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Plantar Fasciitis, anyone?

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  • Plantar Fasciitis, anyone?

    Ok, it's been a couple of weeks I'm hobbling around on feet made painful by plantar fasciitis. I think I got it because I walked around all summer in flipflops.

    I'm icing, taking ibuprofen, and stretching. I've done some research and there are two camps: the "get inserts into your shoes" camp and the "go Vibram FF camp."

    If you've had it, what did you do about footwear? What worked especially well?

    Thanks in advance for any advice. I am sooooooooooo bummed since I am at at the "move around slowly for long periods" stage and this is putting a crimp in my exericse plans. I especially am missing my rambles in the woods.


  • #2
    PF sucks. I had it after my last child was born, something contributing with ligaments loosening up...Anyway it took me about a year to get over it. I found that it was really aggravated by standing on my wood floors without shoes on, so I was in the camp of get some inserts. I read a lot here and got these inserts. Hope it's OK to post that here? They didn't have the soft gel ones when I got them, and so got the original ones. In fact I loaned them out to someone afterwards and they also found them useful and I need to get them out for yet another friend to try...thanks for the reminder. I used these at home in my slippers, I also bought Birkenstock shoes as these were the only shoes I could wear without pain. It took a whole year before I could wear a different shoe for one day, and never for two days in a row. Finally a few years later I can wear other shoes without feeling that familiar pull starting up...Just my experiences, of course, good luck. It's an annoying injury...!


    • #3
      I started to get plantar fasciitis in college when I wore ugg like boots every day walking around everywhere. My mom, who also suffers from it, bought me inserts to wear in my boots and I started only buying shoes with arch support. I would say the pain lessened, but I still had it more than weekly. Also, it's tough to buy shoes with good arch support

      Within that same year my husband bought me my first pair of VFF (good husband!) and I started wearing them to gym. I've had no pain associated with plantar fasciitis since I continue to wear them to the gym and occasionally around town, but I guess the muscles in my feet have strengthened a good bit because I still rotate between flip flops with no arch support, sperry's boat shoes, my rainbow's, and heels with no pain.

      I highly recommend VFF to deal with your pain!


      • #4
        I had plantar fascitis for years. It was a contributing factor to my weight gain -not exercising because of the pain and then not eating right because I wasn't getting the exercise endorphins. The the more weight I gained, the worse the plantar fascitis got. I hadn't heard of Vibrams at the time but I do know that flat sandals made it worse and I tried the bare feet method and that didn't help. I eventually got some inserts for my shoes -nothing special just Dr. Scholls or something like that from the local pharmacy and got some sneakers with gel soles. Almost everyone in my homeschool group has plantar fascitis and Birkenstocks are the preferred shoe for everyday wear.

        Try swimming or biking while you are healing and keep up the diet end. I found as I lost weight, it got better. Right now, I only have pain a few mornings a month.
        My journal
        7/5/11 -Size 14;
        1/10/12 -Size 4


        • #5
          It had started getting really bad for me a few months before starting PB. About a month or so after PB it went away. The two main things that changed was my extra weight came of and I stopped wearing shoes most of the time. So, it was the strengthening of my feet from working out barefoot, or the easing of the tension from carrying less weight, or the combination of the two. But it did disappear within months.
          My blog: My Primal Adventure

          "I've come here to chew bubble gum and kick ass...and I'm all out of bubble gum."


          • #6
            Originally posted by AuntPol View Post
            Almost everyone in my homeschool group has plantar fascitis and Birkenstocks are the preferred shoe for everyday wear.
            not to (purposely) hijack, but that's interesting. what do you think the reasons for that could be?


            • #7
              I've got it from time to time, I think from exercising too much too soon, especially certain kind of full squats really stretch out your feet and achilles tendon. I don't understand how the inserts could be a good long term solution as that seems to just adding extra bracing and padding and moving away from the minimalistic footwear we should aim for. But I'm not a doctor and have not thought about it a lot and know that sometimes doing something to alleviate short term discomfort is really important even if not optimal for the long run.

              What helped for me was rubbing something like a cold glass bottle under my foot a few times a day. I have heard of contraptions you wear on your foot at night to put a bit of stretch in your foot. I've seen them but never used one. It seems that by putting a pillow under your calves as you sleep (on your back of course) puts your feet in a position to get a slight stretch that these contraptions do. I cannot confirm but since I've been sleeping with a pillow under my calves I have never gotten PF again.


              • #8
                Using inserts only masks the problem. Go back and revisit Marks mobility posts, do a blog search on Ankle Mobility. There is also another thread about this where I posted links for excellent stretching techinques.

                Yes I have had Plantar Fasciitis and I know it sucks. I wear VFF's exclusively now because I am lucky enough to work in a gym environment where I can wear whatever I want. No pain since switching to VFF's.


                • #9
                  Thanks for the suggestions, folks. I'm going to buy some Birkies for myself and see what that does, as well as inserts for my walking shoes so I can ramble a bit.

                  Last night I stretched the heck out of my feet and this morning was a little better. Of course, I've also come back to the fold of Primal eating, so maybe I'll be on the mend soon. Thanks for helping me out!



                  • #10
                    I had it very badly for a while - took about a year to get over completely. During that time, I wore inserts with good arch support (which mostly helped with the discomfort - they made it easier to walk,etc.)

                    I think the one that helped me the most above all else was regular stretching - ESP before getting out of bed in the morning. I would sit on the edge of the bed and push my foot against the wall to help me really stretch my heels, and I'd do it for several minutes. One my feet felt nice and loosened up, only then would I get out of bed and walk on them. Seemed to me if I walked on them stiff, I only prolonged the issue.

                    I've been pain free for years now and do all my workouts barefoot, so it IS possible to get rid of it, it just takes a long time.
                    Sassy: Revised - my primal log


                    • #11
                      I'm still healing from a bout of PF in my right foot. I wore gel heel inserts at first, because the pain was just too much. I wore my Vibram classics throughout, however, even though my coworkers felt the need to tell me every day to get better shoes. It's been almost a year now, and my foot doesn't hurt nearly so much, just some aching after taking a long walk, etc.
                      Start weight: 250 - 06/2009
                      Current weight: 199
                      Goal: 145


                      • #12
                        I've struggled with PF for 5 years now (pregnancy and weight gain plus a loathing for shoes and especially SOCKS...ack, I HATE socks).

                        Walking around on hard floors barefoot would exacerbate the problem - cushy, arch supporting shoes would relieve the pain. Since going Primal, I have all but eliminated the pain (we are talking, wake up in the morning, stand and fall, requiring me to CRAWL to the bathroom kind of pain). When I eat anything in the SAD, I have pain the next day...a few days back on track and NOTHING (2 days ago, I binged, woke up in excruciating pain, was very strict yesterday and I woke up with ZERO pain - guess what, I'm being strict again today lol).

                        I wear Keen sandals at the moment for every occasion (mild arch support, but as close to barefoot as I can afford at the moment). I want some VFFs soon, but not until my weight comes down a good bit more.

                        Keep up the stretching and icing - I would say, barefoot on soft surfaces as often as possible (you want to strengthen those overextended muscles/ligaments) and good arches on hard surfaces for now.


                        • #13
                          I had PF a few years ago. My doctor recommended wearing very rigid shoes ALL THE TIME - even if you get up to pee during the night - had to put the shoes on. It took 8 months to recover.


                          • #14
                            Stretch! Before you get out of bed in the morning, before you go to bed and any time you can during the day. If you have some sort of protection from a hard flat floor, put it on before your foot hits the floor in the morning. Ice massage. And strengthen the intrinsic foot muscles; stand on one foot, do toe curls (grab marbles or a towel with your toes).

                            I had HORRIBLE PF for a long time, that conventional rehab wasn't fixing. When I went primal it was gone within a few weeks.

                            Barefoot is good, but not if it is a flat surface. Walk barefoot on grass and sand when you can to help build the muscles in your feet.

                            My MDA journal

                            Primal Ponderings- my blog- finally added some food pron :P

                            And best of all my Body Fat Makeover!!


                            • #15
                              I had bad PF in both feet a few years back. As a lifelong distance runner I figured I'd already had every type of leg/foot ailment possible, but at 38 years of age, BOOM almost overnight in both feet. I had a doc tell me I would probably have it for about 18 months! (he was right, almost to the month, btw). Tried everything. Here are the few bits that helped; superfeet dress insoles (the hard ones) in all of my shoes, even my running shoes. The "Strasberg Sock" - a socklike device that keeps your ankles bent while you sleep, but not like the "boots", aka..torture chambers, much more comfy. They helped almost immediately. My PF disappeared almost as quickly as it appeared, but I did have it for damned near a year and a half.