A little learning, as they say, is a dangerous thing, and my early online research about plantar fasciitis was incomplete and led me to some wrong conclusions. Plus, I just made some assumptions early on, and you know what they say about that….
Mistakes I Made that I Hope You Don’t Need to Repeat:
- Since I had heel pain, I (mis) diagnosed myself with having a heel spur.I then leaped to the conclusion that I was ALWAYS going to have a heel spur, and bad heel pain, and there was Jack Squat that I could do about it, for the rest of my life, all eternity, the end. This was a freaky, depressing prospect, and also happened to be just plain wrong.
- From some stuff I read online, I thought that my heel problem could not really be healed, so I thought I was pretty much resigned to a geriatric existence, without the hiking and walking that I love like life itself. I have not disproved this yet (though I am on the path), but after more research and talk to my doctor and many friends who have had plantar fasciitis (FP), I believe this is also wrong. I hope to disprove this with you, together.
- I realized that I should not walk 1.5 hours a day on hard city streets, as I had been, but I did not understand that my feet needed serious rest, as in total and complete rest with as little walking or standing as humanly possible, for quite a long time, maybe for months. For weeks after my feet were hurting pretty badly, I kept walking 40 minutes a day or so, on concrete, in flat shoes with no arch support. And I just didn’t understand why I wasn’t getting better!!
- Before I saw my podiatrist in the San Francisco Bay Area, I visited my parents in East Texas, and went with them in the mornings to their great community gym with a beautiful pool looking out on the mild, green East Texas landscape. At 6:30a I had the pool to myself and I thought it would be a heel healthy idea to do some water aerobics. So I proceeded to do 40 or so minutes of jumping water aerobics every day, fully expecting the throbbing pain in my feet to decrease. News flash: it didn’t 🙁 Okay, I finally thought, maybe I should just walk in the water, so I did that a few days. Note to self — that didn’t work either.
Before seeing the podiatrist, and not knowing that shoes are actually really important to healing this problem, I spent a couple of weeks diligently following my regular doctor’s initial advice, which was to wear Superfeet inserts. The problem was not with the inserts, but that I was wearing the blue Superfeet, which might be fine for some people, but for me don’t have enough support. The bigger problem was that I was wearing these cute little Sketcher Mary Janes with NO support except the blue Superfeet. Dumb.
- For some reason, even after I understood that I really should not walk much at all while the plantar fascia (the connective tissue at the bottom of my foot) was inflamed, and even though I knew that people who have jobs that involve standing for many hours are predisposed to the disease, somehow my poor wee brain could not connect that me, myself and I also should not stand up for long periods. When the pain was really bad, and even now, actually, a long period is anything over 10 or 15 minutes. A week or so after I went to the foot doctor, I went to a friend’s party and stood around on the concrete patio on and off for a couple of hours. While it didn’t hurt while I was doing it, the aftermath was brutal.
- As soon as my doctor and the Internet said I should be stretching my calf muscles, plantar fascia and Achilles tendon, I diligently started stretching, out of desperation, usually in the morning before getting out of bed and a little bit at night while watching House or Jericho or Game of Thrones on Netflix. But I’m a restless person, a little on the lazy side, and I don’t especially enjoy stretching, so I did the bare minimum until very recently. Probably less than the minimum, like if you are supposed to hold a stretch for 30 seconds, I’ll hold for 10 and call that good to go. Recently, I’m beginning to get it into my head that I actually need to stretch a lot and for as long as I can stand if I want to seriously be healed.
I truly hope you can benefit from my experience.
More importantly, now I’ll move on to treatments that are actually working for me 🙂