Plantar Fasciitis in both feet

Hi all,

I know there is some older advice from ten years ago on here about plantar fasciitis but wanted to see if anyone has any recent suggestions! I’ve been dealing with plantar fasciitis in both feet for six months. The pain in the morning is the worse but it hurts any time I walk for more than a mile and stand for more than 5 minutes. I have custom orthotics, straussberg sock night splint, have gone to PT, acupuncture, ART, and even done extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT). I never go barefoot and I do daily stretching and rolling. My next step is a shot. I’d love any recommendations on things you tried, how long it took to heal, and any encouraging words!

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I'm sorry you're going through this.  I had it for years; it developed when I was pregnant with my middle child.  I did the stretches, nighttime splint, never went barefoot, only wore shoes with a higher heel than toe (no Birkenstocks!), and finally gave up.  And then...it went away!  I think it just takes a LONG time to heal.  I walk barefoot a lot now, in my 50's, still overweight.  It just got better.  Don't give up.  

I had severe plantar fasciitis several years ago. Got Sanita clogs and wore them exclusively and was healed in 1 year. Icing and rolling during the acute phase of course. If you ho this route be sure to try all brands to get the right fit. Hope you heal soon.  

I feel your pain!  I had a year-long bout with my right foot 10+ years ago, and am just (fingers crossed) finishing up a six-month bout with my left foot.  The fact that this latest bout has gone on so long is my own fault.  I ignored it for far too long.  

I found a wonderful new acupuncturist this time around - William Ware.  His is not a kind/easy acupuncture, but it works.  No pain, no gain I guess. He gave me a series of simple exercises which are helping a ton as well  https://www.truvefit.com/william-ware . 

I've also been applying a CBD salve, and using CBD soaks.  What has also helped is religiously wearing running shoes with Superfeet.  I've had a variety of expensive custom orthodics and Superfeet always seem to be better.  I also use the Alpha Medical night splint which is a huge boot, but really helps stabilize the foot.  Best of luck.

It sounds like your case may be more severe than mine, but I cured my plantar fasciitis by just wearing Dansko professional clogs every day, and nothing else. I've personally never had any success with orthotics for any type of foot pain. I have one recommendation for a straight-up MAGICIAN of a podiatrist - Dr. David Hannaford, DPM in Mill Valley. He's worth the drive, worth any amount of money, etc. He taught me how to tape my foot (for a different problem, not plantar fasciitis) and I think podiatry is a bit of an art, and he's just extra-special. Maybe he can help you: https://www.marinfootandankle.com/david-hannaford-dpm.html

I had plantar fasciitis in both feet.  One foot healed with orthotic shoes and stretching, but the other one did not.  I got cortisone shots in the second foot and wore a “boot” cast with an orthotic insert for about 6 months before the second foot started to heal.  After the boot, I needed to wear a lace up ankle brace for another 6 months to allow my atrophied muscles to get stronger.  Both feet are fine now.  Good luck!

Hello, so sorry to hear!  I have had plantar fasciitis since 2003.  I do have it under pretty good control.  It took me over a year to get the micro-tears healed, which cause the sharp pain as if you are being pricked by pins & needles.  I have found that I have to spend a lot of money on my feet to keep my PF at bay.  It has never gone away.  

Here are my tricks:  OOFOs slide sandals to get out of bed in the morning -- that used to be the worst time. Now it's not even an issue.   I mostly use Brooks Beast for my walking around shoes.  

I threw out the custom orthotics once I found SOF SOLES FIT.  They are an insole made in Japan.  They come in shoe sizes and you also have to choose the arch:  High, Neutral, or Low.  I go with the Sof Soles FIT type, which seem to work even better for me than the Sof Sole type specifically made for PF.  The Sof Sole FITs have been a game-changer for me! 

Then I also put a plain green Spenco insole (without the arch) into my shoes below the Sof Sole FIT.  

The bad news is that my PF starts flaring up after a few months; way before my shoes seem worn out.  So I end up donating lots of expensive pairs of Brooks Beast shoes that are used, but still have lots of wear left.  A new pair of shoes & Sof Soles FIT will knock the PF out right away for me.  

I would love to hear what shoes others have found work for healing PF.

When I had plantar fasciitis a few years ago, the only thing my doctor (who I love) had to offer was orthotics. But I've been doing Alexander technique for years (retraining your muscles so that your spine gets in proper alignment) so I thought about it and guessed that what was really going on was that my spine was out of alignment due to something I was doing, and that it was manifesting in my feet. This turned out to be absolutely correct; my teacher gave me some exercises, the problem cleared up, and has never come back. When we sit with poor posture at our computers, or don't have things set up ergonomically, or maintain certain unhealthy postures, it can cause problems further down stream. I'm happy to recommend a good practitioner if you are interested.

I had  plantar fasciitis in both feet and took 7-8 months to completely heal. Best remedy is doing this stretch throughout the day:

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GfVZ_j2or3U

and changing your shoes. I bought Brooks Addiction and wore it for months until pf was gone. Once, you are free of pf, try to avoid being sedentary and gaining weight as these make it worse. If you can start doing some stretching on a daily basis it will be great. Also, what type of shoes you wear is important to prevent pf from coming back. I had my pf after wearing some great looking boots with no arch support and my high arch feet didn't like them and ended up with pf badly after wearing them for 1-2 months. Since then I only wear brands like Dansko and Sofft for better arch and heel support. Every feet will be different, so going to a good podiatrist and asking for shoe types and  some specific suggestions will be very helpful. For a podiatrist recommendation, I can recommend Dr Anthony Poggio at 400 Evelyn Avenue Suite 223 Albany, CA 94706 - phone (510) 526-4112. I used see another doctor who left/retired at this practice and seen Dr Poggio and can recommend him as well. Also for the long term, when you have slightest signs of pf pains in your heels, start doing stretches to prevent them fully developing. Hope you feel better soon.

I have been in your shoes (no pun intended) -- years of chronic plantar fasciitis, shin splints, and every manner of joint / nerve / ligament pain. I tried, with no small degree of desperation, all the things you mentioned except for ESWT, and then some. Based on the degree and persistent of pain (which was increasingly debilitating) I was convinced that there was something physically, structurally, wrong with my body, but doctor's visits, X-rays, MRIs, etc. were always inconclusive. I then discovered Tension Myositis Syndrome, which is essentially a very common "coping mechanism" of sorts our brain employs, causing pain by constricting blood flow in different parts of the body. Its roots are based in stress and tension. Some of these manifestations are really intuitive and culturally accepted (e.g., getting a headache due to stress, "butterflies in the stomach," ulcers as an example from 20-30 years ago). But others, like PF, are still conflated as disease. (That said, I was shocked and delighted recently to hear an NBA coach recently connect stress and PF in reference to one of his players.) If you are open to thinking outside of the box and our cultural tendency to pathologize everything, I strongly recommend you read Dr. John Sarno's (NYU) Healing Back Pain (the title doesn't do it justice as all forms of chronic pain are covered). It was truly life-changing for me, but required a leap of faith because it sounds too good to be true. It's much too difficult to explain comprehensively here, but happy to share more if you're curious. As for myself, I am someone whose body is extremely responsive to stress, and I do get aches and pains in correlation to my stress levels, but at my worst I was at the point where I thought I would have to give up all normal activities and perhaps even a normal career. Within weeks, I essentially "healed" from the vast majority of my pains. Check out TMS Wiki for more stories like this - you have nothing to lose and everything to gain at this point. 

That doesn't exactly sound like Plantar Fasciitis to me. But you might want to try this exercise, which worked well for me. 

https://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/09/15/heel-pain-treatment/?_r=0&mtrref=undefined

Vivian Goo at Goo Physical Therapy got rid of my plantar fascitis in three treatments (it was Sooooo painful before).

I had it for about 18 months, which I hear is pretty standard and sure gets old.  I avoided walking and standing.  I like to walk, but I swam and biked a lot instead.  Exercise is anti-inflammatory but better to stay off your feet.  I had a long-term project that required spending months taking  measurements on top of some tall tables in a hot parking lot, and I found a chair that was the right height although still awkward.  I iced several times a day, including at work and while cooking and washing dishes (also sitting).  I negotiated with my hubby that he buy the groceries so I could stay off those cement floors.  I took NSAIDs at the highest dosages the doctor said were OK.  I bought sandals that fit my orthotics, to help keep my feet cool.  I stretched a lot -- here the key is to stretch very slowly and gently.  That is, go into the stretch until you hit mild resistance, back off a smidge and stay there until you feel a release (maybe 30 seconds), then deepen the stretch gently another minute or so.  (This is a tip from a book dealing with another connective-tissue repetitive-motion injury; there's similar info at https://www.acropt.com/blog/2017/8/10/the-physiology-of-stretching.)  Find the book Fixing Your Feet; it has a lot of advice.  Go to The Next Step (the store at the San Pablo-Solano intersection); the proprietor is an expert on the interface between medicine and footwear.

Most of all, have patience.  It takes a long time, and your feet will need TLC all the way.  Fasciitis does eventually, somewhat suddenly go away, and if you take good care of your feet (orthotics, stretching, taking breaks if you've been on your feet, etc.), it doesn't seem to come back.  For me, after a bad 18 months, I've had no trouble for 17 years.

I got a shot in one foot, just as the fasciitis had started up (before it hit the other side).  It hurt like heck and didn't seem to help at all. 

My pain was not as severe as what yours sounds like, but for me wearing Vionic sandals at home really  helped, as well as exercises with Yamuna Foot Walker massage balls.   Also I notice my feet are better when I wear shoes with a low/medium heel instead of flats (always with orthotics).   Maybe consult with your podiatrist as to why your current orthotics are not helping- possibly you need a different set?  

I took a different route for my plantar fasciitis: I did top of the foot stretches (seated figure four position, toe pointed and guided with hands into a point that stretched top of foot and front of ankle), something called foot scraping or wrenching to loosen adhesions along the fascia, strengthening and mobilizing my feet (foot doming exercise, toe individuation, ankle circles, drawing the alphabet with toes, and going to minimal footwear exclusively: thin flexible sole, no toe rise or heel rise, wide toe box, no flip flops. I did wear oofos when pain was most acute. I got plantar fasciitis from wearing sanrita/dansko type platforms. I got rid of the running shoes and insoles and wear heels only for photographs and for no more than an hour. I also upped magnesium supplementation. After 3 mos of inserts, shoes with support and heel rise, I went from cooking dinner in a boot one Thanksgiving to walking all everywhere on vacation that December in a flat flexible pair of leather sneakers from clarks (trigenics) with no pain, with the stretches, strengthening, shoe switch, and supplements. I still do upkeep stretching and strengthening and the wrong shoes (some listed in the other replies) will set things off slightly and a strict return to that list of activities and it goes away. I can go barefoot no problem.