Exercise! - Any plantar fasciitis suffers?

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08-19-2008, 03:38 PM
What have you done to help it? I have been doing lots of walking and I'm starting to get ticked off that my plantar fasciitis is keeping me from doing what I want. I am going to go to the good feet store to get fitted for shoes and anything else they recommend. Any tips?

08-19-2008, 04:50 PM
Arch support. For a very long time, I could only wear Birkenstocks. I'm branching out a bit more, and I don't know whether I'm just getting braver, or I'm getting better at knowing what my feet need.

Birkenstock, New Balance and Halflinger were a godsend for my feet (and a demon to my wallet - I wasn't used to spening a lot of money on shoes - which I think is what caused the problem in the first place).

Swimming, I think played a big role in getting rid of the stuff. When I first got it, I was working in a job that required me to be on my feet most of my shift, so it just wouldn't go away. Then I was switched to an office job, and could sit (which at first, hurt more than being on my feet - pf is weird like that).

But with swimming, I could get exercise without being on my feet and the water cooled and soothed them (another reason I am overly fond of the water - another reason I felt I should be able to live there).

08-26-2008, 07:08 AM
I have it too, with weak ankles and flat feet! Doh! :) I have super arch support in all my shoes, and I do foot stretching exercises at night. I'm not sure if that helps or not, but it makes it feel better to me, so I do it. I also have a few foot odds and ends that I bought from footsmart (online store).

I love Birkenstock shoes also, I fondly remember my first pair. The relief, the pleasant feeling as I walked... the jibes as I walked through the door at home. Yes, actually, I was a pseudo-hippy, and I went to Santa Cruz to prove it!

In addition to my super-support athletic shoes I work out in, I also wear MBT's. They're expensive ($120+), but I really like them. I'm slowly breaking them in -- they give a rolling motion while you walk that seems to help me. Plus, they're supposed to help cellulite, so you can't beat that! (I'll believe it when I see it)

For workout, I do the elliptical most days, and the treadmill only once a week. If I do walking/running more than that, my feet are like walking on glass for days. The elliptical doesn't hurt my feet or my knees, and I can do it for an hour. I like having my breath and body be the ones to give out, instead of quitting for the pain in my feet!

My doctor told me to just do what feels right (big help he was!), and to make sure I have support. I'd love to do swimming, but the beach is my only access right now... and you won't see me there in a bathing suit yet! The operative word is Yet. :D

08-26-2008, 11:17 PM
Another thing you can do is to ice your feet. An easy way to do it is to freeze a water bottle. Then just sit down and roll your foot back and forth on the bottle (bottle on the floor).
I have two bottles frozen and do both feet at the same time. This ices and also stretches the feet:)

08-26-2008, 11:23 PM
The ice rolling is a good idea. I bought shoes that have good arch supports. I didn't care for the inserts my podiatrist gave me. The stretching exercises help the most. First thing before getting out of bed in the AM and before bedtime. I had a cortisone injection once and it really didn't help much. Good shoes, stretching...haven't had a reoccurence.

Google plantar fasciitis stretching or here's a link to one website:


08-26-2008, 11:27 PM
Frozen water bottles are fantastic I agree.

I never, ever, ever walk in my bare feet either. I have those fake Birkenstocks and they are my slippers. I put them on immediately when I get out of bed. I probably spend most of my shoe money on my running shoes. I am also a great fan of Clark's and Rockport shoes..not every sexy, but who feels sexy when their feet hurt anyhow LOL;)

Physio also taught me to use a towel that I put in a loop with the upper part of my foot in the towel , leg stretched out in front of you. You then GENTLY pull on the towel, stretching the arch.(boy I wish I could draw a picture of that..not sure I explained it very well). I also had to pick up marbles with my toes...can you still buy marbles? Another exercise to to "draw the letters of the alphabet in the air. I try to remember to do that if I am lying on the couch or in bed watching TV.

If it gets really bad, some physiotherapists can "tape" your feet. YOu wear the tape for several hours. That gave me a goodish period of relief. I tried orthotics but they didn't really help and were very expensive..but they may work for you.

Lastly if it gets really really bad, buying one of those rigid braces that will keep your foot flexed upwards, at a home health care store, works. You wear it/them at night in bed. I finally had to resort to that but it is what "cured" me.

08-26-2008, 11:57 PM
Massage. After a warm bath or shower, rub some lotion into your feet. Rub hard. Then roll your foot on a foot roller from heel to toe ONLY. This stretches the fascia, toe to heel will lock it up more. Although the ice bottle is a fabulous idea, this would not be the time to use it, as you want the bottom of your foot to stay warm. Then, put your thumbs together, one on top of the other and apply deep pressure in between the metatarsals (long bones in your foot) and move from heel to toe. Do this in all the spaces between the bones. Repeat the rolling from heel to toe. Do this en the evening when you are relaxing. If you do it before working out or wearing high heels or lots of standing it can cause cramping. I am a massage therapist, and was taught this method by a physical therapist I worked with for a short time. (Gosh I miss him, he taught me LOTS of cool stuff!) I really hope this helps.

08-27-2008, 12:23 AM
I suffered with it in both of my heels. I think I had it about 3 years before it finally went away. I did daily stretching, alternating night splint, and multiple cortisone injections. What was so hard for me was the fact that resting and exercising aggravated it. I think it was the custom orthotics that I wear that did the trick. I also only wear New Balance shoes.

08-27-2008, 12:26 AM
I tried the orthotics from the Good Feet store and they only made things worse for me. Fortunately, since my podiatrist agreed, I actually got my money back (unheard of).

The 2 most important things that have helped me have been weight loss (although many skinny runners get it too) and lots and lots of stretching. Stretching does wonders. A simple runners stretch of the calf is so helpful for me.

I second the no barefoot thing. I got some Fitflops to wear around the house and they are the most comfortable shoes I have ever owned.

Finally, shoes are not the place to scrimp when you have PF. Invest in some good ones.

I am going to have to do the water bottle thing. Brilliant.

Good luck. It can be very painful, but it is also treatable.

08-27-2008, 04:35 PM
I got PF while in Las Vegas on vacation. Talk about the place where you want to be able to walk. I was only there from Thursday evening until Sunday morning. Friday evening my foot started to hurt when I walked. It was fine when I woke on Saturday morning until I started to walk down the street. After only one block I was hobbeling. I wound up spending Saturday morning in the ER and Saturday afternoon and evening unconsious from the oxycodone the ER docs had prescribed me. I missed walking the other end of the strip and the trip to see the Chippendales with my mom and little sis (we're a fun family - lol).

Long story short, when I got home I saw a podiatrist who told me to throw out the drugs, get some cheap arch supports, wear shoes with a tiny heel (he liked my doc martins) and to stretch my foot often. He also told me to do the water bottle trick, but I never did and he said heat was the worst thing you could do for that injury. I just stretched and stayed off it as much as possible for a couple of weeks and it cleard up. I know I was fortunate. I still stretch it daily and haven't given up the arch supports. I also haven't tried to wear any of my heels that are higher than 2 inches - I'm scared of a repeat attack.

08-27-2008, 08:41 PM
I also had to pick up marbles with my toes...can you still buy marbles?

You can! I was made to do the marble-walking as a child, for the flat feet. I had to do it every day. I don't know if it made my flat feet any better, but I can pick up just about anything with my toes now :D They're like monkey feet. Not the best for balancing the weight I'm carrying, but if my toes were just a bit longer, I could probably hang from the pull-up bars :)

08-28-2008, 08:54 PM
They're like monkey feet. Not the best for balancing the weight I'm carrying, but if my toes were just a bit longer, I could probably hang from the pull-up bars

LOL @ this... I love it.

I have to say that the water bottle trick worked great. I also have a friend who swears by the wooden soled Dr. Scholl's sandals.. but I could never find any locally to buy and try. Actually the thing that helped me the most was when I started running, because I was stretching more than ever before. Good luck.. it's definitely a painful and discouraging thing, but you can get past it!


08-28-2008, 09:15 PM
I tried the Dr. Scholl's hard sandles ( don't know if they were wood or laminated plastic) when my PF was raging, hoping they would help and YIKES they were so painful I couldn't walk in them at all. I think if I'd tried them when my PF wasn't at it's worst, they might have helped.

09-01-2008, 02:36 PM
Out of all the things I tried to relieve my PF/heel pain, the ONLY thing that has helped has been my CROCS!

I know, who'd ever believe that those ugly shoes would help your feet, but believe me, they do. I swear by them now.

They have a special design called CROC Rx, especially for PF, but I don't have those. I have just a regular pair of CROCS.

I've been wearing them exclusively for a few months now, and my heel pain is going away. Some days I don't have ANY pain at all. (I try not to walk around barefoot any more either.)

Try them. You might be pleasantly surprised. :dancer:

09-01-2008, 05:52 PM
thanks for this thread. I have had PF in my left heel and for a year have had to deal with it. I am noticing by dieting and exercising it is making a difference. maybe losing weight will help too. Not as much pressure on the feet.

09-03-2008, 12:18 AM
I've had pf a couple of times and one thing that really helped was to stretch before I took a single step when getting out of bed in the morning. I would just slide out of bed, turn around facing the bed, and lean forward keeping both heels on the floor. Also, you can find simple taping directions on the net if you can get someone to help you. It really does give support!

09-03-2008, 02:20 AM
PF is the pits! After the last time I've managed to keep it at bay for awhile now - at least 5 years, but still I NEVER EVER go barefoot, I don't wear flat shoes, nor high heels. And yup, birkenstock, halflinger, dansko - all my friends. :) The ice helps as does the stretching. Once you're healed up, keep up the preventative stuff.

09-03-2008, 02:36 AM
I'm with Becky on post #14 -- I highly recommend CROCS shoes too. I've had mine for about three months now and it's like walking on sponges!

The only time my feet don't hurt is when I'm wearing them. I'm so glad someone invented them!

09-17-2008, 01:41 PM
I didn't know about CrocsRX - thanks for the tip - I'll definitely be getting a pair to try!

09-17-2008, 03:26 PM
i also have pf...was just diagnosed back in may (right at the beginning of my weight loss journey). i had been doing a lot of walking/jogging...more than ever before in my life and that's when i developed it. it was so bad at first that my dr. had me on crutches to take some of the weight off my feet.

i agree with many who've already posted...always wear shoes. i've discovered crocs as well and swear by them. i wear crocs/birkenstocks/danskos/brooks and the occasional pair of cute flats if i'm getting dressed up and won't have to be on my feet much.

for working out, i went to a local athletic store where the clerk looked at my feet and how i walk and recommended the brooks addiction. i absolutely love them and wore them everywhere (until i discovered crocs for everyday).

i do most of my exercise on the eliptical or in the pool now. i still like to walk with my dog, but i save the multiple mile treks for once a month now, instead of several a week.

one thing my doctor did say was to give my feet a complete rest when i'm having a flare up. i find that i can still swim when this happens, but the eliptical or the beaten path...no way :)

good luck to all of you!

09-17-2008, 05:07 PM
I love my crocs don't care how ugly they are:)

09-18-2008, 03:24 PM
i love mine too :) the more i wear them the less ugly they even seem! haha :)

Seattle Podiatrist
04-29-2009, 09:07 PM
Avoid the Good Feet store - they charge over $150 for a $20 arch support. Instead get a high quality OTC arch support like Superfeet. Should cost about $40.00.

Brown Eyed Staccie
04-29-2009, 09:19 PM
A trick I use is rolling over a tennis ball - strange but it really works!
I'm also finding with less weight - it gets much better. It almost disappeared when I lost 60 pounds, it has come back a bit now though with my weight gain. At least I don't limp around anymore after sitting for too long!
I also wear arch supports :)

04-30-2009, 12:11 PM
I've had plantar fasciitis for three years now. When I see people running in my neighborhood in the morning, I want to cry. I wish I could be like them. But I can only safely run maybe once a week. Sometimes not even then.

Instead, I use a stationary bike or an elliptical or row. Even using the elliptical sometimes can be too much. (Like this week.) I also intend to swim laps one day, but I've been taking a swimming class since last fall, trying to improve my form & endurance, because I just don't have it in me to swim as many laps as I want to. I've got good cardio endurance but breathing while swimming is another skill entirely.

Before my once-a-week run, I tape up my feet with sports tape, as my podiatrist showed me. Afterwards, I ice my foot & elevate it. Still, usually my arch feels a little questionable a few days afterward, and then I don't run at all for two or three weeks at a time.

I have expensive, custom-made orthotics which I got through my podiatrist. I never go barefoot. (Except in the tub & during yoga class.) I wear the green or blue Superfeet inserts inside my slides when walking around in the house.

Losing weight didn't really help, unfortunately.

I think it's just going to be a way of life for me.

05-09-2009, 01:56 AM
I tend to get pf when the shoe season changes for instance switching from winter shoes to flipflops and backless shoes. Also after summer, returning to the shoes with backs makes it flare up for a few weeks.

I find that working on calf stretches and foot flexion/extension stretches help the problem resolve itself faster.

Also, arch supports can work wonders

05-09-2009, 08:33 AM
I got prescription orthotics from my podiatrist. Insurance covered it for me, so it wasn't a very expensive option.


05-09-2009, 09:36 AM
I have had PF for 3 months now and I just slowly starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel - but only if I am not active. It is a pain in the rectum but I there is no point to make it worse. I do all the exercises that were already described and I wear custom orthotics ($425 - ka chink!; and the insurance decided to refund me only $200 - oh well). I was told to completely lay off the elliptical so I do spinning instead (before PF, I did jogging and Zumba 3x times a week).
My heart is bleeding over the things I cannot do but right now I am just focusing on getting better. I wear sandals at home that have arch support and outdoors only sneakers with the custom orthotics - I will stuck in those the entire summer - great!
I also have a ton of gardening to do and that is hard too, because after a prolonged time on my feet my foot hurts (thank God I have PF in one foot only).

05-09-2009, 10:39 AM
I had this really bad about 10 years ago. I did two things: 1) I wore very supportive footwear with heels (no sandals, except briefly if I was dressing up, and then they had to have a lot of support). 2) I had a cortisone injection. The first injection lasted almost a year. The second totally missed the mark and didn't do anything.

I am now completely healed and wear sandals all the time (I live in the Florida Keys) but I still make sure they are supportive sandals and not flip-flops etc.

05-09-2009, 11:51 AM
I wore Crocs to work every day for months. They are called rx medical silver fox. At home I wore Fit Flops and the more casual Crocs. When I started dieting in January I decided to hold off on exercise until I got below 200 pounds and/or my feet started feeling better. It was the right decision for me and I just started on my treadmill 2 weeks ago. I am now wearing my old lady SAS shoes that I bought after back surgery almost 6 years ago. They are "slightly" more stylish than the Crocs and are the same shoe that my 100 year old grandmother wears! I am trying to hold off buying new shoes as long as possible since I am hoping to go back down to a size 7.