Plantar Fasciitis just plain stinks. I struggled with it last year but must have had a very mild issue because it seemed to resolve itself with the consistency of the colder months and wearing shoes more frequently.
But this summer was a completely different story. I knew that I was doing all the WRONG things…wearing flip flops constantly or going without shoes entirely. I assumed that as summer turned into fall and I began to wear shoes more, that it would just “cure” itself. Boy, was I wrong. It just continued to get worse.
After asking for advice from friends, I felt really overwhelmed with their answers. Everyone had a pretty strong opinion about what worked and what didn’t and they all had opposing ideas. Needless to say, I was so overwhelmed I just felt frozen and did nothing. Not smart.
Some of their suggestions:
- Wear shoes during all waking hours.
- Buy super expensive shoes/super expensive shoes didn’t help.
- Buy inserts/inserts didn’t help.
- Roll my feet on any variety of frozen bottles.
- Wear braces at night/don’t wear braces at night.
- Shots helped/shots didn’t help.
Things just kept getting worse and I finally decided to head to a local podiatrist. I knew I needed to do SOMETHING and I wanted an expert opinion before I wasted any money. I also wanted to see if our insurance would cover anything to help.
The doctor took x-rays of my feet from different views and talked with me about my symptoms. Classic case of Plantar Fasciitis. I did learn that I wasn’t “flat-footed” as I had always been told. The doctor told me that I wasn’t flat-footed, nor did I have a high arch. She said that my foot was “average”. YAY for average I guess.
The good news with a “average” foot was that I didn’t have to spend money on super expensive athletic shoes. She said a typical shoe with a good insert would do just fine. Awesome!
Here’s what the doctor suggested:
- Wearing shoes during all waking hours. Always.
- No more flip flops. (I knew this but still so hard to hear. HA!)
- No more Chucks. (Insert wailing and gnashing of teeth here.) Converse are my most favorite shoe. But they provid zero support. How did people use to play BASKETBALL in those things!?!??!
- Daily stretching exercises like THESE. I can’t recommend them enough. I can definitely tell a huge difference when I consistently do these several times a day. Definitely stretch those toes back each morning before getting out of bed!
- Rolling my feet on frozen small juice cans (5.5 ounce) and then soaking them in hot water and epsom salt afterward.
- Night splints…if I felt like I needed them after doing all of the above.
So here’s what I purchased after her suggestions…HUGE thanks to a dear friend who gave me a gift card for my birthday specifically for new shoes!
Saucony Original Jazz Low Pro Athletic Shoes…I was basically just looking for a decent shoe with a removable insole so that I could replace it with my new insert to help my feet. Keep in mind the doctor said my feet were pretty average so I could get away with any type shoe. If you have flat feet or a high arch, you might need to go a different route.
Skechers Reggae – Happy Rainbow…my doctor suggested a pair of Chacos sandals but I wanted to try out a lower cost option first. These do the trick! I keep them by my bed and wear them around my house every waking hour. Seriously. In the spring, I hope I can splurge on a pair of Chacos.
Skechers Performance Go Lite Walking Shoe…I’ll admit I don’t LOVE this shoe. But I needed something that I could wear to church and any other time that I did not want to wear a tennis shoe. My doctor did recommend the Skechers brand in general, but I did not find this one as supportive. I haven’t tried them yet with my inserts, but that is my next step. Next, I plan to purchase a pair of Vionic dress shoes. More expensive but definitely worth it to not have hurting feet!
Spenco Orthontic Arch Supports…very reasonably priced at less than $25 for a pair. I got mine at Academy Sports if you have one of those nearby or you can get them HERE on Amazon in a 3/4 length like I got or in a full length length HERE.
Vive Arch Support Brace…These came highly recommended by a friend but I haven’t given them a good test run because all of the other things I’ve been doing have been helping so much. I still have them on stand by though.
Comfort Dorsal Night Splints by Mars Wellness…I felt like even though I was making great progress with the other things I was doing, these were needed.
Click HERE for the ones I chose. My doctor said to be sure to choose some that had the bar/strap on the front for adjusting there as well. I really like these and they are actually comfy to sleep in or the wear when lounging around and watching television. They are not made to walk in or wear inside a shoe, but they do just fine for a quick night run to the restroom in the middle of the night. Be sure not to close the heel or toe straps too tightly because they can cause discomfort in the middle of the night. I did that the first night but after reading reviews on Amazon, I loosened them up for the next night and they have been fine! I wear a size 10 shoe and went with the small/medium and they are perfect.
And I can’t forget this! Cool Azul Pain Cream is a must have. It’s great for minor muscle and joint aches, arthritis, strains, bruises, and sprains.
It’s plant-based and contains Wintergreen and the Cool Azul essential oil blend…helps alleviate pain deep in muscles and joints and provides a cooling affect too. I rub it directly on my plantar fascia. If you want more info, just fill out this quick contact form below and I’ll be in touch!
Here’s hoping some of this information helps you get your Plantar Fasciitis under control and on the mend! We have to take care of these feet of ours! Chime in in the comments with what is helping YOU!