Healthy Lifestyle Ideas

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

I'm Finally Healed From Plantar Faciitis

   Plantar fasciitis was excruciatingly painful for me and if you're currently suffering with it - I am so sorry and I hope (and pray) that my story helps you.  I'm sure you've read online that it's an inflammation of the plantar fascia (the connective tissue on the sole of the foot). Wikipedia says it can be caused by an increase in age or weight or activities such as running. I believe that I got mine from an injury to the fascia while using a shovel (wearing flip flops), working in my garden. It took me a long time to heal (over a year) but I'm pretty sure I went through some needless procedures and could have healed quicker if I'd found the solution sooner. 
     I suffered with the pain for a month before going to a podiatrist. The first podiatrist took an x-ray of my feet, gave me shoe inserts and a shot of cortisone in the bottom of the foot and told me it was just something caused by the aging process (I'm not that old) and he said 'don't walk up hills or step on ladders until it's better'.  Huh? After that visit, I knew I wasn't going back. He did give me a special boot to wear at night that helps stretch out the fascia. More about this later.
   After four more weeks of pain, I went for a second opinion to Podiatrist #2. He also gave me a shot of cortisone (which I'll never allow again) but at that point I didn't know what to do differently and since the doctor told me he sees more cases of plantar fasciitis than almost anything else, I figured he could help. He recommended that I go to physical therapy and I thank him for that because at physical therapy is where I found what ended up curing me - an incline board. If you don't know what it is (I didn't), look it up online and order one for yourself. Using it once or twice a week during a therapy session is not enough! There are several companies that make them. My husband made me one (out of some spare lumber he had). You stand on the incline board with the foot that has plantar fasciitis and you will feel the (3) stretch in your calf muscle.   It all boils down to STRETCHING THE CALF MUSCLE. The therapist would spend a lot of time rubbing the fascia tendon on the bottom of my foot and icing it and having me do all sorts of exercises, but it just wasn't getting better after months of therapy. After I got my own incline board and used it daily at home however, I started seeing results and quit the therapy sessions. I don't believe the therapist had any idea that the incline board was so crucial or maybe they just wanted to extend out the therapy sessions. Surely they just don't know or they would have recommended that I buy one... or sell me one. 
     Whenever I stopped stretching on the board for a day or so, I'd feel the twinge of pain come back. So I stretched daily for about 6 weeks (and also wore the special night boot) and finally, no more pain. I'm not sure if the boot is absolutely necessary, but it does help keep it stretched out overnight.
    I recently talked with a neighbor, age 30, who runs extreme long distances, and he said he gets plantar fasciitis periodically too and when he does, he goes for a massage where they rub his ....calf muscle!  What a smart massage therapist!  
   So, good luck and I hope that my experience with plantar fasciitis helps you in some small way (or in a gigantic way!) I wish you the best! Let me know if it helps.

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