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Plantar Fasciitis, I Got Your Number

September 3, 2010

I’ve been radio silent, I know I know.  But I’m back now… that’s all that matters, right?  I could start out with my usual stuff- love my hair, still no man, trials and tribulations of living healthy BUT thought I should start off with something much much more random… my feet.

A few years ago, I began having excruciating heel pain.  As any mild hypochondriac would do, I went on to webmd and self diagnosed.  Turns out I have plantar fasciitis… basically torn/inflamed/damaged tissue that connects my heels to my toes at the bottom of my foot.  There’s a lot of “reasons” this happened to me.  One, this only started after I became super active and was playing tennis and hiking A LOT.  Two, I do have flat feet and we flat footed people are more prone to it.  Three, I’m fat and we fat people are also more prone to plantar fasciitis.  Although this was a mild annoyance, it wasn’t anything that I gave too much attention to.  Back in the day, the flare ups would come and go and simple things like icing and stretching the bottom of my foot would alleviate the pain.

But then I started training for a triathlon.  And God help me, this plantar fasciitis seems here to stay now.   This has gone from a mild annoyance to a serious problem.  And nowadays, the excruciating pain isn’t just when I wake up in the morning… it lasts throughout the day (at different pain levels).  It has gotten so bad that the pain is now moving from just my heel (where you normally feel the pain) into my achilles tendon.   This summer, the pain was becoming too much but in all honesty, I didn’t change or do anything to rectify it.  But the straw that broke this camel’s back?  It wasn’t the pain, but my inability to wear flip flops of any kind.  I’m a Florida child and therefore flip flops are VERY important to me.  My plantar fasciitis had become so bad that a day in flip flops meant a day of horrible heel pain that no amount of stretching or icing would eliminate.

Now that my triathlon is over and now that I am fed up with the lack of flip flops in my life (and oh yeah, the chronic pain is getting to me too)… it was time to take action against this plantar fasciitis.

First thing up, went to a foot doctor who would do more for me than just give me a pair of orthotics for my sneakers.  New doctor is amazing and I start physical therapy next week to try an address the underlying problem so we can prevent future flare ups and injury.

Secondly, I have bought flip flops that I can supposedly wear without causing a flare up… they are absurdly expensive for flips flops, but if they work… they are worth every single penny.

Third, I bought a real night splint which is this contraption you put on your foot at night to try and alleviate that excruciating pain that you feel in the morning when you take your first steps.  I don’t understand why, but the plantar fasciitis is worse when the plantar fascia tissue on the bottom of the foot isn’t being slight stretched  (which is also why flip flops are horrible for you)… so this night splint keeps your foot in a slightly stretched position.  The one I bought looks like this:

I wore it for the first time last night.   I was concerned it would be too bulky or uncomfortable but it really wasn’t… until I felt like my foot was burning off.  I have no idea what happened, but at some point in the middle of the night, I literally felt like my foot was on fire and I woke up in a panic and took off the splint and went back to bed.  I don’t know what time it was but when I woke up this morning, my first steps were not as painful as usual so maybe the night splint worked?  Tonight, I’ll try wearing it with a sock (like in the picture) and see if that helps.

Either way, I’m getting rid of this chronic plantar fasciitis once and for all… or I’m going to die trying!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 7, 2010 5:19 pm

    I hear you! My feet went into a state of revolt while I was training for a half marathon two years ago. I had to stop training and even walking became unbearable. I was going to suggest the Fit Flops that I discovered quite by accident but it looks like you know that already! I also like Earth shoes – the negative heel keeps your hamstrings stretched out more than normal and they have good arch support. Now, I baby my feet and wear “good” shoes as much as possible. I only have occasional flare-ups and nothing like what happened when I was running (I now stick to walking and yoga). Good luck with your recovery! It may seem like forever, but if my experience is any indicator, you will heal eventually. Also, make sure that boot isn’t too tight. Your feet might be swelling a little while you sleep, causing that burning sensation. That happened to me once with a soft cast. I had to cut the darn thing off in the middle of the night.

    • September 9, 2010 12:25 am

      Wow @Healthy Amelia!!! That’s a lot of good information… thank you! 🙂 I honestly can’t imagine that it took me so long to discover fit flops… it has revolutionized my world. I can wear flip flops again without the excruciating pain. Hallelujah! As for the splint/boot, I think you were right about what was going on… because it wasn’t hot in my room nor was I hot anywhere else. The last couple times, I’ve had much better luck! I’m starting to realize that “babying” my feet is a necessity if I want to keep walking, let alone running. Thanks again for the info!

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