I did the stretches, the heel cups, changed over to different shoes and sneakers, iced, stretched some more, etc. The most offensive thing I found out about the whole thing was that about three months after it cleared up in one foot, it started right back up in the other one. To face going through that all over again was a real downer.
I did not do well riding with it. We did long trail rides (3-5 hours), and coming back down to the ground after being up in the saddle for so long could be a very painful shock to the foot. Slide down gently.
"The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits." Albert Einstein
It took me several years to get from severe pf to where I am now, which is that it hardly ever bothers me unless I do something stupid like walk up and down the boardwalk all day in flip flops.
At first, I did all the stretching exercises, always wore Birkenstocks inside the house, never bare feet, wore Dansko clogs outside the house wherever possible, and custom insoles with good arch support in my boots and sneakers when I had to wear them.
Now, I still wear Birkenstocks as my house slippers and put arch supports in everything I can, but I never stretch anymore and get out of bed just fine in the morning. I can get away with wearing shoes or sandals with no arch support for multiple days as long as I don't walk too far or for one day with a lot of time on me feet with no flare-up of symptoms.
So I guess I'll never be able to completely "cure" the pf, but I can easily keep it under control and avoid flare-ups.
Yes, it used to be awful!! What I did was pretty consistently wear rocker bottom type shoes (like the ones that are supposed to tone your butt) or my Ariats with good arch support inserts along with stretches, massaging with Sore No More gel, and forcing myself to "walk through the pain" and do a good bit of hiking.
Of course, now that I've got the PF fixed, I'm having fun with Achilles Bursitis- fun, fun
“While the rest of the species is descended from apes, redheads are descended from cats.” Mark Twain
Shoes with TONS of arch support.
Avoid going barefoot as much as possible, even at home.
A PF boot (just needed a few times)
Now I keep on top of it with stretching.
You really, really want to tackle it from all fronts before it becomes permanent or gets worse. I had to be religious about my footwear. I dumped my Ariat paddock boots because even that much heel bothered me. I wore Nike tennis shoes with HUGE arch support at the barn. Now I use Justin Gyspy low boots with arch support orthotics - they're not pretty, but they don't have a heel!
My left foot (knock on wood) is finally happy. Still working on the right foot.
Stretches, icing, anti-inflammatories helped a little but really did not make it go away. The thing that did the most good, custom inserts with a great arch support. I wear them all the time (I only have one set so I have to switch them around depending on shoes) I am out, in the house I wear my Birkenstocks.
Next visit I believe we are injecting the right (still painful but not as bad) foot.
Timely thread as I'm suffering miserably with it right now in my right foot. Anti-inflammatories, rolling frozen bottle of water with foot, stretches, and big arch supports have helped a bit, but not much. Am to the point of considering injections. PF SUCKS!
it's an overuse injury to the attachment of the plantar fascii to your heel. The plantar fascii is the springy structure the bottom of your foot that is supposed to absorb the shock of your weight coming down on it and then rebound and use that energy to help throw you back up off the ground.
Two categories of people tend to get it: overweight unfit people, and people who suddenly increase or change their exercise routine.
Essentially, your foot is too weak for what you're asking it to do.
The cure and prevention is to stretch AND strengthen your feet. Many people never pay any attention to their feet when they work out, so they exercise the rest of the body, and forget about the feet muscles.
If you habitually wear "supportive" shoes with lots of padding, especially "arch supports", your shoes are preventing your feet from functioning normally, so they get weaker over time.
There are all kinds of treatments that have been invented in an attempt to quickly cure the pain of this condition, but really, none of them work other than stretching and strengthening. The condition tends to just resolve on its own after some months, so many people are convinced they "cured" it- whatever cure they tried last, right before it resolved on its own, appears to have cured it.
Don't get a corticosteroid shot. All it does is cover up the pain- it doesn't cure anything. And they weaken the tendons, and sometimes they end up rupturing as a consequence of getting these shots, especially if you get several shots in the same location.
New Balance. That is all I wear. They are expensive and I have to buy a new pair every 6 months or so but with Surpass and my super sneakers I'm pain free.
I was wearing Sketchers for the longest time and I happened across a BF who worked for New Balance. He gave me the truth about sneakers. Put me in the size I actually needed (extra narrow) and POOF! I'm good to go.
You can also buy traction arch supports from any local medical supply store.
Yes, I have had it badly in both feet at the same time (to the point I could barely get out of bed in the a.m.). Here is what worked for me:
Went to a good athletic therapist. She had me doing calf stretches a few times per day and did some manual therapy on my feet. She said there was a lot of scar tissue built up and she had to manually break it up. Not gonna lie, it was painful. She followed up the manual therapy with ultra sound. I then went home and iced my feet. She had me fill water bottles with water, freeze then and then roll them under my arches.
I was also instructed to roll a tennis ball under my feet and, as therapy went on, progress to a golf ball. Again, painful at first but I actually came to enjoy it.
Arch support is important, I had custom orthotics made and initally wore them all the time. I still keep a pair in my running shoes, my paddock boots and my Blundstones.
I have progressed to the point that I don't have to wear orthotics in my every day shoes but I don't go barefoot, I wear Birkenstocks in the house. I never wear flip flops.
When picking work type shoes, pick them up, twist them back and forth. If they bend easily there is not enough arch support. Pick a stiffer shoe.
I am still religious about calf stretches and I exercise with orthotics but wendy makes a good point about exercising your feet. A kinesiologist I knew recommended exercising my feet which seems counter intuitive when everyone else tells you not to go barefoot. I practised yoga for a while (barefoot, of course) and wow did that ever improve the condition of my feet. I still go biweekly and it feels so good to get that full range of motion within the foot.
Good luck, I would highly recommend you start with a good athletic therapist.
I love cooking with wine. Sometimes I even put it in the food.
Wendy, since you point out that strengthening your feet is the best cure of all and how none of us do it, why not give us a clue on how to go about strengthening in a way that will help the situation?
Based on my personal experience, I think there are two stages. When PF is flaring up, I think exercising you feet is just too painful. However, once it is under control and the acute phase is over, I think some non concussive barefoot exercise is good to prevent it recurring again. Personally, I would avoid a concussive type of barefoot exercise but yoga helped me tremendously.
I love cooking with wine. Sometimes I even put it in the food.
Hey, I have it too! Had it in both feet, have worked it out of the left foot after a while and still have it in the right foot. Not as bad as it was at first, but still annoying as all hell. Slowly getting better.
What worked for me was a combo of stair-stretches (heel drops/donkey presses) and toe curls. Stand on 1-2 thick books with just your toes off the front edge. Grip the book edges with your toes and slow count to 3, relax and slow count 3. Keep repeating. Stretches that area in both directions. I'd never heard of the toe curls before they told me. It's a definite help.
Also try heel stretches by sitting on the floor with legs straight out and a rope, blanket, towel, whatever looped around the ball of your foot and hold each end in your hands. Lift your toes/stretch heels and slowly add more "toe lift" pressure by pulling on the blanket/towel/rope. Also slowly rotate *only* your foot inward as you increase pressure. This directs the stretch right where it needs to be. (keep your leg flat, only rotatee the foot. You'll definitely feel it when you do it right, LOL)
My PT and rheum doc gave me these exercises/stretches for that. Both have said it takes time too. Both also said back sleepers can irritate it because they tend to sleep with their toes pointed. And my Muck Boots don't help due to lack of arch support. I'm supposed to put some arch support gel thingies in them, but keep forgetting to buy them.
And PF does indeed suck. Worst for me is getting out of bed in the morning, I looked foundered trying to make it to the bathroom. Getting up after sitting a while needs a handful of steps to work it out a bit. But for the first few months I couldn't stand on my feet for more than 15-20 minutes at a time without it hurting either and that's not as bad as before now. (those gel-pro type mats helped in the kitchen)
You jump in the saddle,
Hold onto the bridle!
Jump in the line!
I got it bad in both feet after starting work in a new building with horrible concrete floors and being very active on my feet in that building for 6 months. I am religious about wearing good supportive boots or shoes, and stretching. I also find that picking up things with my feet helps stretch!
What exercises strengthen your foot in a way that helps this situation?
Doing yoga just seems to bend and stretch the foot and use the full range of motion within the foot. I can't offer anything more specific than that I'm afraid, maybe wendy can. Calf stretches are the only specific thing I can offer.
I just got the HTP heel inserts with the PF "Bar" yesterday. So far, so good. The good (but OTC) arch supports didn't help much.
I stretch, but will stretch more.
I apply Surpass most nights before putting on my boot.
I wear Danskos almost exclusively and find these shoes do best for long days on my feet.
I just got some new "socks" from Feetures that act like it's taped--holds the arch up. So far so good on that, too.
Wendy, I know what it is and how it starts--I am not overweight, nor did I change my routine exercise. However I DID walk around on a vacation weekend with cute but flat/cheap/nonsupportive sandals. Won't happen again.
I have not done the whole tennis ball/bottle thing, but I may start that as well.
Thanks again all!
From now on, ponyfixer, i'll include foot note references.
However I DID walk around on a vacation weekend with cute but flat/cheap/nonsupportive sandals. Won't happen again.
OK, I swear I did not know that when I said that my pf is only a problem now when I do something stupid like walk up and down the boardwalk all day in flip flops. Hope you didn't think I was insulting you.
Yeah...I have it in my right foot. I had to stop wearing cheap flip flops. My orthro just about had a fit when I told her that summer time I live in Old Navy flip flops. I have very high arches and those have zero support.
My last time took a year to heal BUT I also ignored it to the point where I could hardly move my foot. I went to Orthro got the NSAIDs and got PT. It is considerably better now but if I wear the wrong shoes with no sarch support I feel it.
I stretch a lot in the AM, do the tennis ball under foot, water bottle that is frozen, and stay away from flip flops or bare feet. My sneakers cost way to much but I would rather walk. I have to look up the insert that I got in FL and wore. You can't exercise in them and they feel strange...but it was what worked when I didn't have insurance.
OTTB - Hurricane Denton - Kane AKA Bubble boy
Boxer - Tugger's - outlasted my marriage