Plantar Fasciitis pain is absolutely miserable.
I have tried to cover every single detail I could think of about managing this condition. This does include photos of my shoes and inserts. They aren’t the best looking things so please be kind – I’m posting these because I’m trying to help YOU. 🙂
Some of you may prefer this information on a video, so here you go:
I’ve heard other people say they are suffering from this condition. If this is you, I am *SO SORRY* I didn’t pay more attention.
Chances are, if you have stumbled on to my page from fb, pinterest or instagram, it is because your feet are hurting and you are desperate to find some relief.
I hear you.
You may already know you have plantar fasciitis and are just looking for some relief. Feel free to just scroll on down toward the bottom and I’m going to give you EVERY. SINGLE. TIP. and trick I have tried- what works and what doesn’t.
Living with plantar fasciitis pain has been my life for the last year.
Just shortly after the birth of my youngest son, I realized my feet were aching ALL. THE. TIME.
Deep, intense heel pain. I’ve never felt anything like it before.
I figured my Skechers shoes were to blame, (and I would later find out they were). At the beginning of my pregnancy, I had purchased the cutest pair of black Sketchers (they were close to these), that I could wear with practically anything. They were so easy to take on and off- they were just perfect for a pregnant woman and would work for warmer or cooler weather.
Within days of wearing them, I started noticing my feet just felt really tired. They didn’t really hurt, they were just tired. I would sit and rub them at night and that did seem to help.
It wasn’t long before they would hurt and I realized I needed new shoes. I had paid so much for them (those Skechers aren’t cheap!), that I really didn’t want to budget more for another pair of shoes. I told myself that when they wore out, I would buy a different pair. Until then, I was willing to tolerate the pain I was feeling.
The months passed and the pain only got worse. I decided at that point I needed to buy some insoles for the shoes and that is what I did. Though it did help some, it didn’t help completely. It was little more than a touch of relief.
I did eventually just buy a new pair of shoes, but it was too late then. The damage to my feet had been done.
Lessons I’ve learned:
- Lesson one– expensive shoes aren’t necessarily good shoes.
- Lesson two– pregnant women really need good support in their shoes.
- Lesson three– Listen to your body
- Lesson four– Skechers makes HORRIBLE shoes. I have bought them for my children for years because they were cute and seemed well made. I was wrong. I will not make that mistake again.
Months continued to pass and I was in more and more pain.
I started reading and realized I had classic signs of Plantar Fasciitis pain in both feet.
My left foot was far worse.
It seemed as long as I was walking during the day, though still painful, I could stand and walk without much issue. If I sat for any length of time, or especially when I first got out of bed (that was the worst! I had to actually make myself start walking!!), I could barely move. I literally felt like both of my feet were broken.
It is quite possibly the worst pain I have ever felt in my entire life.
So, the following is why you are probably visiting my site:
What didn’t work:
- My $400 pair of custom orthodics made by a podiatrist. They were okay for about 2 weeks. After that, I was in even more pain. They were useless. My heels hurt *so bad* I tried to cover these inserts in a Dr. Scholl’s cut to fit. That did ease the pain a little by adding some cushion, but ultimately, I just stopped using them completely.
- Dr. Scholl’s inserts. You definitely need more support than these will offer.
- Pretty much ANY insert sold in a drug store or Walmart. I was hurting. I literally tried every single one. Though I do use a cheap cut to fit pair to cushion my current inserts, none of these really worked to help me with the pain I was feeling.
- None of the shoes in most shoe stores labeled “orthodic” or for “plantar fasciitis”. I hope that isn’t too discouraging for you. They just didn’t work.
- I bought braces that are supposed to keep your feet flexed at night. Those didn’t work, at all. They were a complete waste of money and frankly, uncomfortable.
- Essential oils. I do use EO’s for some things. They didn’t touch the pain I was feeling in my feet.
- Muscle rubs- Nope. The heat did feel good, but it was only short term.
What I haven’t tried (just for the benefit of those trying to figure out how to get rid of this pain):
- I never tried cortisone shots. Each time I spoke with someone who has had these, I didn’t leave with the feeling they had gotten any real relief.
- Surgery. This was/is an option. Again, no one I have spoken with has gotten any real relief from surgery so it’s just not worth it to me.
What did work:
- Ibuprofen for initial relief. It at least got me through those early weeks when I was trying to get myself moving again. Obviously, you can’t stay on ibuprofen long term.
- Keep a can of vegetables frozen (I kept two). I had a cousin tell me to use a water bottle. I found myself using them so much, the plastic was looking worn. Those frozen cans of corn are still going strong for me when I need them! They also seem to retain their cold so much longer. The wider size is easier to roll under your feet.
- Stretching. Stretching. Stretching. Stretching was absolutely the best thing you can do for your feet when you have this condition. I stretched against walls. I stood on my toes when I was in the shower. I kept my feet flat on the shower floor and leaned forward to really stretch out the back of my feet. I’ve also heard the warrior pose in yoga is good for this condition, I really do think it helped tremendously. Stretching your feet on stairs (allowing your heels to hang off the edge), did help some. Sitting on a toilet and stretching your feet against the side of the bowl and floor sounds really odd, but it does work very well- perhaps better than any other stretching position.
- Shoes from The Walking Company. We have one at our mall. They aren’t cheap. They have you walk across a pad hooked to a computer in their store before they fit you. It tells the store associate which custom inserts you need when you purchase your shoes. I’m not really sure if it was those shoes or more the inserts in them that helped the most, but I honestly believe that is when I started seeing relief. These are the inserts that I covered with the cheap, cut to fit inserts from the drug store. That seemed to give my left heel just enough cushion to bring relief. I will tell you, I literally get compliments on these shoes every single time I wear them. I do love them. They go well with jeans. I’ve worn them with skirts. I love them.
- Asics shoes were the ones most suggested in the realm of walking/tennis shoes. These are the exact shoes I ordered. Because I knew I would be walking quite a bit during exercise time in the mornings, I wanted to get shoes that would give me adequate support. My ‘The Walking Company’ inserts do not fit into my tennis shoes so they needed to have really good support. I’m limited to the shoes I can buy because the ladies (including myself), have feet that are on the *ahem*, larger size. I looked and looked for Asics in my size that had good soles (not those foamy, thin ones). I finally found a pair I have had for a few months. They seem to be doing pretty great. I can tell if I’m in them more than a couple of hours after I arrive home, my feet start feeling tired all over again so I’m in the habit of arriving home from exercising every morning and going straight back into my Telic flip-flops.
- Believe it or not, walking. I did stay off my feet for the first few weeks while I took Motrin at the advice of my podiatrist. Though that helped temporarily, I quickly realized that if I was going to get any long-lasting relief, I was going to have to start moving more and regularly. Now I walk 2 ½-3 miles at least 3 days a week. Most weeks, I try to walk 5-6 days. I feel so much better when I’ve walked. (Wouldn’t you know, as I’ve walked now for several months, my feet are much less swollen and I’m dropping weight. Now the shoes are almost too big! I have to wear them with thick socks, lol.)
- When summer came, I decided that I needed to purchase some cooler sandals. I quickly realized any shoe made for plantar cost 2 to 3 times more than other shoes. I kept searching for a less-expensive option. I happened across Telic flip-flops. The Amazon reviews are amazing. I decided the review made them worth trying.
When I’m home, I’m living in these shoes. They were less than $30/pair and available in lots of colors. They are MUCH less expensive and have better review than the other brands that are supposed to help with this condition. They aren’t the most beautiful shoes, but they certainly aren’t horrible.
I am seeing that I’m going to need to replace my pair soon. After exclusively wearing them at home for months, I’m needing to replace them. They have lost some of their cushion. I still have NO idea what I’m going to wear in a couple of months when the weather starts turning cooler. (If any of you have ideas on shoes that might help through the winter months, I’m all ears!)
Never, every go without shoes. Never. Don’t even think about it. I keep my flip flops next to my bed. If I have to get up to go to the restroom at night, I’m going to slide them on my feet. I do shower without them but if I were back at the beginning of this year again, I would probably shower with them, too.
- A massager is a good thing. I actually bought this one at a thrift store for $3 a few years ago. It has brought me so much relief this year. It really loosens my feet so that I don’t hurt so bad.
I’ve realized that I might always have this condition now.
I’m so mad at those Skechers and I’m really angry at myself for not buying new shoes when my feet started getting sore. We live on a budget and this was a lesson in not compromising on shoes. (Since writing this post, I’ve had the opportunity to talk to dozens of people- some who work in shoe stores that have said they have heard my story about these shoes again and again.)
This is now a day-to-day pain management issue for me. If I wear good shoes, walk and keep my feet stretched out, I won’t hurt so much. If I don’t, I will.
End of story.
*I’m editing this to add almost a year later and I’m not in horrible pain every day. I can tell my feet are sore and tired at the end of the day if I have not had on shoes with good support, or if I’ve walked around too long without shoes.
I’ve added yoga to my 3-4 times per week 2-5 mile walks. The stretching has helped significantly in my overall health, but has been especially helpful in relieving some of the pain I had been feeling.
I know that is not great news, but it might give hope to some of you who might be like me, and are in so much pain when you move during the day you would rather just sit. There is some hope. I’m not 100%, but this is at least tolerable. I’ll take that ANY day over the pain I was feeling at this time last year.