Everybody who has been following the tattoo mummy blog recently, has read that I have taken up a more healthy lifestyle. A few years ago, I was hitting the gym like crazy. For a moment, I didn’t have a training partner and it made my life at the gym harder. Then I realized that gym time was ME time and I really needed to relax and just enjoy it. I kept it up for a long time, but got some good results in my figure as well as my health. It got a bit boring and I fell off the wagon a bit. Eventually, I quit the gym and focused on something else. Instead of lifting those unfriendly weights, I started taking walks outside to get some fresh air. And nowadays, I am even hiking on a regular basis as well. It truly is the best kind of exercise the human body can get. I have, however, developed the worst foot pain in the world… plantar fasciitis.
Get Supportive Walking Shoes If You Don’t Have Them Already
If you have ever suffered from this truly god awful condtion ever in your entire life, then I am sure you will agree with me that this is the most horrible foot pain that you can have. This is not just like having a sore foot or anything like that. It’s more like stepping into a buckets of super sharp nails. For those of you who have never heard of plantar fasciitis, it is also known as policeman’s heel. And when you have it, you are in for a whole new level of pain. This is a nagging foot condition that is pretty common, it turns out. Although I must admit I had never heard of it before I got it myself. And now that I have it, I need to get rid of it, because this is no way to live. I started out by buying supportive shoes for plantar fasciitis. I got the Orthaheel Walkers for women myself. I selected mine from here. So far, they are working great in treating my policeman’s heel!
Before I developed this awful case of heel pain, I had no idea how incredibly common it was. Now that I have spoken with my physician and my podiatrist, I have learned that it affects a whopping 10% of the world’s population. Almost everybody at least knows somebody who has or has had the condition. I do not have in my family or my circle of friends. So I guess I’m the first. And I hope they’ll learn from my experience, because I would not wish this condition upon my worst enemy. Unfortunately, there is no quick fix for plantar fasciitis. No magic pill to make the pain go away. It is a condition that is created slowly over time, given the right circumstances. A truly deadly combination for plantar fasciitis is standing up straight or walking a lot, not wearing supportive shoes, and being overweight.
In retrospect, I kind of had all the right conditions set up to develop this policeman’s heel. So I guess I owe it to myself. But now that I am aware of the most common causes, I will make sure to prevent it. I have become a bit overweight as of late, so it has become more important for me to wear good shoes that provide plenty of support for my heels and arches. All overweight people ought to be wearing good shoes, because being obese is causing a lot of extra strain on your poor feet. Check out this page for good recommendations on walking shoes for big men, and that page for great tips on walking shoes for heavyset women. All these pages I’m linking to point to a website called the Boot Bomb. It has become my go to source for information on good shoewear. Brian Bradshaw, the webmaster, seems to have a knack for figuring out what to and what not to wear. He has suffered from plantar fasciitis himself and has become a self taught expert on the subject.
Plantar Fasciitis – What Is It?
Either way… back to the issue at hand. For those of you who do not know what plantar fasciitis is, it is an inflammation of the plantar fascia. The plantar fascia is a very big, very important tendon at the soles of your feet. It goes all the way from your heels to your toes. If you strain it too much, especially over a long period over time, the plantar fascia will start to rebel by getting all inflamed. When that happens, it also tightens up and grows thicker. A thick, tight tendon in your foot is going to put you through the worst pain you’ve ever felt. When you get up out of bed, it’s like stepping on railroad spikes. You have to take a couple of steps in order to make the pain go away. That tendon isn’t going to stretch itself when you have this condition. You have to do this yourself. And every step you take is hell on earth. Planning on sitting down for a while? Don’t even think about it. Because getting up again is going to be almost as bed as getting out of bed.
How To Treat Plantar Fasciitis?
First of all, you have to get good shoes. But you already knew that. There are plenty of other things you can do about it, though. For one, you can buy two night splints that you can wear around your ankles and feet during the night. These splints will keep your feet stretched, as if you are in a standing position. This causes the plantar fascia tendons in your feet to stay stretched. This will ensure that you won’t have to suffer through that horrible pain right after getting up. I have gotten a couple of night splints myself. And while they are not comfortable to wear in bed, they certainly do help in preventing the pain from standing up in the morning. I’d rather wear the splints than have the morning foot pain, no question there. I do recommend splints if your situation as just as bad as mine, or maybe even worse.
There are also plenty of foot exercises you can do in order to make the pain go away once and for all. You can simply roll a ball under the bottom of your foot for a few minutes. This simple exercise really helps well to massage the plantar fascia tendon and make it healthier again. You can also do stretch exercises. You have to simply stand up against a wall and lean in, so that your tendons are stretched. Leaning in and out repeatedly will do more for you than to simply stand still, from my own experience at least. I have been doing these exercises for a week now and while my plantar fasciitis is not yet healed completely, I can certainly notice the effects. It’s a condition that took a long time to build up, and it’s going to take some time to deconstruct it, so to speak.
Naturally, you will also have to take it easy for a bit. It’s good to take a few walks when you have this condition. But long distance hikes are pretty much out of the question. Long distance hiking is one of the causes for my plantar fasciitis, so when you are engaging in this otherwise great sport and you feel chronic pain building, it very well might be policeman’s heel. When that happens, it’s high time that you shift back into lower gears. Get supportive boots or shoes that support your arches. Lots of people over pronate because they have flat feet and fallen arches. So do I. Good insoles are absolutely essential to preserve your own foot health. By all means, take some walks. But also take it easy. Rest a lot. Apply some ice every once in a while if you can. Wear those night splints and do those exercises. A good treatment plan that is put to action can rid you of your dreaded heel pain in a matter of weeks.
Some people immediately go for invasive fixes such as surgery and steroid injections. But these treatments come with a great risk and can potentially make your situation worse. Policeman’s heel, as horrible a condition as it may be, is self treatable in the convenience of your own home for the lion’s share of sufferers.
How To Prevent Plantar Fasciitis In The Future
The first time you get it, it will make you want to slap yourself in the head. Once you have gotten rid of it, you’ll never want to develop it again, I guarantee it. You can prevent this condition by keeping an eye on the soles of your footwear. It it starts wearing out and getting thinner than 1″, it’s about time that you get new shoes. You must keep yourself standing on good support at all costs. Also make sure to get new insoles every once in a while, as they will provide you with more support than your worn down insoles. Good insoles don’t cost a whole lot. If you go for custom made orthotics, then you will pay more. But you will get the best support for it in return.
Besides good footwear, it’s also evident that you use your common sense when undertaking straining physical activities. Such as, for example, long distance hikes. If you start feeling pain from this, then you need to cut back quick, because you know what’s coming. You will be able to go on for longer if you weigh less. So if you are chubby or obese, then it’s a good idea to shed some of those pounds. Your feet will thank you for it, because they will have to put up with much less of a strain than they would if you were still overweight!