I have Plantar Faciitis. About 12 years ago I developed heel pain when standing after rest. I self-diagnosed myself (went out to the web just like the rest of the computer literate world). I began using Burkenstock shoes - they kind of look like hippy sandals but they have great arch support. The first time I slipped my feet into them I thought I had literally stepped into a little bit of heaven. My feet were happy again - like instantly! I love instant fixes. I love Burks.
For 10 years I "treated" myself using these sandals and for 10 years that worked ... mostly. Not a cure, but when I got a complaint from my feet, I'd slip my Burks on and "wa-la" ... instantly fixed (for awhile).
Two years ago, the pain got worse - pain all the time even in my Burks. I was devastated. I was walking regularly and for long periods. I stop walking. The pain continued. Crap. My weight went up, and my emotional well being and energy went down, and I was not a happy person.
It was podiatrist time. I convinced myself that it had to be something much worse, maybe a brain tumor!! (ok, so not really - besides, I couldn't find anything to support that diagnosis on the web, but pain can make you stupid, I am sure of that.) The doctor's decision - no to the brain tumor (he did sort of smirk) - and yes to "Chronic" Plantar Faciitis. Crap - chronic!!! I'd rather be chronically rich, or chronically smart, or chronically young! He recommended exercises (don't you hate it that exercise seems to be the cure for everything?), physical therapy, rest, icing of the feet several times a day, and prescription orthotics.
Now none of these recommendations fixed me overnight!! When I got my orthotics the disillusionment set in. I asked the assistant "so when will I be well". She said, "oh, give it 3 months." hmmm ... bad answer. When the doctor came in I asked him "so when will I be well" and he said "come back in 6 months and we will see how your pain is" (these answers were going in the wrong direction.) These folks didn't understand that I wanted "instant" - not 6 months. I complained. Too long, too long!!! He paused and got serious -"If I could put you in a wheel chair for 3 weeks - never, never, never on your feet - not even one time during the 3 weeks - you would be well faster - in 3 weeks. OR I could do surgery and cut your tendon and you would be recovering for 6 months to a year. But you would then be well permanently." As stupid as it sounds, I did pause - well ... the wheel chair was a "maybe" ... no ... that was an insane choice.
It took a full year for these feet to get back to normal.
Now a small little complaint from down south - a less than a 5 minute touch a pain in just one foot - which went away after standing for a minute - but a serious warning from down south!
Message from my feet?
"Don't forget who is carrying you during all this walking. Don't forget to do your icing and exercises. And don't forget this message (and really pay attention here) ... I can "take you down" again, just like I did in the past."
Respect the feet! I think I will rest and ice on Saturday!