wear the arch supports (updated every couple of years with molds) and sketchers and I've not had any problems since.

I have Plantar fasciatis also. I am not in constant pain anymore. Here are the tricks that have helped me. First, wear good shoes. My doctor recommended Merrils for shoes. Reefs are what I wear for sandals. I used to buy cheaper shoes, but realized that this was one place that I shouldn't skimp. Second, wear a "boot" at bedtime. It's a device that hold your foot at about a 90 degree angle. And finally stretch your foot before walking, pulling your toes toward your leg. This really helped the bad morning pain greatly.

Start rolling your foot over a golf ball. If you sit in a chair, have the golf ball on the floor and place your foot on top and roll it back and forth. At first, you will want to do it gently.

It does sound like plantar fascitis. The in-soles should help, but I've also found that rolling your feet on tennis balls also helps to loosen the fascia. Did the doc give you any stretches or exercises? I have to say, I'm not a big believer in podiatrists, I've found more luck with orthopedic surgeons. Good luck!

Hi C.,
I have the same thing. My suggestions are 1. wear your shoes with the insoles all the time. Unless you are in the shower or in bed they should be on your feet. The tendons in your feet need time to heal. 2.In the morning before you do anything do some stretches on the side of your bed. Put one foot behind you with your toes on the floor and stretch. It took me almost a year to be able to go with out shoes and not be in pain. The most important thing is to let those tendons heal and going without shoes or in flip flops(my problem) won't let them. Good Luck

I had the same thing and they told me to strech my feet before I got out of bed every morning. Also to always wear shoes and supports in them. However the thing that really helped me was a cortizone shot in the bottom of my foot. Then I always work the New Balance shoes with a number over 600 with a support in them. I hope this helps. It is hard with a little one to run after.

Hey C.,

I am a massage therapist and I have had several clients with planter fascitis. I would tell them to stretch and ice their feet along with a good foot massage. But I also refered them to my chiropractor and one of them went and she had excellent results from the chiropractor adjustments. I don't like the chiropractors that snap and crack you so I found one that uses an activator and it pushes the spin pack in line and it doesn't hurt at all. It's worth a shot. I hope this helps.

I see a number of people have already suggested massage. I would agree with that as well. I wake up with sore feet in the morning ocassionally where it is painful to walk. Walking it out for me helps but better yet is giving myself a foot massage in the evening too. I learned to do this during a yoga relaxation/meditation class. I'd suggest yoga with it as part of your stretching that several others have suggested.

You may also want to check your shoes. If they are stretched or worn out (especially if the same as worn in your pregnancy), they should be replaced because they can aggravate your condition. WebMD has some good info on this too.

Hi C.,
I have had plantar fasciitis too. Make sure you stretch out your calf muscles every morning or when you feel pain. Also if you bend dow, as if you were starting a running race, with your toes bent, and lean forwrad on your hands, this helps too. Doing some type of exercise, such as yoga, would be good too, to stay flexible. I have learned to do all this and I have practiaccly no pain any more ever and I am a runner!

Hi C.,
You may want to get checked for rhuematoid arthritis. After my second child was born my feet hurt a lot too along with other joints. In the morning was the worst as I couldn't even bear the stiffness. It felt like a dull ache and or like I had bruised myself. I also had a lot of swelling and stiffness through out the day. My family doctor did a blood test and it came back positive. He referred me to an RA doctor and I got treated for it right away. I hope you don't have this but if you do don't delay in getting treatment for it. Good Luck!

I also have Plantar fasciitis I wear either Earth Shoes with its negative heel or Birkenstocks - both brands seemed to have saved the day for me. When I wear other brands and walk a bit I certainly know it!
I usually buy my Earth Shoes and Birks though http://myearthshoes.com

I had a very similar issue. I had swollen feet and ankles during my pregrnancy. My feet felt very stiff and sore every morning when I got out of bed and then as I walked they would loosen up but still hurt. This lasted for a year. I saw a Osteopath who said it was because my pelvis was out of alignment from the pregnancy and this caused issues with circulation from the feet to the heart. A chiropractor can also help get your pelvis back into alignment. I also bought these half balls that you stand on and stretch your feet over. That helped loosen them up as well. They got gradually better, but for me it took a year until they felt back to normal.

I hope that helps.

P.

I would recommend doing some feet exercises before you get out of bed in the morning. Stretch them toes out and pull them back. put a tennis ball under them or a warm bottle of water and roll your foot across them periodically during the day. If you get a towel out you can use that to pull your foot back instead of just your feet. This can take over a year to heal according to my podiatrist I had when I lived in Iowa. They recommended doing the exercises at least 3 times a day and to buy really good shoes with supports.
Hope this helps!!

BIRKENSTOCKS!!

BIRKENSTOCKS solved this problem for me. I never wear anything but BIRKENSTOCK shoes or sandals. I buy then on ebay to get them cheaper and they come in a lot cute styles. Yu can also buy BIRKENSTOCK inserts for the shoes you have now. BIRKENSTOCKS have great arch supports but also support the heal and front part of your foot. I wear a pair of sandals all the time in the house and have others that I wear outside the house. I even have a pair of rubber BIRKI sandals that I wear to the pool. And as others have posted I also stretch my feet and calves before getting out of bed.

Wow, sounds so familiar. I too have plantar fascitis. I went to a physical therapist for a while. Most of the exercises had to do with stretching out the Achilles tendon in the back of the leg. He had me put a cutting board on the bottom step and pretend I was skiing as I leaned forward and stretched the tendon. I also take time while I am still in bed to point my toes toward my nose before I take those first painful steps in the morning. You can also use a tennis ball or a cold soda can to roll on the bottom of your feet.

Mine comes and goes, it was definitely worse in the beginning, not so much now, just occasionally.

Hope you find relief.

I work for the postal service and am on my feet 12 hrs a day/ 6 days a week on concrete. I also was diagnosed with plantars fascitis. they scanned my feet and gave me some insoles like you. they didn't seem to help much so I started messing around with insoles myself and I have found that coupling two different kinds of dr.scholl's into my shoes has made a great difference and they are: the double air pillo insoles that you cut to fit along with the formed dr. scholls (Name unknown sorry) that come in either gray or Light blue depending on the size of your feet. I wear an 8 1/2 and use the gray ones. if they don't fit in to your shoes as is then i always ripped out the existing insole of my shoes. this did make a big difference but I also lost weight and that I am sure contributed significantly to the pain loss. I have no pain what so ever anymore and I actually plan on taking up jogging again after 20 yrs. Good Luck and I hope you find a remedy, I know your pain and remember it well! ouch!
S.

Hi,
I kind of self diagnosed myself with planter fascitis about 2 yrs ago. Since then I've known several people with it...it is very painful and hard to just get rid of, seems like it's a long process. My boss wore good arch support tennis shoes ALL THE TIME for 1 year and he finally feels better. I think aspirin or other antiinflammatoies help. My pain is better but seems to flare up every now and then BUT I hate wearing shoes all day and love sandals in summer so I didn't follow the rules so that's probably why my feet hurt still. I try to take Omega 3's just because they are good for you, and it seems like that helps on the day I do take them (unofficial study) If you look it up on WebMD there's some info and I know there are certain excercises/stretching you can do to easy the pain. It really stinks but there is no reall quick cure. Hope this helps, here's to happy feet!!!

Getting deep tissue massage on a regular basis should help alleviate the problem, but also doing strengthening and stretching exercises of the muscles in your legs and feet should help too.

C.,

A friend just told me about a shoe called Earth Shoes and they are only sold at Von Maur and one other location that I can't recall right now. She said it has taken all the foot pain away for her and they are under 100 dollars. She is a nurse so she was on her feet all day. She found an on line site so she doesn't have to pay shipping or tax but you can try them on at Von Maur so you know your sizes and if you like them before you order them.

Hope this helps, I have plantar fascitis as well but it has gone away for the most part but it has taken well over a year and I would have bought shoes immediatley if I could have. I did get these boot things from a podiatrist but got minimal relief from them.

L.

Hi C.,

I have had plantar fascitis for years. I've found that when it flares up it's extremely painful, but it does go away. A great friend of mine is a podiatrist and he's recommended several things that work - before getting out of bed in the morning roll your ankles, point and flex your feet to stretch them before putting weight on them, roll a small ball under your arch to ease the pain, freeze water in an orange juice can and roll it under your arch (use something to collect the water as it melts of course), only do low impact exercises until this flare up passes. I use my arch supports when I find shoes they fit in. I've found that if I wear them too much they can cause my feet to hurt, so I end up taking them out half way through the day. Shoes with good arch support that don't let me roll to the side are a life saver!

I hope one of those tricks will help.

Sounds like you've gotten some good advice from the other moms out there for the stretching and deep tissue massage ie rolling you foot on a golf ball, frozen water bottle, etc. One thing that I know helps me is wearing very good supportive shoe such as Berks. Never be without shoes, especially in the house. Use your orthotics from the Dr. if they help, if they don't you may need to experiment with other inserts or shoes or get yours modified. have you tried physical therapy? They can give you stretches and offer other suggestions to help manage (or hopefully eliminate) the pain. You will probably need a referral from either your primary doc or the podiatrist. One visit may be all you need for them to teach the exercises and offer tips.

Hi C.,

Sorry about the loss of your little angel baby, Marissa. I am sure that that was very difficult. I can't even imagine.

I have suffered with the same issue that you are experiencing right now and I agree that it can be excruciatingly painful. I couldn't even allow the heal of my left foot to lay on the bed, at night. I would have to put it at the edge of the bed so I didn't feel the pressure and pain.
I have worked in a chiropractic office for 7 years and was treated on many occasions for it, however, it never really seemed to resolve itself. Could it have been lack of nutrients? Our clinic has the lastest technology, too. Anyway, praise God I no longer have that nasty pain. I never even realized that it was gone until just recently. I started taking some nutraceutical products that have corrected my body and it totally took the pain away. I was almost in disbelief when I realized that it had to be what I was taking. Of course, I am a believer now and highly recommend these products because of the results that I have had. My husband was also able to stop taking the blood pressure meds, of 11 years, and has a lower pressure now than when he took the meds.
The name of the company is Dr Organics and these products are totally organic and formulated by the top formulator in the country. He formulates for doctors, clinics, hospitals, and pharmacies. He also works with doctors in the cellular research department at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. Many of the doctors there also take these products I am told. I will share my web site with you so that you can research for yourself. www.drorganics.com/9409558. If you have any other questions for me, you may email me at ____@____.com.
Please believe me when I say that you will not be sorry in getting started on these awesome products. I have been taking them for 11 monthes and wouldn't trade them for anything.
Also,I am 62 years young, have had 2 angioplasties, a triple bypass, double knee arthoscopic surgery and 3 back surgeries. I am 21 years post open heart surgery and take NO medications at all, not even aspirin. These products feed me on the cellular level and are the only ones that I take.

To your health,
T.

Hi C., I'm only a mom to pooches, but I have had the same issue with the plantar fascitis. It is a result of the connective tissue inside the bottom of your feet, attached to your heel & the bones in the ball of your foot, being inflamed & stretched beyond their elasticity.
A friend of mine was advised to wear 'Crocs' shoes in the house, & never go barefoot. She said this helped immensely, since the material of the shoe helped provide not only cushioning, but elastic support.
The insole supports will help while you are wearing shoes, and over time this will subside, but it takes a long time & requires dilligence.
When you wake in the morning, do foot stretches in bed before stepping out. Sometimes massages on the bottom of the foot & the ball of the heel (gently!) can help relieve the acute pain. Good luck! T.

I have had plantar fasciitis off and on over several years. If I take care of my feet, it stays away. After a podiatrist who gave me generic insoles that didn't really work, I found a really GOOD podiatrist who gave me specially designed insoles molded to my feet. He called them "magic shovels." They were instant, magical, pain and ache-free. I had to wear them for 6 weeks ALL THE TIME, even if I just went to the bathroom. They were amazing. I am careful when buying shoes, get GOOD arch support. During the day I usually wear sneakers (New Balance work well. They seem to have adequate arch support without the insoles). I rarely go barefoot anymore, but the benefits are well worth it! Good luck! Painful feet make the rest of your body hurt, too!

Gosh I feel bad for you! I had this 2 years ago when I was pregnant and waitressing! It was horrible! Do not wear flats or flip flops ever! They are horrible for you! My son (12) even has problems because we were wearing the same kind of shoes! I read the other comments you received and think the taping of the soles sound like the quickest route for you. I wish I would've known that! It does go away! But stay away from flats and flip flops!

I had this condition for 9 months...not while pregnant and I agree it is terrible. I had my feet taped and that didn't work. It seemed the more stretching and movement of the tendon I did the worse it got. Finally I resolved to try and decrease the inflammation with frequent ice packs to my feet and I invested in a pair of wooden clogs that had about a 2 inch heel on it. The wood helped support my arch and didn't give when I walked, and the high heel portion helped to shorted my arch to put less strain and tension on the tendon. I lived in those things anytime I was on my feet inside and out. I felt better within 2 days and It took about a week but I was cured after 9 terrible months, I thought it went fairly fast once I stopped aggrevating that tendon. BTW that was about 13 years ago and I have never had it again. Good luck!

Hi C.,
This is kind of long and technical but will explain what is happening.

plantar fasciitis - Trauma may tear or stretch a few fibers of the plantar fascia enough to initiate a local repair inflammation. The initial tear heals in a shortened position unless deliberately stretched out while healing.

Re-tears occur easily when stressed by the next significant strain on the plantar fascia. This cycle may repeat many times causing a chronic inflammation and chronic heel pain. Because the plantar fascia attaches to the heel bone, and because bone heals with bone, a chronic inflammation at the point of
attachment of the plantar fascia may result in the development of a "heel spur" which can be seen on a x ray.

The heel spur is the result of the long standing inflammation of repair, and is not the cause of the heel pain. Repair inflammation may be painless. Many heel spurs seen on x rays are painless.

Severe heel pain on first arising from bed in the morning or on getting up from a chair after sitting for more than 10 minutes that tends to get a bit better after walking on it for 5 - 10 minutes is the classic symptom of plantar fasciitis.

What to do:
The most important point in healing plantar fasciitis is to have the plantar fascia heal in the stretched position. When the tear heals in the stretched out position of the plantar fascia, the whole strength of the plantar fascia
is resisting the next significant strain, not just the shortened, newly healed portion.

This means that the likelihood of re-tear or significant re-strain is greatly diminished. Daily stretching exercises or sleeping in a splint that keeps your foot in the "up" position will help. A board can be constructed to be on a 10 - 15 degree up slant that can be used to stand on at the sink or washbasin. Ten to fifteen minutes of standing on such an incline with the toes up and the heels down will stretch out the plantar fascia while the tear is healing.

There are several other stretching exercises such as
a) standing 7 or 12 inches away from a wall with the heels on the floor and leaning into the wall keeping the knees straight;
b) letting your body weight stretch the
back of your calf by standing with your toes on the stairs letting your heels go down;
c) the usual runners' heel stretching exercises is another way to stretch out the plantar fascia. Any and all of these stretching exercises may increase the pain temporarily. Such a temporary increase in pain is not reason to stop. No permanent damage to your plantar fascia is being done by gently stretching it to get it to heal in the elongated position.

Local heat will have the effect of making the heel feel better. Alternate hot and cold applied locally will increase the blood flow to the part and have the effect of "washing out" the collection of pain chemicals. Heat will ease
the pain and relax the muscles allowing for more normal local blood flow.

There are a number of easy ways to apply hot and cold to the part (e.g. 3 min. hot and 1/2 -1 min. cold) - shower or water baths or heating compress or electric pad and ice locally. Use a thermometer to measure the heat of the hot water. Start the hot water about 100 F. (37.7 C.) and increase the temperature
by adding more hot water (without burning yourself) to a maximum temperature of 110 F. (43 C.). Add ice to the cold water to keep it cold and end the treatment with cold (at least three hots and three colds).

If you have diabetes or peripheral neuritis or other disease that makes your body part insensitive to temperature, consult your professional medical providers before attempting
to use hot and cold on yourself.

Anything that will relax the plantar fascia will also make the pain less because it is painful to stretch out inflamed tissue. While this makes the heel feel better, if the plantar fascia is not daily stretched out, great risk of re-injury and developing a chronic heel pain is taken.

Ways to relax the plantar fascia are wearing higher than ordinary heels. A felt lift inside the shoe will do this. Just simply wearing shoes with higher heels will accomplish this. When combined with stretching exercises higher heels can be a useful temporary treatment method.

A great number of different kinds of heel pads are available to treat painful heels. One type is designed to increase your own heel padding by supporting the sides of your heel with rigid a plastic heel cup; other type adds softness and padding to your heel. A third type provides space under the center
of the heel which increases the pressure elsewhere.

Wear well-made, comfortable shoes whenever possible. Anyone with heel pain, especially runners, should stretch regularly, and consider the use of supportive orthotics.

Supplements suggested:
Alfalfa the Great Healer, anti-inflammatory http://www.shaklee.net/helpfromlinda/product/Alfalfa
Vitamin C with Bioflavonoids acts as an anti-inflammatory http://www.shaklee.net/helpfromlinda/product/VitaC
EPA helps reduce inflammation & pain http://www.shaklee.net/helpfromlinda/prodNutOmegaGuard
Zinc promotes healing http://www.shaklee.net/helpfromlinda/product/20411
Pain Relief Complex relief for chronic pain & discomfort (Boswellia blocks 5-Lox - 88%, Safflower blocks COX-2 - 93%)
http://www.shaklee.net/helpfromlinda/product/PainRelief

L. L
Wellness Coach

Hi C.! Sounds like the same problem I had after being pregnant with my now 2year old son. My feet and legs were generally very swollen during the last trimester of my pregnancy. I've seen a doctor once at about 2 months after giving birth and she said there wasn't anything wrong with my feet and there was nothing she could do at this point. I found that the pain went away on its own eventually when the swelling of my feet gradually disappeared. It took about one year for my feet to be normal again and I haven't experienced any more pain since then.
The only good advice I can give you is to elevate your feet as often as possible and have hubby massage your feet after a nice relaxing bubble foot bath when you're in a lot of pain. I hope that you're going to be painless again soon!!

ask your doctor for a referral to Physical therapy. Recently we have had success using "Iontophoresis" as a treatment for plantar fascitis. Any PT in a sports medicine type of clinic will know what to try.

Hi C.,

I have had this problem before too and I can totally sympathize. Here is what I found to help me. Before you get out of bed in the morning take a rolled up towel and wrap it around the arch of your foot holding on to it with both hands and pull down towards you with your leg outstretched above you. It will work those tendons out for you. I also found that something like a rolling pin or a tennis ball rolled on the arch of that foot when you have some down time will help too. I also had to invest money in some pretty expensive shoes. I found New Balance to help me the best and you have to put them on almost the second your feet hit the floor in the morning because the tendons are getting overstretched every time you step down on it. Hope this helps. Icing it helps too but once you walk on it again it will hurt

I have always had problem with me feet too & found out that I had Planter Facitis! It is painful that is for sure & it was worse when I was pregnant! Before I went back to work I went to Famous Footwear & I told them the problems I was having! They set me up with Nike Reax's & I absolutely love them! I felt instant comfort the minute I put them on! They make a world of a difference! Good Luck!

I do not claim to be an expert, but I do know that Chiropractic care can help with this. My father had the same thing and I took him in about twice a week for a month and the quality of comfort to his feet increased dramatically. I can recommend one if you need (and are located in Minnesota). His name is Dr. Jason Fleisner and he's fabulous!!! The clinic name is Advanced Chiropractic and Massage located in Bloomington (right off of 494 & France Ave) Here is the number if you would like to know more info about him and what they can do ###-###-####. If you're not local just call around to various chiropractic clinics and ask about it (they should tell you it is associated with tight calf muscles and the muscles in that region). Hope this helps!!! :)

I also have plantar fascitis (or had it) and I went to western medical doctors and they only recommended shoe inserts and Vioxx (this was years ago). Well, the Vioxx helped with the inflammation, but not the pain. Eventually I went to an accupuncturist and with four to six treatments all my symptoms were gone. He also recommended some stretches I do, which I still do this day.

Stand on a stair case on a step with the balls of your feet on the edge of the step (standing tippy toe), then lower the heels of the feet to hang toward the step below you (so now your heels are almost touching the step below you). The stretch will be painful at first - hold it as long as you can. You can do this throughout the day and night - anytime your feet start to hurt. I often do it on a curb when I'm walking a lot.

I hope this helps. I know most insurance companies don't cover accupuncture, but if you afford to go, I totally recommend it.

Be well,
W.

I work in Physical Therapy-I would recommend stretching the bottom of your feet by pulling your toes up until you feel a stretch. Also, you can freezed a 20 oz. pop or water bottle and roll that under your feet to ice them and give them a gentle massage(you can put more pressure if you want a deeper massage) Hope that works!

Definitely do the step stretch that one of the other responses described! I was having this problem also & my podiatrist suggested doing this before bed. Amazingly the next morning I didn't have that horrible pain when I stepped down for the first time!!!!

C.,
I've been through this and can say my feet are much better. I found Earth shoes helped(www.earth.us). They have a negative heel that helps to keep the tendons stretched. I've also found wearing either tennis shoes or a good sturdy slipper (Haflinger) around the house helps. I had cortisone shots which may or may not have helped. They were painful in themselves. When you're sitting message your feet over a water bottle (20 oz or so) that has frozen water in it. Most of all be patient, it is going to take some time.

I had the same thing and went to a podiatrist where I live and he special made me arch supports that worked. I had to go back once or twice to have them adjusted but they really do help but the relief isn't over night. You will still have some of an ache to start with while using them but I do know that if you go without, you really hurt! It took me about a year and a half or so and now I don't have to use them any more!!! It is just a matter of building up the strength in your arches again.
Hope this helps.

You have many great responses with great ideas to help ease your pain. The one thing I found to help besides improving the quality of your shoes (and wearing them always!!) and rolling with a ball or bottle has been the bosu. It is something you see at the gym and wonder what it is. It has a flat side and a half ball side. standing on this for a few minutes challenges your stability and strengthens your ankles and feet. Yes, it does have a good sort of pain when you first start but it feels so much better not to have the constant pain. I do one legged stands and dips--great for the legs, core and back too!!

My eldest son had plantar fascitis and he had to wear special insoles also. His doctor warned him never to go w/o them. Barefoot was the absolute worst thing he could do. It took literally months and months for it to heal, and he still uses insoles a lot of the time, but at least the pain has subsided. He would soak his feet in a hot tub with some sort of additive (Village Naturals Aches and Pain Soak worked well, available at WalMart) and would use BenGay rub, or something similar, as well as Tylenol.

SAHM of seven

Definitely go see a PT.

Sorry if I suggest something that might have been suggested but go and see a chiropractor. Your back might be out of alignment. If it is, they'll be able to fix most of the problem. Then use the other suggestions. I learned rather early that if you're back is out, nothing else is going to work.

L.
Mother of three boys ages 16, 14 and 12 (who thinks he's 18)

C.,
I do massages as a part-time job. I have been doing it in and out of my home for the past 5+ years. I have seen your situation (or at least the symptoms of it), actually more often than you think.
Where is the pain on the foot? Is it all over or centralized say on the heals? or arches?
If it centralized then I would guess by your symptoms to check for bone spurs. (which describing that briefly- is calcium deposits that have harden) I have been able to successfully break away these bone spurs on heals (on family and friends). One way to check is to observe your foot......look around the edges of your heal, is there "white" bumps. Another way is to rub deeply over the area that is painful and see if you can "feel" a "bump".
If it is spurs they are not fun to break away, but will aleav SOOO much of the pain and discomfort. Even you can do it on yourself........but we usually tend to quit if is too painful:). Simple rub REALLY hard on the "bumps" with your knuckle. It may benefit you to ask someone to do it for you.
I hope you find relief soon. Blessings from L. (Pequot Lakes, Mn)
SORRY REPLY WAS SO LONG!!!!
Wife of 11 years in April, Mom of 9yr old and 7 yr old. Work Natural health (esp. Young Living Essential Oils) and do massages part-time. Site Leader for MADD in our County. Very active in our church and Youth groups.

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