Archived Q&A and Reviews
I have had pain in the arches of my feet ever since my daughter was a newborn (1 year now). When I mentioned this to my mother, she said ''oh, you can thank pregnancy for that!''.
I wear only sensible shoes (Brooks sneakers or Merrell sandals). Normally, I experience the pain after getting up from sitting for a while or when I wake in the middle of the night to go to our daughter's room.
This is probably a question for a doctor, but I'm hesitant to drop money on appointments, PT, braces, etc. before asking some others if they've shared this experience. I'd appreciate any feedback. Shuffling at the age of 29
You have plantar fasciitis. Even if you wear sensible shoes, if they are not relatively new (purchased in the last year) you may need to buy new ones, especially if you run/walk a lot and your sneakers are old or not supportive (too soft). LaFoot on College Ave does an excellent job of finding the right shoe for your foot/gait etc. You can ice, do stretches (especially before you get up in the am), taping and also change your exercise routine. I just checked an there are youtube videos about how to tape your foot. I was referred to a podiatrist, but he said before being fit for orthotics I should do all of the above. Replacing my shoes made a huge difference and for years I was pain free, but I notice that when I wear the wrong shoe (even supposedly supportive shoes like Dansko or Merrill) and walk or run a lot, the condition flares up again. Good luck. amy
I am so sorry that you are experiencing such pain. They are very painful and can be a miserable experience. It sounds like you have plantar fascitis. It's an inflammation in the bottom of the foot, generally around the heel mooving to the arch and the balls of the feet. Often times people complain it's worse in the morning or after sitting for long periods. I am a runner and that's how I got it. It's common amongst runners, tight achilles tendon, obesity, foot porblems (flat or high arches). In your case it seems that you got it from being pregnant and toting around all that extra weight could have caused the inflammation. The unfortunate thing is the last a very long time, but you do have the right idea. You may need some orthodics or some foot support. Mine lasted several months, but I went to a running store and bought an arch support. It's this thing made by the IT company that you wrap around your arch and it supports that area, slightly lifting your arch. Also maybe stretching out the feet by flexing it back towards your knee then pointing them can help. The other thing I did was ice it A LOT. It is important to have shoes that support your feet, maybe go to a shoe store and ask them what shoe best fits you. The people at Le Foot are super nice and helpful, but there is also See Jane Run. Hope this helps. renata
Ugh. I feel your pain...My recommendation is to go to a chiropractor and then a podiatrist. I'd start with the chiropractor because after all the relaxin, you may have ended up with some ankle, foot and lower leg bones 'relaxed' into the wrong position. Then I'd go to a podiatrist--you may need specific support to help correct the problem. I've had really good luck with Jamila Neyon DC. She is great with feet, ankles, knees and the like (not all DC's deal with the limbs as effectively). Her number is 547-1140. sarah
Hello I am sorry to hear about your arch pain. I had exactly the same thing-really bad pain for a very long time after the birth of my child. I went to my chiropractor (at Oakbay Chiropractic in Oakland) and he worked on my feet alot (regular adjusting and a technique called ART). I combined that with getting some good quality orthotics and wearing running shoes most of the time.....now I feel much much better, but it took some time to get there. Good luck! anon
There could be a variety of causes and I urge to get to a doctor or podiatrist. If you've had it for a year it's clearly not going go away on its own. Based on my own 16 years of off foot pain, it does sound like classic plantar fascitis which in my case was not helped by the weight gain and hormones from pregnancy. The treatment recommended to me was stretching, icing, custom arch supports (expensive but I've had mine for 16 years), on up to cortisone shots. I've also found sensible shoes with zero heel (e.g tennis shoes) are worse than sensible shoes with a small heel (e.g hiking boots, Dansko). I NEVER walk barefoot even in the night or in those ''remove shoes'' houses. Also, I don't do events where I have to stand for long periods of time. This can be a condition that doesn't really go away for some folks like me and has to be actively managed to prevent flair ups. So please do find out what's going on so you can learn how to cure or manage the pain. Good luck. Brenda
Have you already tried massage and/or yoga to help with the problem?
I ask because pain in your feet is not automatically a medical issue and depending on what is causing it, has the potential to easily and quickly be solved by working with a skilled massage practitioner or yoga instructor. Or a chiropractor or podiatrist (doctor specializing in feet) could also assess what the problem is.
Lots of changes happen to the body during pregnancy, and I know from experience, that during the first year it can often be hard to find time to focus on self-care and healing the body fully. Especially with holding and carrying an increasingly heavy baby all the time, your feet are still not getting any breaks.
It is possible you need arch support specific to your feet (which a podiatrist can help you with), that your body alignment is off and needs adjusting, or it could be an issue or tight muscles or fascia that got that way during the strain of pregnancy and have failed to readjust. In the worst case scenario you'll feel better overall from a good massage and some yoga classes. I advise looking through the BPN recommendations for a skilled massage therapist, yoga instructor, and/or chiropractor. I also advise interviewing your yoga instructor before you sign up for classes, if you chose that route - find one that understands your condition and has worked with others on similar issues and has the skill to guide your through poses specific for you. here's to happy feet!
Is the pain in your arch at your heel? Sounds like Plantar Fasciitis. I have suffered from it for years, off and on. I've done physical therapy, custom orthotics,a cortisone shot, prescription anti-inflammatory,rest and after all of it I was still limping around. ....the thing that cured me? I purchased a pair of MBT shoes, and my foot was better within a very short period, a couple of weeks or so. They are very expensive, you can buy knockoffs, all the sneaker brands, even Payless makes a version of them. For me the MBT works the best, and now I can wear regular shoes! If my heel/arch flares up I just wear them for a few hours and it feels better. The thing the podiatrist had me do is stop going barefoot. I bought those adidas slides with the good arch support(without those massager bumpy things)that I wear as slippers ALL the time if I don't have shoes on. The cost of my shoes was less than what I paid for the podiatrist that wasn't covered by insurance. Good luck! I hope you feel better soon!! Finally able to walk!!
Sounds like you have plantar fasciitis. I've had the same symptoms since giving birth to my son 4 months ago. My Physicians Assistant and my father-in-law both gave me the same advice: stretch your calf muscle daily, ice your foot (e.g. roll your foot over a frozen water bottle) and wear supportive shoes (which it sounds like you're doing). I haven't been good about icing my foot, but the stretching and good footwear does seem to help. Wikipedia says that surgery is sometimes an option, so I guess if your pain is really bad, you should go see your doctor and get professional advice. Krista M
Oh, I can relate! After my son was born I developed bad plantar fasciitis in both feet. I did physical therapy, pain meds, stretching, and icing. It took a long time to heal. The only thing that seems to prevent it from returning is stretching and wearing only Dansko clogs (which is fine with me b/c I adore clogs). My advice: see a doctor, because life is too short to deal with this kind of pain. Good luck! Too many clogs in the closet
I had prolonged arch pain, as well. I wore soft-soled Birkenstock sandals at home consistently during pregnancy and afterwards. I'm just starting to feel comfortable without them (at 15 months after giving birth). Some women continue to have elastin in their systems for a long time after childbirth, which makes the ligaments in the feet (and everywhere else) more stretchy and less able to support you firmly. Try wearing really supportive shoes indoors. You'll know when you feel good enough to slowly wean off them. sympathetic mom
I had the same thing happen after pregnancy. I am guessing that you have fasciatis. I went once to a podiatrist who told me to do some stretches. Basically, I have kept it under control by religiously doing downward-facing dog, because that stretches the foot and all the way up the leg. I also sometimes roll my foot over a tennis ball to massage it. Get shoes with good arch support. The podiatrist recommended Dansko and clogs in general because they have good arch support and are rigid, and that supports the foot. Even ''sensible shoes'' don't always give arch support, so sometimes I just go by inserts at the drug store and they really do help. Good luck! Elizabeth
Sounds like plantar fasciitis. I just went to the doctor for almost identical symptoms--arch pain that is worst when getting up from sitting or lying down. It can be triggered by weight gain, so that is probably the pregnancy connection. People with either very high or low arches are most at risk.
Treatment can include stretching the achilles tendon, shoe inserts, icing. Except in extreme cases, the focus seems to be self-treatment. There is an abundance of information online from reputable sources. Carrie
I'd have to ask more questions to be sure, but it sounds like you may have plantar fasciitis. It's usually worst first thing in the morning for people, as people's feet point down at night and the fascia on the bottom of your foot gets tighter. Then when you go to step out of bed there's a sudden stretch on the fascia and it hurts!
Here's what has worked for my patients (I'm a physical therapist): 1. calf stretches 2. icing the bottom of your foot 3. massaging the bottom of your foot. (This is the most critical of the three in my experience. You have to push hard on your foot wherever it's painful...gen'lly worst on the inner ''arch'' area of your foot.)
You are welcome to ask the moderator for my contact info if you'd like to talk more. PT who has treated it
it might be plantar fasciitis try doing these exercises first thing in the morning before you get out of bed http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/exercises-to-reduce-plantar-fasciitis#tr5854
and don't go barefoot at all--keep a pair of shoes by your bed that you can slip into right when you get out of bed
and if those steps don't help--go to the doctor! get well soon
I am having severe foot trouble with plantar fasciitis- in my heels and mid-foot that is getting worse. I'm not that old or that overweight (10 pounds). I have been to a podiatrist and spent hundreds of dollars on custom made orthotics (not covered by insurance) that have not helped. I wear them in my sneakers daily. I also have terrible knee pain in one knee and have recently been diagnosed with a torn meniscus that will need to be surgically operated on. Is there a connection between the two? Any suggestions about exercises for the feet that might help? too footloose
Read ''Born to Run'' by Christopher McDougall. I can't say that I've tried to verify anything in the book in any way, but it's different than most of what you'll find on the ''previous advice'' list, and it's a fun read while you rest... Steve
I have found New Balance sneakers have worked well. Kaiser had a group meeting about this where I picked up some tips but it ended up being the sneakers(which were recommended at the Kaiser mtg.) that have worked and have worked for many years now. Alita
I can tell you if you went to a certain podiatrist in Berkeley, he has no clue how to treat the problem and will make things far worse. I went through 13 months of hell and a cracked heel due to his ineptness. Then was referred to another doctor in W. Creek who sadly has since passed away. I continue to see his partners on occasion for other things. They see football players and ballet dancers.
What I learned:
First there is a foot rolling pin specifically designed for both feet and it has ridges and a perfect shape. I found it online after the doctor suggested it. It costs less than $15.00. You may also find it at Bed Bath and Beyond, but it will come with all sorts of unnecessary other things. He had me roll both feet on the rolling pin every single morning BEFORE getting out of bed, just first thing before standing for as long as I could, a few minutes at least. Roll hard enough to break up the gristle, which is what forms along that tendon, making it impossible for the tendon to slide through the tendon sheath. That is what causes the excruciating pain. Repeat doing this about 4 or 5 times a day, but the most important time is before getting out of bed as night time is when your foot curves downward and this issue forms worst. If the problem doesn't get better you can also ask your doctor for a night splint to keep the foot from curving (it's a right angled splint).
After $1000 orthotics (mis made by the one doctor, and remade by the newer doctor, which I continue to wear, all my issues went away after a month or so...this after 13 mos. of hell. I then got it in the other foot and treated it this way and avoided all the pain and issues.
Since then, my cousin and my neighbor followed this same regime and both are now hiking comfortably. I will swear by it. You must roll the foot almost to a pain point to break up that gristle, but it gets easier each time. Best of luck, I know this will help. A good podiatrist would tell you this. Vikki
I had Plantar Fasciitis for more than a year. After getting inserts, exercises and special (aka expensive) shoes, the final thing that healed mine was when I switched making dinner and helping the child with homework with my DH. Not being on my feet doing dinner for (maybe) 2 weeks brought soo much relief. It's not like I'm on my feet all day - I work in an office at a computer most of the day. For some reason not being on my feet in the evening did it. I thought I would never get over it. I hope this can help you, too! Pat
I had that trouble and was only about 8 lbs overweight...and i lost the weight and the pain went away....hard to lose that as little as it is, but that is what worked...and i have the orthotics as well, which only sort of worked, but not really... rebecca
Help! I am a 40 year old runner with plantar fasciitis going on two years. I have been to supposedly the best physical therapists in the east bay and SF, as well as a local sports chiropractor, acupuncture, podiatry, and La Foot for shoes/inserts, with lots of money spent but not much success. And now I am getting shin splints, beginning to wonder if I will need give up running entirely. Can anyone recommend someone who can help with these very frustrating injuries? many thanks want to run again
I can recommend a gentle exercise for shin splints. Stand with your back to a wall, heels a few inches away from the wall. Lean back and put your hands against the wall. Lift your toes an inch or two, then back down (this lifts your whole body); start with, say, 20 repetitions. This strengthens the muscle that balances your calf muscle; it worked for my formerly chronic shinsplints. For more workout, inch your heels farther from the wall, but for starters be just 2 or 3 inches away. You should be able to work up to 50 or 60 reps before long. Good luck!
Try an orthotic insert called SuperFeet (available at REI). I developed PF and an MD friend of mine, who also had PF, told me to try them since they had worked for him. I did, and within 3 weeks the pain was gone and has not, to date, returned. Sue Sue
I feel your pain! I let my plantar fasciatis go for so long it calcified! What worked for me.... wearing a ''boot'' for a year most of the time. Basically a removable cast. Taking it on and off every time I got in the car every day, wearing it at home etc. I cut my running down to once a week, joined the YMCA and started spin classes and became a stronger runner when I do run. But you need to be careful because if your stride is off a lot because of the ''boot'' (like limping) you could throw off your hip if you wear the boot for an extended time period. pain free after 4 years.
Try acupuncture. I had plantar fasciitis for several months and couldn't walk without pain. I finally went to an acupunturist (Bob Levine) and I got immediate relief and after my second visit I was fine. He also gave me a homeopathic rememdy which helped a lot too. Lood luck! mirsun
I've been dealing with heel pain in my right foot since the winter, and it's not improving, and I'm wondering if anyone has been here & gotten past it. My heel hurts really bad in the morning, after I rest it and then get up again, and especially in the evening - although it's been hurting pretty steadily all the time recently. I do walk everywhere, and love walking. My younger daughter is 20 months, and my doctor said that this was probably caused from the weight gain - initially pregnancy weight, which is gone, but replaced by the weight of carrying a baby around. The doctor labeled it plantar fasciitis, and here's what I've done: morning stretching the foot, icing it, trying to rest it (a bit of a joke with 2 young kids, but anyway), over the counter orthotics, custom made orthotics, never walking barefoot, and for the past 2 months, I've been doing physical therapy 2x a week, where the PT uses ultrasound and massages the heel, and helped me become aware of how I'm walking and carrying my body. The pt helped a bit at first, then, back to square one. I've recently been wearing a foot brace at night, which has helped a bit, and makes the first few steps of the day less painful, but definitely hasn't cured it. It seems like the next step is cortisone injections, which I'm not thrilled about, but I've had enough of being in pain. So....anyone have suggestions on what they've done to help Plantar fasciitis? Did cortisone help? I've been going to Dr. Glasser in Albany - is there a podiatrist you really liked? - Haven't got time for the pain
I feel for you- I had horrible plantar fascitis for a couple of years that got so bad I was even considering surgery. I know that it can be excrutiating.
What saved me was a few acupuncture treatments right into my foot- not fun, but not as bad as the PF. I also wore only lace up shoes with a foam heel pad for quite awhile after the treatments as the healing completed itself.
The acupuncturist I saw then has since retired, but I can whole-heartedly recommend my current one, Dr. Robert Zeiger, 843-7397, 3031 Telegraph #106 (across from Whole Foods). Cece
I had somewhat mild but persistent case of it a few years ago. I was dancing quite a bit (exercise class) and the teacher had a really bad technique that was very hard on the feet.
I found two things that really helped: - ice/heat packs: you need to be really vigilent about this and do at least 3-5 sessions a day. Alternate the cold/heat (I used ice bags + heating pad), at least 10 minutes each. I often went much longer than 10 minutes. I couldn't believe the improvement I saw when I did this regularly.
- Dr. Bruce Rizzo at SportsChiro in Berkeley. He does something called Advanced Release Technique. Super intense massage that can almost be painful, but really helps. 510-843-1234 --feeling your pain
I had TERRIBLE plantar fasciitis in both feet. For me, what worked was: 1) cutting back on running (but I did not eliminate it), 2) wearing custom orthotics when running, 3) ALWAYS wearing arch-supporting shoes, and 4) icing my feet after exercise. (I did try cortisone shots, but they only relieved the pain for about 48 hours). And I had to stick with this regimen for 6- to 8-months for the pain to completely resolve. I think you are doing many things right, but you need to really stick a regimen and be patient. My pain was so bad I really didn't believe it would ever go away, but it did. Good luck! Liz O.
I had plantar fasciitis for over a year. I tried most of the things you mentioned. My husband called the boot thing Frankenfoot. Nothing worked until I got a referral to see a podiatrist. She fitted me with an orthotic and it was immediately better. It was a miracle except that I'm a runner and I think the orthotic changed my gait and now I have pain in my other leg. Or, maybe I'm just getting old. Alison
You don't mention doing any active foot exercises (not just stretches). That helped my p.f. Search online for some good ideas. (I, too, say Dr. Glasser, but I found the exercises myself). Picking up marbles with your toes, massaging by rolling a can of frozen o.j., curling toes to grab a towel - these are examples. R.K.
I have a similar source of footpain but it cannot be treated with cortisone. I find that losing weight helps, but more realistically, a steady diet of ''vitamin I'' really helps, more than any prescription drug. That would be ibuprofen, and I used to take it to the max, at least 12 pills a day. It is good to get your blood level up to a certain level and keep it there. You have to be careful to take with food, etc. A doctor should advise whether this is ok for you, but it has been a great relief for me. Take it before you go to bed, for example, don't wait for the pain, take it ahead so it can help reduce inflammation. My problem is also the worst when I get up or after rest, as it is nerves and inflammation. So I would take 800 mg in the morning, at lunch, and at bedtime. This controlled my pain more effectively than the prescription drugs my doctor gave me.
That said, I finally found the right shoes and I don't have to take the painkillers anymore. But I doubt my type of shoes would work for plantar fascitis because mine is a different problem. I found that a really soft sole, as in a flip flop, croc, or some kinds of lugged shoes, and full spread for my toes, worked for me--my problem was in the ball of my foot. So keep looking for the right shoes/orthotics for you. Also, don't carry any weight! Carrying heavy things makes a huge difference in pain for me. I feel for you, I went through a few years of ice, ice, ice and expensive uncomfortable shoes. If I had been offered the shot, I would have taken it. sorefoot
For me, WalkFit orthotics made a huge difference. I wore them in my (sensible) shoes and wore Dansko clogs as house slippers. Never let your feet touch the floor, except in the shoer. Walkfit has a very cheesy, sleazy website, but the product has worked for me. Walking fine now
I feel for you. My favorite activity is hiking and just before a trip to Europe I developed Plantar fasciitiis. I thought it would never go away, but I lost about 15 pounds (dropping from 155 to 140 - I'm 5'7) and the only other thing I did was wear a night brace. Two weeks continuously on one leg two weeks on the other leg. It makes it hard to sleep, but the Plantar fasciitis went away and has never come back. I have since been pregnant, went up to 187 pounds and dropped back to 145 without the pain returning. I am now hauling around my 1 year old and maintaining my weight at 140 without any issues. Feet are soooo important that this is more motivating to me as a weight loss issue than bikini season! And the braces must be magic :) M
I, too, have been dealing with bouts of plantar fasciitis over the past several years. I'm convinced that it is tied in to my weight as it returns whenever I gain a couple pounds and I spend any prolonged period standing on my feet. It takes 3-4 weeks to recover from these events. The remedy for me seems to be a combination of things: (1) Never walk around with bare feet. I have pairs of slippers, slides, and shoes with arch supports always at the ready now. Those fuzzy slippers with memory foam? Heaven. (2) Arch support. A PT told me to replace my shoe inserts with Superfeet (plastic arch support, got them at REI). Instant relief. I just transfer them from shoe to shoe. (3) Arch massage. Massage your arches by rolling your foot over a tennis ball whenever you can. I have 2 tennis balls under my desk at work. Looks odd, but it definitely helps. (4) Anti-inflammatory, magic ibuprofin. What happens to me when my plantar fasciitis attacks is that I end up hobbling around awkwardly to avoid putting any weight on my foot. So then I end up injuring it even more by trying to only use the outer ridge of my foot. This compounds the problem which always causes swelling which makes it even more painful. Fred Flintsone feet, foot. I've got a huge stockpile of 800 MG ibuprofin now which I take to reduce the inflammation. (5) Compression. I also use an ace bandage for compression/support. Wrap the first couple of times loosely around your foot, then make the next loops more snug. Two figure eights around your ankle and you're done. I have to wear my Tevas when I've got the ace bandage on, but the compression is needed and the bandage acts as arch support. I use this when my foot is too swelled up for shoes. (6) Rolled towel. Here's the best tip I can offer.. roll a large beach towel up and shove it to the bottom of the bed under your sheets to make a tent for your feet. What was happening to me is that I'd wake up hollering in pain during the night or be practically crippled in the morning. Turns out it was because the sheets would press down on my toes during my sleep that would twist my foot to the side or cause it to bend straightward. Very, very bad. The towel trick eliminated the night pains immediately. I'm told that my plantar fasciitis won't go away, so I'm just more cautious now about doing anything that causes strain to the bottom of my feet. Good luck to you. - Hey, those are MY tennis balls
I also dealt with a really bad case of plantar fasciitis. Tried everything you mentioned -- custom orthodics, physical therapy, ultrasound, massage, foot ''sock'' at night that pulled foot back. I even did cortisone shots. Am sorry to tell you but nothing helped. I eventually stopped wearing heels. Three years later, it was finally gone. The good news is that it stayed gone for about three years. It's starting to come back a bit -- probably from the running I'm doing. So far, rolling my foot on a golf ball and icing has kept the pain from being too unbearable. The one thing I never tried that another friend had great success with is acupuncture. You might want to try that. Good luck! MCH
I wish I had some great advice, but I've been living with some variant of this for two years now. I have a graveyard of products, orthotics, braces etc. The one piece of advice I will give you is DON'T get the cortisone shots. They are a short-lived (albeit great) fix to relieve the pain, but they only seem to mask the problem. I had two, and I had a podiatrist tell me that the second one wore off my heel padding and that can never be restored. So tread carefully with those! Still suffering
Wow! You're really not alone with this. I got it from wearing the wrong sandals on hard streets and bare feet on stone floors. And, probably, putting on weight. I finally bought a really comfortable pair of Nikes and wore them all the time (no bare feet). It actually helps to keep walking as much as you can once you've got shoes you can move in, and to do other types of exercise. Fiona
Check the archives for advice. I've cut and pasted my advice to someone last spring: Stretch your calves. Always wear supportive shoes around the house--don't go barefoot. I wear inserts a sports doc at Kaiser prescribed years ago. Arch supports make an amazing difference. I don't need inserts in some shoes such as Berkenstocks or Mephisto. I get running shoes from Transport--they are good at seeing which brand is best for you and I get sports inserts for my running shoes there also. anonymous anonymous
Welcome to my world of bad feet. I didn't see my solutions in the suggestions so here goes: Plantar fascitis is probably the result of falling arches and/or over pronation. The simplest solution will be to wear ONLY shoes w/ arch support (Keens were great for me till my feet got worse, and even crocs were ok for a while). Don't even think about those sweet little flat summer sandals. If it's really bad, you will probably end up at a podiatrist who will make you orthotics (that's the good news/bad news, as orthotics can make your feet instantly more comfortable, but you really need to wear orthotics regularly or always).
Podiatrists are lousy at telling you exactly what was happening--maybe this is a way of getting you to come back--but you should know and think about it on your own as well. They are also usually lousy at anything other than prescribing orthotics (this is just my experience with several of them). So I'll also suggest that you start several weeks of anti-inflammatories (ibuprofen, naproxen, or better yet, Celebrex), and take them (with food) regardless of whether your feet hurt that day. Meanwhile, use heat at least once a day (eg morning, or take a bath in evening just before icing) and ice at least once a day (eg bedtime) for that whole period. Get the gel ice that you can wrap around your feet, and get a book so it doesn't seem like torture. Don't listen to anybody who tells you frozen peas are the way to go: they start to harden into a mass, and they really, really stink after they've started to defrost and you refreeze them.
My feet did start feeling better, w/ combinations of the above, and I was sure they were permanently damaged. Be gentle to them and don't go running/hiking while you're ''treating'' them. They'll tend to feel worse in the morning and better in the afternoon-don't do anything on them till the morning pain is gone... which will probably be after you get the orthotics AND do the treatment.
I also had plantar fasciitis for almost a year. I finally told my chiropractor about it, and he did deep tissue massage and taped my foot, to give the strained muscles a rest. After two sessions with Dr. See and 10 days had gone by, the plantar fasciitis was gone! My chiropractor is Dr. Chris See. He works out of his home office in Martinez, and believe me, he is worth the drive. Call him at 925-360-2699. He has worked on a lot of firefighters and helped them with their back problems also. DC
I have been suffering from plantar fasciitis (heel pain) for almost three years now. I wear prescribed orthodics, have had 5 cortisone shots, and had my foot in a cast for 3 weeks. I am of average weight and do not do any sport aggressively. I do my foot/calf exercises 3-4 times a day. I am trying acupuncture next but I am skeptical about it. Has anyone found a successful treatment for this condition that could give me some recommendations? vm
Get Dansko clogs and wear them at all times, even in the house. When my plantar fasciitis was at its worst, I slipped on the Dansko clogs even just to go from bed to the bathroom. The unmovable sole shifts your weight and gives the plantar fascia a chance to heal. I tried orthotics too, but they never helped. The clogs took the pain away and it has stayed away. Good luck. Ann
I had plantar fasciitis last year for many months. I was pretty miserable and could not walk very far on our vacation and at other times. I finally went to see Bob Levine, an acupunturist who works in north Berkeley. He treated me with acupuncture and also a homeopathic remedy. It worked. I couldn't believe it. It took only two office visits but I would continue to use the homeopathic rememdy whenever it would start to hurt a little. I highly recommmend him for this injury. glad to be walking pain-free
Does anyone have tips for addressing plantar faciitis which causes severe heal pain? anon
I had this problem because of gaining weight during pregnancy, high arches and wearing flip flops! Anti-inflammatories. Custom kevlar orthotics (expensive but well worth it). Get good, supportive shoes! I love The Walk Shop on Vine St., between Oxford and Shattuck. I got some great leather shoes by SAS. When they told me postal workers swear by them, I was sold! The good news is that by being kind and supportive (!) of your feet, the condition will go away! kl
I've had plantar fasciaitis twice. Both times I tried many suggested remedies (heel pads, specific shoes, etc.) the only thing that helped me both times was custom orthodics made by a podiatrist. I was better in a week. That said....also what helps people is rolling a tennis ball under your foot to stretch the tendon and tissue, wear supportive sturdy shoes ALL THE TIME THAT YOU ARE ON YOUR FEET, including when you get out of bed in the middle of the night to pee....well, at least when you get out of bed in the AM. I'm a massage therapist and work with a chiropractor who is great with feet issues. HIs name is Dr. Bruce Rizzo. Office number is 510 843-1234. Each time I had it I did chiro, stretching,...it didn't go away till I got the orthodics and started weariing supportive shoes all the time (ie:no flip flops). Good luck. June
I've had plantar fasciitis for years with periods of relative comfort alternating with flare-ups. The best thing I found to prevent/cure the pain is orthotics prescribed and made by my podiatrist, Michael DiGiacomo in Oakland. Also, stretching the achilles tendon and calf muscle really helps prevent flare-ups. During painful periods, icing and ibuprofen help somewhat. For a while I tried a ''boot'' sort of apparatus that was supposed to stretch the achilles tendon passively. It did nothing, and the only thing that helped was wearing my orthotics all the time. anon
Never go barefoot; find shoes that give you the right support (Dansko clogs work great for me, except when I try running down steep alleyways and fall and break my wrist); if you are overweight, you may benefit by losing some of it. Good shoe stores (e.g., Walk Shop in Berkeley, Walnut Square) will have people who can show you the best kind of shoes for your problem. Some people get orthotics, I don't have experience with those. Good luck! It's a pain, for sure. lori
Read John Sarno M.D.'s book Healing Back Pain. My husband had plantar faciitis, and we thought Sarno was joking that p.f. can be a reflex of tension....no joke: once my husband sorted out what was stressing him and recognized it for what it was (stresses are still there, he just confronted the stress overtly), the p.f. went away. You need to read the Sarno book to be convinced and see the conection. Husband got rid of back pain same way too. Neither p.f. nor back pain have returned 13 years since. anon
I have found New Balance shoes seem to solve the problem. I have not had any pain since I switched to them. Alita
Hi, I've been suffering from terrible plantar fasciitis for 2 years and just found stretchy, Ace-bandage like arch supports at Walgreens that have changed my life. I've been wearing them during the day for 2 weeks and my feet no longer hurt like the devil every morning and every time I get up from sitting. Other tips: Shoes with good arch support; heel cushions (also avail at the drugstore); lots of stretching your calves/achilles tendon, like every hour you are awake; acupuncture; also, podiatrists recommend icing your feet at least once a day, although the acupuncturist recommends heat instead and on a gut level I agree with that, it feels better to me. Sarah
I had really painful plantar fasciitis this time last year. I have always been a walker and I have always worn ''sensible shoes'' only, but one day after walking about a mile in sandals, I developed plantar fasciitis that just would not go away. My heel hurt so much in the mornings that I could not walk on it until I had done a few stretches and warmups. I googled it and found some really helpful advice on the Mayo Clinic website and others. I learned that it's common in runners and in middle-aged overweight ladies (I'm afraid I fall into the second category). I learned about exercises, which did make my foot feel better but did not cure it. I went to La Foot in Berkeley and got some great new shoes and inserts - they are very knowledgeable about plantar fasciitis and the shoes also helped my foot feel better. However, it really did not stop hurting until I stopped walking to work twice a week. Within a month or so, no more plantar fasciitis. And I can walk to work again without pain! The medical sites will tell you this: the main cure is to stay off your feet until the fascia has a chance to heal. not a runner
I will suggest two things that worked for me -- exercise and homeopathic arnica cream. I had some pretty bad plantar fasciitis earlier this fall, and then I took a one-month vacation for the month of October. While traveling around India, walking a lot and not being cooped up behind my desk at work, I noticed that my heel didn't hurt at all! Then a few days after I got home, it started hurting again -- so I turned to the arnica cream. Now I make it a point to walk as much as possible, and to use the arnica whenever I feel an ache, and the problem has just about gone away. Lisa in Oakland
I suffered through plantar faciitis 2 years ago.... tried everything. Had inner soles custom made, anti-inflammatories - none of it worked. The only thing that worked for me was to invest in really comfortable, soft shoes that fully supported my arches. I also had to place 2 or 3 inner soles into any other shoes that I wore which did not support my arches. This allowed for my feet to recover, although I still cannot wear shoes without arch support - 2 years later. Plantar faciitis survivor!
Go see Cyrus at Next Step on San Pablo west side of street just south of Solano. He will fit you with proper shoes and inserts and eventually, eventually, you will get better. I had two bouts, one foot at a time. One went away in about 6 months, the other took a full year. He really knows his stuff, and he carries only ''good'' shoes. Many local physical therapists send their people to him. Try to go on an ''off'' time, the wait can be long. You are able to make an appointment, but that is probably not necessary unless you really don't have the time and have the extra money to pay for the reserved spot. Good luck - I can wear any of my old shoes again, although I am much more careful about how I treat my feet. They really matter! there is hope
If you exercise, get new shoes at La Foot on College Ave in Berkeley. They're fantastic at diagnosing why your plantar facitis has developed by watching you walk. I also bought a bunch of those inserts for my shoes - get the full foot ones though, not just the heel ones as you need the arch support, plus the heel-only inserts move around on you as you walk which is really annoying. And if you're a runner, you need to stop for a while and go work out in a gym on an eliptical machine or start cycling. Painfull heels too
Stretch your calves. Always wear supportive shoes around the house--don't go barefoot. I wear inserts a sports doc at Kaiser prescribed years ago. Arch supports make an amazing difference. I don't need inserts in some shoes such as Berkenstocks or Mephisto. I get running shoes from Transport--they are good at seeing which brand is best for you and I get sports inserts for the running shoes there also. anonymous
I am a dancer and developed plantar fasciitis about 8 months ago. Not wanting to stop dancing and not knowing what I had at the time, after about 5 months of my feet feeling ''different'', eventually I ended up with the classic symptom of pain in the heel upon the first step out of bed in the morning. My worst symptoms were in Dec 04 and following months of icing both in ice bath and massaging with a frozen water bottle, no dancing and doing the calf stretches as instructed by my podiatrist and Cyrus at ''The Next Step'' in Albany and only wearing rigid shoes with an orthodic -- my symptoms have mostly improved. About five weeks ago, following a lot of improvement, I had some regression back to worse symptoms after I stopped the icing and backed off of the calf stretches - guess I shouldn't have stopped this regimen -- at this point my exercise regimen is pilates, swimming and cycling (both spinning class and on the road and I use clips, shoes with rigid base) - my greatest concern is that bike riding is not causing or adding to this condition - I've been assured over and over again in my research and by my podiatrist that cycling is not implied as causing this condition. Also, just wondering if anyone has any other great ideas or will it really take a year to clear up?? I've seen a body worker a few times who says massaging the foot and calves should be part of the treatment as one needs to increase the circulation. Would like to hear any advice on this subject! Desparate to get back to samba!! shendo
Hi, I had this EXACT situation about 15 years ago. Don't worry I am completely better now. First, I disagree that cycling may not be contributing to the situation. I was a long distance bicyclist at the time (this was my only exercise so I don't know what else could have cause the plantar fascitis), and was planning a trip to bike around Ireland that I was sure I would have to cancel. I went to the Kaiser Sports Injury Clinic and here is what they told me, and it worked:
1. NEVER go barefoot. EVER. Even in the shower stand on a rolled up towel to support your arch. Even when I got out of bed I stood on a rolled up towel until I got my shoes with orthodics on (see below about orthodics).
2. Get orthodics. They did not recommend the expensive custom made ones. I got pre-formed ones from a company whose name I can't remember, but Kaiser Sports Injury Clinic could probably tell you even if you are not a member. I ALWAYS wore them in my shoes (but they are really only comfortable in sneakers).
3. I did the exercises they suggested which sound like the same ones you got, but was not religious about it. Within two months I was fine. But I woke up in agony for the first month or 5 weeks and then it tapered off. I went on the bicycle trip (with my orthodics) and did great. Over the years I use the orthodics in my sneakers, but can now wear dress shoes (but not high heels--I always wear flats) to work without the orthodics without triggering an inflammation. Good luck. Signed: A Bicyclist
My sympathies- I had an absolutely terrible case of plantar fasciatis several years ago and know that it can be excrutiating.
I tried everything my podiatrist had to offer short of surgery. I wore a special foot splint at night, I did leg stretches, I took anti-inflammatories, etc. I was about ready to go for the surgery (they permanently cut a foot tendon!), when I happened to mention it to my acupuncturist.
Well, she cured it with just a few treatments! Having the sole of my foot needled was not fun, but actually not as bad as the plantar fasciatis. She also recommended that I wear only lace-up shoes, and that I use a kind of heel insert called ''cushi-heels'' (http://www.footsmart.com/Product.aspx?ProductId=1730) These are just simple foam wedges, but I had tried just about every other heel pad available, and these were the only ones that actually felt good.
I still use the cushi heels, wear lace-up shoes as much as possible, and replace the insoles in my shoes with Spencos with arch support. I do not want to experience that pain ever again!
Unfortunately, my wonderful acupuncturist (Jane Tang) has retired. but there are lots of acupuncturists reviewed in the recommendations digest, so you might want to call some and see if any have experience treating this condition. Dr. Tang used electrical stimulation on the needles, not a technique that all acupuncturists use. Good luck! Cecelia
You really have to be vigilant everywhere in your life to get it to clear up even in a year. What helped me the most was never, ever walking a step without arch support. I bought Finn Comfort brand sandals (not readily available here, but they're at Eneslow shoe store in NYC)--Chaccos are very good too. For closed shoes, I use Birkenstock brand orthotics, available in Birkenstock stores. The shoes I had that the orthotics didn't fit into, I just got rid of. I also didn't walk barefoot, even in my house, for a few years. Standing in front of the stove cooking dinner--not without support.
Don't go to museums--that slow shuffle through exhibits is killer on the feet. If you're out and you start to hurt, SIT. Take a taxi home, or to wherever you were headed. Don't ''power through'' even a few minutes of painful walking. It can really set you back.
Massage is important, and the good news is that you don't need a professional to do it, not at all. The idea is to break up the scar tissue that is forming, so just rubbing your thumbs or knuckles hard over your arches is the idea. Feels good too.
I am suspicious of the bike riding. I think it can tighten the calves and limit the good effects of the stretches you're doing. I personally limited my bike riding when my feet were at their worst.
You're doing the right things. This one is really tough, ask anyone. Plantar fasciitis was what made Mark McGuire retire from baseball. You'll get back on the dance floor, but give it time.
Good luck! heidi
I too had plantar fasciitis for about 6 months and I too went out and bought rigid shoes and orthodics. Neither of these really worked for me but I'll tell you what did. My accupucturist, Nancy Rakela (she's in the UC Parents archives) and buying Keen shoes. Three visits with Nancy (plus she gave me a very simple exercise to do at home) and after the first week of wearing a pair of Keens and I haven't had any pain in over a year. You can buy Keen shoes and sandals at REI and I'm sure other local stores. I was in REI last week buying my second pair of Keen sandals and 2 other people were telling their stories of how Keens cured their Plantar Faciitis too. Good Luck...I know it's a pain in the ..........foot. Diana
I've had plantar fasciitis 3 times and am also a massage therapist who helps people with pf. I know of Cyris at ''The Next Step'', and though I haven't met him, he is HIGHLY spoken of. Here's what I know....there are 2 kinds of pf...1 kind you get from very tight calf muscles (dancing?) the other kind you get from your heel contacting the ground in unnatural ways(bad posture, bad shoes, exercising on concrete, etc).
When I''ve had it before, custom orthodics and stretching my calf is pretty much what cured it...also wearing sturdy shoes ALL THE TIME. There are many muscles that can be ''turned off'' as a result of the calf muscles/achilles tendon being really tight that can prolong healing. It sounds like you may have the tight calf muscles kind of plantar faciitis.
Since bicycling flexes and extends the foot, it doesn't seem like it would make the problem worse. However, I would suggest that you continue stretching and massaging your calf....always. If you want to experiment from time to time and back off from your maintenance program, do one thing at a time for a few weeks to see if there is any difference before trying to back off of something else. Unfortunately if we re-injure ourselves it can take that much longer to heal.
Will it really take a year to go away? It's hard to tell. Depends on how conscientious you are about your care. My 3 times never lasted a year, but definately lasted several months each time. Now it is completely gone. I can wear sandles and go barefoot. I'm on my feet a lot and I walk in sturdy shoes for exercise. Shoe quality is also important, as you probably know by now. Good luck...hope this is helpful. June
I don't have any advice other than that which has already been given to you. Are you doing Pilates in supportive shoes with your inserts in? I know a fellow Pilates instructor who had Plantar Fasciitis from pressure on the bar of the Reformer apparatus. Symptoms improved after she began wearing shoes during Pilates, but she continued wearing them for a LONG time afterward. It's a frustrating problem! Good luck! Alonn
In addition to the tactics advised by others (nerver go barefoot; achilles stretches, etc.), I did these two exercises I found in an online search:
1. pick up marbles with your toes. Do this as much as tolerated. 2. stand on your toes, to gradually strengthen your arch muscles. Be sure your ankles are in good alignment while you do this, and hold only as long as you can without strain (ankles will get stronger too).
I believe these helped me recover from pf. I still wear very sturdy shoes almost exclusively - that is, the sole can't twist - (except the ocassional dressy ocassion). I do shower barefoot, but wear shoes or clogs around the house all the time. If I feel the pf pains threatening, I do those exercises, and nip it in the bud. So far - no orthotics. Anon.
I have had plantar fascitis for 7 years and have tried most medical options to relieve my pain (ie. cortisone shots, orthodics, pain management, air casts, night splints, swimming, special shoes, etc.) and am now ready to try alternative medicine. Though no longer terrible, I hope to one day be free of this ailment. I live in the Oakland Hills and am looking for recommendations for acupunturists preferable in the area though I would be willing to travel. Also, what questions should I ask before beginning treatment? Ariane
I see and highly recommend Dr. Anita Chen Marshall, Pharm D and LAc. She is located in Alameda just off of Park Street, and her number is 510-523-1072. I return from Dr. Chen Marshall's office as if I spent the day at the spa! Dr. Chen Marshall is a wonderful person, doctor, and has given treatments for many processes of inflammation including Plantar Fascitis (I called Dr. Chen Marshall and asked her). Dr. Chen Marshall supplements her care with wonderful herbs, an art that she developed during her 20 year career as a pharmacist before she found her true love: accupuncture. All needles are brand new and unwrapped from individual packages during the session. Sessions are very reasonable. Dr. Chen Marshall is a wonderful person - it's worth calling! tanya
Pam Heaton, OMD, L.Ac., is located on Park Blvd. her phone number is 530-9128. She works M-W and Saturday. She gives 1-1/ 2 hour sessions for $55, although the first one is more expensive and closer to 2 hours. Nori Hudson
I saw your posting for acupuncture for plantar fascitis. While I did not seek acupuncture for my P.F. (which plagued me for months after healing from a fracture in my foot), I luckily found Dr. Mark Reiley from Berkeley Orthopaedic Medical Group (510 845-3856). He has done some published research on P.F. and is considered an expert on it. He ran me through a physical therapy regime that concentrated on strengthening the muscles above my foot/ankle/calf which contribute to the P.F. I have maintained the exercises, and have never had a flare-up since. I highly recommend him, as well as the Alta Bates Physical Therapy group that helped me. maya
Hi, Ariane. First an apology--this is not a recommendation for an acupuncturist, but as someone who has suffered with Plantar Fascitis and numerous other foot ailments, I wanted to share what worked for me just in case it can help someone else. I too had tried nearly everything, including stiff orthotics from a podiatrist. Ultimately, my salvation came from someone called a Pedorthist. A pedorthist studies all kinds of foot problems and works with soft orthotics and shoes as the solution. Soft orthotics redistribute weight on your feet instead of artificially buttressing them.
The place from where I now buy all my shoes is Foot Soluions/ Walkrite shoes. Unfortunately they're only located in Palo Alto and San Jose [(408) 376-0495]. If you've tried everything else, it can't hurt to talk with them (Try to talk with owner Marge Bonsall). All I can say is that I thought my active days had come to an end, and three months after Marge set me up with shoes and custom soft orthotics, I completed a 7-day hiking trip in Bryce and Zion. I wish you the best of luck. Valerie