Heel Pain: Plantar Fasciitis Can Be a

Real Crippler

Chronic Heel Pain: Otherwise known as Plantar Fasciitis: Is a condition that can be excruciating and is usually intermittent. The worst time is often after sitting or sleeping. I've had two flair ups of pain and both lasted about a year. There were times when I felt like giving up on walking and resorting to crawling around on the floor rather than deal with the pain. Since having to deal with chronic heel pain twice, I’ve learned a lot about this disease.

I don’t believe that surgery is necessary or advisable for most (not all) cases, given the extreme risks involved with surgery these days. My second bout of pain started one rainy morning after realizing that I wouldn’t be able to take my normal morning walk. Not wanting to lose the exercise momentum I had just recently established, I decided to slap on my running shoes and do a really strenuous high impact workout DVD. I woke up the next morning unable to walk, with pain in BOTH heels!!! After a few weeks, one heel got better and the other WORSE! Long story short, I ended up being fitted with custom orthotics, which I wore for about 7 months. That meant wearing only running shoes...goodbye cute sandals and shoes for a very long time. When May came around, I thought I would just die, if I couldn’t let my feet escape those encumbering shoes! I ended up finding a pair of Birkenstocks and a pair of Mephistos sandals that had built in arch supports that worked for me and didn’t result in pain! Yea, freedom at last. My heel pain completely disappeared after losing about 20 pounds. I shouldn’t fail to mention that I was also doing a series of stretches recommended by my doctor. So what does all this mean? First, there is a lot of information about this disease and you should most definitely get educated about it before you make any decisions about treatment. Here’s a link to great information about

heel spurs and plantar fasciitis. When you click on it, a new window will open up. When you're finished, just "x" out of that window and I'll still be here waiting for you to come back!

Bottomline: the recipe for getting relief and eventual healing (for most but not all people) will probably involve a combination of the following....

1. Time

2. Some type of orthotic (radical arch supports)

3. Regular stretching: before and after activity

4. Wearing proper shoes (I never wear a shoe with a hard wooden sole or heel... Naturalizers make some great shoes with shock absorbing heels) 5. Possibly losing weight, if that’s an issue

6. Possibly changing your exercise routine (see below). Walking and running are only going to further irritate the fascia. You can try cycling or swimming which are much kinder on the joints and feet.

6. Icing at the end of a days activities

7. Patience!!!

Here is a page to some helpful resources and supplies for heel pain.

Has Foot or Joint Pain Been Stopping You?

Have you recently started an running or walking program, to get exercise, only to be discouraged by heel or joint pain. Perhaps you need to change up your exercise program. Gone are the days when we can bang over hard pavement and jump up and down with a step aerobics class! Click here for my suggestions on how to begin a great cardio and strength training program that will be kind to your feet, heels, and joints.

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