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The Catch 22 - Plantar fascitis

Saturday, August 13, 2011

In the past few months I have developed plantar fascitis. It's an irritation and swelling of the thick tissue of the bottom of the foot. I have it in my right foot but now fear it is happening in my left as well. I have a lot of heel pain and any exercise makes it much worse. It's caused by foot arch problems, obesity or sudden weight gain, long distance running, tight achilles tendon and shoes with poor arch support.

I could understand if this problem would have happened when I was at my heaviest. But why now? I had lost 70 lbs. I do have high arches but I've always worn Birkenstocks, rarely if ever wear heels. I've been kind of gaining and losing 10 lbs back and forth for a while but pretty much maintaining that loss. Before my show in May, I was exercising regularly to get ready - probably 4-5 times a week. Nothing too strenuous - I do resistance bands for 30 mins and low impact aerobics for about 40-45 mins. And then all of a sudden I started having this heel pain problem.

I was starting to contemplate doing a 5K walk - something I would have NEVER considered before being on SparkPeople, but now walking is difficult and painful.

I'm looking at this as a test. A way for me to solve and get past this hurdle without gaining more weight. I've gained 15 lbs. simply because I haven't been able to move without fear of doing more damage to my feet. It's just really scary thinking about not being able to walk or always walking in pain!

I'm exploring stationary bikes - and hoping that will be a way to get my exercise in without any weight bearing while my feet heal. If any Sparkers have any experience with plantars fascitis, remedies, stationary bikes, I'd welcome your insights. So far I do the stretches they recommend, have used Heel Seats and have ordered a pair of shoes from Orthaheel. I take ibuprofen when it really hurts, but don't like to do that that often. All are helpful but don't solve the problem. A trip to the podiatrist is in my near future.

Trying to remain VERY positive!!!
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  • no profile photo CD8883820
    i believe i just recently started experiencing this as well. thanks for talking about your experience hope you are doing better
    3613 days ago
    I forgot to mention that I think it does get worse if we don't treat it,,I know mine has. I used to be able to shake it after hobbling a few steps. Now, I have to very slowly put my weight on the ball of that foot and I'm sure the pressure on other parts of my foot and leg is coming in at an abnormal angle. Some days are worse than others. OH, and my podiatrist said something else,,no ballet flats (dang!). He says he sees more of this in summer with sandals and flat shoes on women. No flat shoes. He says a little heel is not too bad.

    One of my friends got those "rocker" type tennis shoes and she says there is no impact on her heel and she wanted me to try them. I thought, sounds good since it's my heel that's sore but I wonder,,that must mean the impact is on the arch, which is why the plantar fascia get sore,,the stretching of the arch makes it sore,,so,,I don't know what to think about those. I want to treat my heel pain, but it seems the pain is originating somewhere else so I don't know what part to baby, hahah. I do know this - I am so stubborn and to me, movement is life! I will fight to keep mobile. I'm only 49 for Pete's sake. I am way too young to slow down now..lol
    3639 days ago
    PF is new to me too. I think I had it for a year before I actually got it diagnosed. I had started exercising earlier this year and was really working out hard on the cross-trainer, no or low impact. I got this all of a sudden. The foot doctor said it's really based on the pull from the calf muscle,,and that the trigger point were we all feel pain is because that's like an attachment point for the tendon and it gets swollen (hence the itis part). I bought some prescribed inserts from Academy, a sporting good store here in Austin. Instant relief,,for a week! I think I must have worn them down already. I have been back exercising on the bike,,which seems to be ok,,and I stretch all the time. I do keep a frozen bottle of water handy to roll across the bottom of my foot...wince! Yes, it's not pleasant at first but it really does work and trust me,I'm the kind of person who would rather apply heat than ice. The doctor said it never really goes away. I need to lose weight, which will help, and I need to make these stretches and the ice a part of my daily life,,oh and ibuprofen. He said that would help too. I am still working on it. It's the absolute worst after I've been asleep all night,,ouch! Good luck!
    3639 days ago
    Thanks so much for getting in touch. It's good to chat with someone who is also struggling with this. It IS really painful and if not attended to, from what I've read, WILL get worse. I'm going to go to a doc - and I hate to go to docs. So will let you know how it goes.

    I've also read that there may be a connection between PF and thyroid issues, which I also have. So I'm going to check with my other doctor about that.

    It's good to know you can do Zumba - I really wanted to try that, but figured it was more jumping and dancing. Will look into it. And there is a pool here at our complex , but am a bit bashful (heck, more than a bit!) to use it. This is LA afterall and everyone looks fabulous and is a size 2, dontcha know. But I need to get in there- I know it will help and provide a good workout.

    I was thinking about the stationary bike because I know I'd use it and was considering a recumbent bike but heard that puts you in the wrong position in f you have PF and an regular upright bike is better.

    Check out the www.footsmart.com and order their catalog. I got the heel seats and they do help. I've also read about this sock you can wear at night that keeps your foot at a 90 degree angle. They have braces too but I hear they are much more uncomfy. They say part of the problem at night is that we point our feet down and the sock/brace keeps the foot at the right angle, thus avoiding the morning heel pain.

    So you see, I've done my research!! I'm just really determined now to gain anymore weight and am not giving up!! I was really proud of m loss and that I had done it all by myself this time.

    I'm glad to know you're out there to chat with and compare notes with. Here's to better feet for sure!!!

    Pat :-)
    3642 days ago
  • no profile photo CD3151014
    Hi Pat. Join the PF club! I've also got it, developed over the last six months or so, and it is a "pain". I'm avoiding going to the doctor because I want to keep exercising. It's not fair! (whine, whine, whine). But yes, it's really painful and I'm hoping it doesn't get worse. I can still walk (some pain but manageable, I tough it out and sometimes it diminishes as I go along); but I have to put up with throbbing pain later. I can do Zumba still, but no impact moves at all, like jumping, step aerobics, or jogging.

    One great exercise for PF and other muscular-skeletal probs is swimming, water jogging or treading water (as long as you're floating you're ok). I had a bad muscle pull once and doc told me I couldn't do any weight bearing exercise for around 6-8 weeks! At the time it was summer and I had a pool in my backyard, so I stuck to her advice and got better. Now where I live, I have a pool in the mobile home park, but it's not convenient so I only go once a week.

    let me know if the shoes and orthotics help. I'm curious. I always used to laugh at the TV commercials for "the good feet store"; they had Peja Stojakovich a popular Sacramento Kings basketball player talking about PF in his Serbian accent. Crazy! Now I need to go to "The Good Feet Store" myself. Karma?
    Hugs and here's to better feet,
    3642 days ago
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