Losing motivation because of planter fasciitis



  • Cherimoose
    Cherimoose Posts: 5,210 Member
    edited October 2014
    I recently had sciatica, went to physical therapy where they re-aligned my pelvis, back got better but after 4 visits, I went for my usual 3 mile walk and halfway through the side of my heel started hurting. So it seemed to come on after my physical therapy sessions. Possible a change in my gait?

    Possibly. What shoes do you walk in? Most athetlic shoes have a raised heel, which causes a braking effect with each step, and therefore more impact at the heel. That might be making things worse for you. Try walking in "zero heel" shoes, such as Keds, Converse, skateboard shoes, etc.

    The pain is more the sides of my heel than the direct bottom of my heel.

    That's not typical of plantar fasciitis, so keep open the possibility that you may have a different issue, such as compression of a foot nerve, for example:


    Fat pad syndrome can cause heel pain too. There's a full list of the causes of heel pain on this page. A podiatrist or ortho is needed to diagnose some of those.

  • HelenWater
    HelenWater Posts: 228 Member
    My PF is getting better after using orthotics made for me, and wearing appropriate shoes (that I showed my podiatrist). I would certainly try to get it sorted ASAP so that the less damage is done to the tendon by the irritation and inflammation.
  • GuitarGirl99
    GuitarGirl99 Posts: 23 Member
    I have dealt with this on and off too. I am so sorry to hear you have this problem. It is absolute misery I wouldn't wish on anyone. I am currently in a period of little or no pain (thank heavens!!). What I have learned is every time I have had it it has been different and has responded to different treatments. The things that helped me most were:
    • Wearing supportive shoes that are designed for your particular kind of foot. I used Athletic shoes w/orthotics, Birkenstocks because of the firm footbed. And Keen Newport H2 because of the strapping. Always have them on. During the painful time of early healing when it seems like you are not improving at all, keep a pair by the side of the bed to slip into even for a quick trip to the bathroom, this will avoid that "ripping" feeling when you first get out of bed. I don't have to anymore, but during the worst of it, I had shoes with me ALWAYS. Always.
    • Prescribed orthotics (not necessarily custom, expensive ones, but mine came from a podiatrist and they were about $22 for the pair.
    • I got great relief from Keen Newport H2 sandals because the side strapping is just right for my arch support and the bottoms give kind yet firm support for my heels. I still wear my Keens in the summer as a precaution, and also because they are funky and I love them for walking and biking.
    • The Strassburg Sock helped me A LOT at night in the beginning.
    • I had 3 cortisone shots, not sure if they really helped all that much, but I was desperate and would have done anything. Pain like this messes with your mind. The jury is still out on my feelings about cortisone.
    • Calf massage was a HUGE help for me. I did it myself. I would Gently but firmly rub all the knots out of my calves each night before bed and massage the plantar fascia and between the toes to encourage flexibility. I saw a lot of relief almost immediately from doing this.
    • Yoga helped me a lot to maintain all over flexibility in my hips, hamstrings and calves.

      Good luck. I hope you find relief. I have had 2 major bouts with this in the last 7 years. Each instance took me about 2 years to fully recover. I know more now what to do if it starts flaring up again so I hope to avoid a full blown case going forward. You have my sympathy for your pain and my best wishes for speedy healing.
  • arditarose
    arditarose Posts: 15,575 Member
    I don't have PF but I have a problem with my metatarsals that can cause me to slow down and not want to do any high impact exercise. When I stopped running so much and did spin/cycling, it helped a lot.
  • yoovie
    yoovie Posts: 17,127 Member
    I had it! I beat it! I had a really really bad case of it with a bone spur over a centimeter big. It took me about 9 months, sleeping with the boot on at night, stretching it against my desk during the work day, rolling it on a tennis ball or frozen water bottle at night, making DANG sure to stretch out my calves exceptionally well every day. I didnt want it to get worse and destroy my achilles tendon on top of everything and have to live with that injury for the rest of my life, so i decided to do everything right, all the stretching, no more Minimus shoes, getting super cushy sneakers and wearing them everyday, gave up flip flops, sandals and flats for a whole summer... it worked. Im PF free for the time being and taking extra care that it doesnt come back.

    but if you need your feet back, dont worry, you can get them back with conscientious effort!
  • slickmickey
    slickmickey Posts: 113 Member
    i'm in the same boat. i used to have a job where i stood in one spot for 4 hours. when i got home my feet hurt and i didnt think anything of it. and i kept that job for 14 years with it getting worse and worse, and i was getting heavier and heavier. it got to the point where i couldnt stand up after i'd gotten home and sat down.

    stupid me, i decided i wanted to get in shape and started taking zumba and trainning for a couch to 5k and it just got worse again.

    i finally went to a dr who told me i had flat feet and high arches (who knew that was possible!) and PF and heel spurs! he told me i needed to rest my feet, no more training, no more zumba, and i had to quit that job (it was part time, i was ok with that). after cortisone shots, sleeves and splints, still no help real help. i got custom orthotics and i think i'm starting to slowly get better (6 months later). the PF only hurts after standing/walking too much. the heel spurs are still bad and drive me insane all day long.

    so i've just started training again because i want to. right now i'm only walking - no running. but i'm going to go slow and see what my body can handle. at least now i know whats wrong and know when i need to slow down. I was able to do 20minutes of zumba last week before i started feeling it. i walked a 5k this weekend and yes, my feet hurt saturday night, but i used my tennis ball and stayed off them much of sunday and i'm feeling pretty good today! maybe i should start using my night splint again, its just so uncomfortable! i know i dont want to be where i was a year ago, so i'm not going to over do it, but i need to lose weight because that will help in itself and i'm worth it!
  • dbmata
    dbmata Posts: 12,952 Member
    I've had it, caused it from running too much in the wrong shoes. (Brooks Beasts.)

    Did physical therapy, slept in a boot for a while. Did the insert thing.
    The inserts really only aggravated it and caused massive foot cramping. I switched to a different shoe (five fingers) after the physical therapy and have been fine for years.
  • HerbertNenenger
    HerbertNenenger Posts: 453 Member
    I used arch supports similar to the link provided by srpm and they worked WONDERS. I also did exercises where I rolled my arches across a tennis ball or a cold can, back and forth. I had to get some very good athletic shoes with a high arch. All together, I have no problems now. I feel your pain! Try some of these things that people are suggesting though, starting with those stretchy support bands - it really does work !
  • exstromn
    exstromn Posts: 163 Member
    First of all everyone is different. Inserts did wonders for me, don't be afraid to try something, anything! Don't give up, you may be pleasantly surprised:)
  • JessMason24
    JessMason24 Posts: 38 Member
  • natebollinger
    natebollinger Posts: 24 Member
    Don't even think twice about seeing the ortho. It's the #1 thing you can do to get back on track. Other things such as stretching, etc. will help as well, but custom orthotics are critical. I went through the exact same thing.
  • ckrame0016
    ckrame0016 Posts: 11 Member
    bump - for ideas on Achilles tendonitis
  • justcat206
    justcat206 Posts: 719 Member
    yes, arch supports. I used to get it ALL the time and I finally bit the bullet and went in for custom arch supports. My feet are horribly flat and weird and the arch supports make all the difference in the world. I don't even have to wear them all the time, only while walking a lot and it's almost totally ended my occurence of PF. Also, I discovered I have really weak gluteus medius which leads me to be a bit knock-kneed which causes me to roll my ankles and aggravates my bad arches - so you might want to take a good look at your entire posture - are your knees straight, hips even, abs tight, etc just to see if there's anything you can do to tighten things up there.
  • JessMason24
    JessMason24 Posts: 38 Member
    For you, Peter...more tips for heel pain
  • emileesgram
    emileesgram Posts: 141 Member
    digginDeep wrote: »
    I think your doctor already gave you the answer. See the orthopod.

    I am going to see an orthopedic dr. The earliest appt. I could get in next week in November, so in the meantime I was gathering information and ideas on how to alleviate the pain. Thank you to all who have taken the time to share their experiences and give some tips on exercise, supports and types of shoes. I do appreciate it.
  • emileesgram
    emileesgram Posts: 141 Member

    That's not typical of plantar fasciitis, so keep open the possibility that you may have a different issue, such as compression of a foot nerve, for example:


    Fat pad syndrome can cause heel pain too. There's a full list of the causes of heel pain on this page. A podiatrist or ortho is needed to diagnose some of those.


    thank you for this article. It has been helpful.
  • Kalikel
    Kalikel Posts: 9,626 Member
    edited October 2014
    Follow your doctor's advice! He knows best.

    Do not walk around without shoes. If you can manage to sleep in your tennis shoes, do that. But don't take a single step out of bed without shoes. Keep slip-ons next to the bed. Crocs are nice, easy-on, easy-off for bedside and OMG, they seriously cushion your foot. No barefoot walking!

    If you can afford the $300 custom inserts, GET THEM. If you can't, try the generic ones and see if they're helpful.

    Do the stretches, do the stretches, DO THE STRETCHES!!!!!!! Do them a lot.

    Take Aleve for the inflammation if the doctor didn't give you prescription Aleve (naproxen sodium.)

    Rest that foot as much as you can and rub the calf muscles.

    Swim if you can. It REALLY helps loosen up that muscle.
  • dejavuohlala
    dejavuohlala Posts: 1,818 Member
    I have had steroid injection in the past and these certainly help but they need to be repeated so not a long term solution. Purpose made insoles for your foot type is the best option
  • emileesgram
    emileesgram Posts: 141 Member
    update on my plantars fasciitis. I went to an orthopedic doctor, he confirmed what I already knew spent $35.00 copay for 10 minutes of his time and he gave me a printout of exercises (that I am already doing) he offered to give me a cortisone injection but I want to try to heal this as naturally as possible (although I will not rule that out completely) He did fit me with a 'boot' to sleep in and although it was awkward to sleep in it seemed to already help after one night! I am in a lot less pain today but I am also being very diligent about my icing and exercises. Again thank you to all who offered advice, I am feeling more confident that the problem will eventually go away..even going to go buy me some Crocs (although I hate the look of them) but I heard wearing them around the house rather than non supportive slippers is helpful. Hope all who have this problem find some relief!
  • dbmata
    dbmata Posts: 12,952 Member
    sounds like a good $35 spend. Immediate increase in quality of sleep. :)