Dieting with Obstacles - Plantar fasciitis

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01-20-2010, 03:38 PM
So my doctor says the tremendous cramps and pain in my feet is due to plantar fasciitis. She sent me to a physical therapist who showed me how to stretch my foot, which i've done for the past 2 months now. She said the only other way to reduce pain is for me to lose weight.

The issue I'm having is that it's really incredibly hard to exercise with both of my feet hurting like this all the time, especially in the mornings. My feet swell up and the pain continues up through my legs and back. It's hard to walk even from my bed to the bathroom in the morning, and later in the day it becomes difficult to walk more than a block.

Does anyone have any suggestions? I've been taking Ibuprofen but it doesn't help much and it irritates my stomach.:?:

Carly Smoker
01-20-2010, 03:56 PM
Have you ever tried to do a work-out DVD in a chair? You only do the upper body movements. Not as complete of a workout but still better than nothing. You can do leg lifts/movements to the DVD as well just without putting weight on them.

01-20-2010, 04:00 PM
I had something similar, plus a torn ligament in my foot. There wasn't much I could do. I went swimming instead... though that even hurt my foot were the ligament was torn. Hope you have a speedy recovery! Oh, my doctor made me get shoe inserts... they relieve the pressure off the heel.

I still do foot exercises to this day to make it stronger! At least my heel pain is gone.

01-20-2010, 04:47 PM
I have that currently, although it's much better now since I bought an orthotic insert meant for helping with that condition. Maybe your PT or doctor might know if an insert like that would help you. The reason the insert helped me so much was that I have very high arches, and at my current weight, my arches need some heavy-duty, good support. My shoes just weren't providing the support I needed. Now, with the orthotics, no more pain. But I wouldn't want to go even one day without the orthotic inserts. Hope your heel heals up soon, I know how bad and how frustrating that pain can be.

01-20-2010, 05:32 PM
I did, the last time I was losing lots of weight that happened to my feet and my heels are starting to give me some issues now. I plan to go and get me some arch supports like the ones dr scholls has. I had to stop working out with the intensity because I used to walk and run 3 miles a day. Now I'm going to get them so the pain doesn't start. My dr also used to give me cortisone shots in my foot which helped a lot. I just couldn't get too many of them. I would suggest the arch support but I know the pain and it is very intense.

01-20-2010, 05:51 PM
Can you get to a pool? I had issues with tendonitis and a bone spur so I started swimming for a while. I also bought better shoes from Roadrunners and haven't really had problems since.

01-20-2010, 06:04 PM
I too have had this problem in the past and I agree--it is painful! Are you able to ride an exercise bike? You would be getting cardio but off of your feet.

01-20-2010, 07:12 PM
I have not been diagnosed with PF by a professional, but from everything I've researched, I have diagnosed myself! lol Last summer I was walking/jogging 3miles/day and started having foot issues..only in my right foot. It started out as pain in my arch and then moved into my heel after a while. I thought it was worn out shoes so I bought new ones. They helped until I started the treadmill again. I then found an article online about taping and I taped my foot the last time I ran on the treadmill AND IT HELPED!! I had no pain! I also found an article by a guy who said he just wrapped duct tape around his arch after he put his socks on and it cured his PF (along with stretching exercises). I bought the athletic tape at Walmart for $2 so it might be worth giving it a try :D BTW, last summer when I was having so much pain, I bought 4 or 5 different kinds of inserts (including the $50 Dr. Scholls where you stand on the computerized mat) and none of them helped me. I wish I woulda tried the taping technique then...

not sure if I can post links or not, but I'll try:

if it doesn't work, then just google "foot taping for plantar fasciitis"

GOOD LUCK!!! If you can't get rid of the pain, then I agree with others about possibly cycling or swimming to get your exercise.

Thighs Be Gone
01-20-2010, 07:34 PM
A doctor can also prescribe a brace you can sleep in. It keeps your foot flexed so the muscles or whatever down their don't constrict during the night. I take my Ibuprofen right before I go to sleep too--it seems to help.

01-21-2010, 11:28 AM
I have a torn plantar fascia right now - I feel your pain! After weeks of thinking it would resolve itself I went to my doctor who referred me to a chiropodist. He diagnosed the condition, taped my foot and, like KDM322 said, it worked! What a relief. He also prescribed stretches (which I haven't been doing :nono:, and cast my feet for new orthotics, which aren't here yet (he said the ones I have, which are about 2 years old, aren't hard core enough!) He also recommended wearing, as much as possible, motion-control running shoes, the best of which, according to the Running Room in my area, are Saucony Grids. So, with the taping and the Sauconys, I'm feeling much better and looking forward to getting the hard-core orthotics. This has been a pretty spendy exercise, but SO worth it.

01-21-2010, 12:17 PM
I have plantar faciitis. Nothing helped me really. But my orthopedist suggested I get specially made inserts molded specifically to my feet and designed to help the plantar faciitis. I did so, and they cost 70 dollars, but it was worth it.

I wear my shoes with those inserts (and OTC inserts do not help) and now I can walk without pain. And eventually even walking with no shoes was a lot better as well. You need a prescription to get those inserts but I would definantly ask the doctor about them.

01-21-2010, 12:35 PM
I started getting the really bad foot pain right after my last baby ( 2 1/2 years ago). It hurt so bad when I'd wake up in the morning or after I sat for a little while. It makes no sense, but the pain went away after I quit eating grains and sugar and stuck to under 100 carbs a day. It was gone within a week or so. I don't think the pain went away because of losing weight because I only lost 6 lbs that first week. I think that grains and sugar causes inflammation (in me, at least). It's a good incentive for me to stay low carb. That foot pain hurts so bad.

01-21-2010, 12:51 PM
Hi 30and300, I've been suffering plantar fasciitis for two years now. If you work standing up, do not be shy about asking the doctor for a note you're being treated so you get rest your feet periodically!

They say that for every day you walk on it, it takes a day to heal. I know it makes walking and all of those things they usually recommend for us nearly impossible. The inserts hurt and take some getting used to. What helped me was soaking my feet in warm water at the end of the day, being gentle on them when you get out of bed, and using a tennis ball underneath them to stretch and relax the muscle. All you can do is rest as much as possible, keep up the good eating, and keep stretching the muscle - it will gradually get easier! I never thought I'd get better but can now walk for almost an hour!

01-21-2010, 01:10 PM
Mine was so bad for a while that I couldn't walk to the bathroom in the morning. The things I was told to do included icing my feet, taking an Advil before bed, rolling my foot on a tennis ball when I was sitting, stretching my foot by putting my toes against a wall and walking toward the wall, and resting them. I know the pain can be excruciating. And losing weight DEFINITELY helps. Focus on eating right and don't worry about the exercise until you are feeling better.

01-21-2010, 01:30 PM
My insurance didn't cover orthotics when I had my first flare (I was working in a juvenile detention center and was on my feet most of the day, often double shifts).

It took a long time to heal (and didn't heal completely until I got a desk job and started wearing only shoes with good support and cushioning).

I have to be very picky about the shoes I buy. For several years, I would only wear Birkenstock and New Balance. Then I met my husband, and he introduced me to Haflinger (like Birkenstock, a cork soled shoe).

I'm more willing to experiment with other brands, but arch support is very important. Cushioning helps too, but for me arch support seems to be the key.

01-22-2010, 03:18 AM
Wow, lots of awesome advice here! =)

I am currently doing exercises with my upper body mostly, but I really miss being able to walk from the parking lot to my classrooms (about 2 blocks) without intense pain. I've tried every shoe insert I could find, and nothing helped. But I am supposed to make an appointment with an Orthotics doctor tomorrow to see if I can get anything done there.

Right now I'm using a frozen water bottle and rolling it under my feet. It helps a bit. I'm definitely going to check out the taping thing though!

I'm thinking I should also try out new shoes. Maybe those Haflinger or some Birkenstocks. Currently I have sneakers with "arch support" but who knows!

I might also switch to advil. Ibuprofen is just ripping up my stomach.

The problem is that since this has been going on for so long, it's really affecting my hips and back, and has changed the way I walk. It's just awful. My back starts to get weak and then I have to sit down after only a short distance walking.

So thank you all for the great ideas. I am definitely going to give them a try over the weekend, and hopefully get some relief! =)

01-22-2010, 07:10 AM
I hope that you will find relief soon and feel much better! I know how painful this is! I can't do without my arch supports at all!

Just one thing, though....Advil IS ibuprofen.

Ibuprofen is the generic name, and Advil is the brand name. So basically it's like saying, "I won't take aspirin anymore, I will take Exedrine instead...."

Advil will still tear up your stomach. One thing you can do is get the medicine that reduces acid production in the stomach - it takes a few days of taking those one a day pills but it does stop the pain from any ulcer that is created from the ibuprofen/advil.

01-22-2010, 07:52 AM
I have had PF for years. I have had the night brace and done PT and stretches and been thin and NOTHING has helped EXCEPT CROCS!!! Ugly as they are, my new and favorite podiatrist told me to get a pair for at least home. We don't wear shoes in my house so its sock feet or slippers and it was making my feet so bad I couldn't walk during the day (although I didn't know it at the time). So I went out and bought a pair of the mammoths to wear as slippers at home and it took about 2 months (it got worse for my back before it got better) and I have complete relief. The only time it's bothered me is when we went to Disney 2 weeks ago and standing around bothered them (and I have expensive sneakers). I couldn't wait to get home and put on my crocs flip flops I got for $10 at Job Lot. Really...they're an inexpensive thing to try. My feet and heels have never (in 16 years or so) been so pain free.

01-22-2010, 06:42 PM
The only cheap shoes I can wear are the Croc style (I actually have a knock-off brand), and the cork bottom sandals. I was buying a pair of the cork bottom sandals from Walmart every summer (they look like an imitation of a Birkenstock style), but they never lasted more than one summer (and looked pretty terrible by the end of summer) and weren't comfortable for more than a few hours of wear. This summer, I bought a pair at Fleet Farm and they lopked as good at the end of summer as they did at the beginning, and were much more comfortable. The difference has to be in the quality and density of the cork.

In the long run, I think the Birkenstocks and the Halfingers are a better buy, because I have Birks and Haflingers that are more than 5 years old, and they still look brand new, and fit my feet better and are comfortable on my feet longer than the cheaper imitations. I've never had a cheap imitation last more than a year (until this years Fleet Farm pair - we'll see how long they last).

Still, the crocs and the cheap cork-bottom sandals are far better than other cheap shoes. If I'm not going to be doing much walking, they work fine. But, if I'm going to be doing more standing or walking, I'll go for the Birks or Haflingers -and if I'm going to be doing a lot of walking, I'll choose the New Balance.

01-22-2010, 06:48 PM
Good point about avoiding being barefoot, Kristen! It's the worst thing when you have PF (well, that and flip flops). I even found slippers with arch support so I was never without it (Acorn is the brand)!

01-22-2010, 08:51 PM
Lots of good advice here: my doctor recommended putting my feet up 2-3 times a day for at least 60 minutes; I try for 2 times a day and that has been helping a lot. Good shoes and slippers are a must; and don't go barefoot too much -- I used to do that and now have stopped.

Be sure to get 7-8 hours sleep at night; just having them up that long helps, so rest them whenever you can. I have a set schedule now that I must put them up once in the afternoon and once or twice in the evening; I take advantage of that time to do some reading. While on my PC, I stretch my legs out so my feet aren't pressing on the floor.

Other things that can aggravate them is cold, so always wear slippers in your home and shoes outside. Warm boots in winter that aren't too tight. Plus, stepping up into high places a lot, like a Van or a truck can make them much worse. My problem started when we switched to a Van; so my DH made me a stool to step up from, and that helped so much.

Mine used to hurt a lot when I first got up in the morning, but now they are getting much better. I used to work on my feet and just had to soak my feet in warm water in the evenings and I wasn't that heavy then. Now I soak them while on my PC; and I do the stretch exercises each day while I have them up as well ...

PS ~ I used to have 2 sizes of shoes; because my feet would swell up so much from being on them all day. I wore the regular size until noon; then switched to the same shoes BUT one size bigger for the afternoon -- oh, I can't tell you the relief it was ... ahhhhhh!

Your poor feetsies are just plain warn out and tired; and they need a good rest ... ;)

01-22-2010, 10:33 PM
Well I went to a chiropractor and did the treatment she recommended. I also did some acupuncture. The regular MD talked about I did some other things first. I am now pain free 99.9% of the time.

01-25-2010, 06:42 PM
I have pf and the exercises never helped me (I still do them, just in case;)) But anyway what helped me SO MUCH was buying a pair of Dansko shoes. OMG. I personally thought they were way cuter than Birkenstocks and a little cheaper (I have 2 pairs at $120 each) and they last FOREVER. I wear my brown pair basically every day for the last 1.5 years and they still look pretty much brand new (except 2 teeth marks from where my dog decided to bring the shoes to me :dizzy:). I was recommended them by my chiropractor and she had hers for 9 years then and still wasn't looking to replace them. Someday I'd like to start running in which case I'll have to find shoes for that, but in the summer I walk all over town (usually about 2 miles at a time including carrying food home from the farmers market) and I have no pain. Before I got the shoes I couldn't walk at ALL without severe pain. It HURT!!! Even now I CAN go barefoot without pain for several hours (although I choose not to because I dislike having my feet uncovered anyway) which I never could before.

I know I sound like a walking commercial but seriously, I LOVE these things!

01-28-2010, 12:21 AM
I've had flareups of PF, and I find these things helpful:

* Getting cardio on a bike instead of a treadmill. Also easier on the back. And for me it needs to be an upright bike. It's not supposed to be this way, but somehow a recumbent is too painful on the knees.

* The tennis-ball thing.

* A soak in a hot tub. Holding a sore foot over a jet feels good.

* Cold packs.

* Acupressure. If you can't reach your own feet, get a loved one to help, or use the eraser end of a pencil. The spot directly in the center, just beneath the ball of the foot, is a helpful point. (AcuPoint #21 on this page ( Especially when it's done in conjuction with AcuPoint #30. I usually can't hit both points at the same time, so I'll ask someone to help.

01-28-2010, 11:51 AM
What worked for me was Addidas Adilette sandals. I have several pair and wear them year round except to go outside in the cold. I think it took me close to a year to get over the heal pain but it has been years now since I've had it.

01-28-2010, 01:27 PM
My Mother-in-law taught me how to cure my PF! She had it and when I got it I did exactly what she told me to do. Get a mens tube sock. Fill it with dry white rice. Tie a knot on the open end of the sock to keep the rice in. Throw it in the microwave for a couple of minutes. Put your feet up and wrap the warm moist heated sock around your foot. It feels wonderful! I did this everyday, usually in the evening and it worked! I also took Aleve, but if ibuprophen upsets your stomach the Aleve might also. And be careful with NSAIDS, they can damage your kidneys! I can't take them at all anymore because I have renal insufficeincy caused by the Aleve. I hope you find what works for you!

01-29-2010, 03:12 AM
Thanks again guys. I'm glad you have so much great advice!

I noticed aleve was the same active ingredient as ibuprofen, so I didn't get it.

Gonna check out the shoe advice this weekend! Awesome suggestions, so I'm going to see what's available. =)

Right now I've been continuing the foot exercises and using shoe inserts. The tennis ball and frozen water bottle help a lot, but after a full day on campus, my feet are crazy swollen. Currently I'm using a make-shift foot bath with a bread pan. lol. Hey, it fits perfectly! But I'm going to see if I can find one of those foot tubs this weekend too. =D

Thanks for all the great ideas, guys!!

02-03-2010, 12:51 PM
I have plantar's fascitis, tarsel tunnel and achilles tendonitis! I had the surgery on my foot and it didn't work. Elctrode shocking, physical therapy, boots, sleeves, everything. Nothing worked.

Swimming is a GREAT way to exercise with plantars since you aren't applying all body pressure to your feet. Same with a recumbent bike or regualr biking.

Keep stretching (stairs help me) and moving! I saw a woman at Disney (I was in a wheelchair it got so bad) and she said he had been me years ago. She bought a pair of Zcoils -- shoes that look weird but she says they work.

I might try a pair with my tax check but they are pricey. Worth it if I can move though.

I only wear tennis shoes now and it's helped some.

02-04-2010, 12:43 PM
30and300 - there is currently another thread on Plantar Fasciitis in the Exercise forum, you may want to visit it.

I gasped when I read (sorry I can't remember who posted it) that her custom orthotics cost $70 - I only wish mine cost that little! - in Canada, custom orthotics will run you down $400+ (mine were $425 and I believe I got only $200 back from insurance).

Shannon in ATL
02-04-2010, 01:15 PM
I noticed aleve was the same active ingredient as ibuprofen, so I didn't get it.

Alleve isn't the same active ingredient as Ibuprofen. Alleve is Naproxen Sodium, which is totally different. Ibupfrofen is Advil, Motrin, some others.

05-19-2010, 12:44 PM
DEAR 30and300, and all other contributors! OMG can I relate, I'm currently home with a broken sesamoid bone (ball of toe-bottom of foot) 9 weeks now and am going NUTS! My hips hurt, my thighs ache, I'm hungry all the time and I NEED A MASSAGE! Went into NYC yesterday to a specialist, he's said 9 weeks isn't a LONG TIME. Small bones take longer. I googled the DR and most patients said he 'pushes' orthotics. I agree with you all, BUT I'M GONNA TRY AND MAKE MY OWN. So far I've purchased a soft boot ($30), a night splint for plantar fasciitis ($125) (which I found afterwards on line for $45-too late). NYC Doc gave me an Equalizer LowTop Airwalker, looks like a space shoe, have no idea what he charged (thank God I have) Insurance, now he wants to check if Ins. will pay for a Bone Stimulator!!!!! Airwalker allows me to walk normally instead of (excuse the expression) gimping around on my heel, and no pain, boot weighs a ton. Any hints, tips or suggestions are appreciated. Next I'm trying acupuncture. From what I've read some of you have suffered foot ailments FOR YEARS. I'm anxious to get back to my 'old self'......HELP.... thanks, Doodles

01-04-2011, 04:22 PM
Taping my arch is the only surefire way for me to keep the pain away.

07-02-2011, 04:11 PM
I haven't gone the orthotics route yet, but I got fitted at at a good shoe store for Saucony shoes with "Arch-lock" (their recommendation). It helps a lot. Find a good local shoe store where they have trained people to fit you (the one I go to here has a discount centre of last years' models, too.) Just remember to replace shoes when they wear out (much sooner than you think)!

Wear good shoes indoors too. Linoleum, and especially hardwood and concrete without shoes is pretty much a guarantee to inflame my foot. I wear my last pair of Sauconys or my authentic Birkenstocks.

The other thing I do if I'm going to be doing a lot of dancing (or if the pain happens to flare up badly on a regular day) is tape up the bottom of my foot with athletic tape. One line from ball near big toe to back. Another lengthwise one kind of criss-crossing it. A couple more shorter ones, criss-crossing as well. Don't keep your foot taped for more than 2-3 days or you will find the foot gets weaker and the problem gets worse. Only good for protection or allowing it to heal.

To reduce inflammation, your best bets are 2 extra strength ibuprofin for a few days. Again, don't do for more than a few days - ibuprofin over an extended period is harmful to your body.

Med-free inflammation treatment? Ice. Works every time. Use an ice pack wrapped with a facecloth and keep your foot on that (3x a day for 30 min or so). If you're feeling ballsy, get a smallish container that your heel can fit into, and fill with ice water.

07-13-2011, 12:23 PM
Wow so I'm not alone. I have PF and PTT which is posterior tibila tendon. That's where the inside part of my ankle sort of collapses and turns in.

I can remember when it happened. It was in 2006 I think and my feet still hurt. I've been to about 6 doctors and have had every device for my feet there is. The last thing I had made was a custom brace for my left foot. It's horrible and I haven't worn it yet. I had to buy shoes an extra size bigger and I already have huge feet. I have custom made orthotics but they hurt my feet. That's what so interesting about the orthotics is most people it helps their feet but they hurt my feet after about 2 hours.

The other problem is I work part time and I'm on my feet the whole time. I have a Dr note so I can wear sneakers but at about the 2 hour mark my feet start to hurt. The best thing that I wear on my feet is Timberland boots and I wear them with my dress clothes. They look horrible and I'm embarrassed but my feet feel great in them.

I also have arthritis in both knees so by the time I get off work I can barley walk to the car. I was able to get a handicap parking permit from my knee doctor. My kids say oh you're not handicapped but they don't know the extreme pain I feel in my knees and feet.

Anyway about the exercise. I joined the Y in Sept and I do water aerobics 3x a week. I've lost a few pounds but that's my fault because I still eat a lot of junk. I use to walk around the track at the local high school but the last time I tried that a few months ago I could only do 3 laps.

I really like the pool but I'm also going to try and get to the fitness center part of it because I need to build up some strength. They have a circuit set up like curves that I've tried a couple of times. People always say oh you should do the elliptical because there is no pressure on the knees but I can't do it at all. I try it every time I go there.

Here is something else I've tried and you won't believe it. Zumba. They have classes at the Y and the place is always packed the insturctor is amazing. Now this is how I get thru it. I stand way in the back and I do what I can. It's so much fun and it really didn't hurt my feet.... it hurts my knees so I don't go that often. I also have Zumba for the Wii and that's just as good.

Speaking of Wii I started doing the Wii about 2 years and that was big fun. I was doing Wii fit plus and it has a lot of different games to play and it checks your weight etc. The problem is you do it with socks on, no shoes. After doing this for months and loving it I had to stop because my feet were hurting so bad I couldn't stand to keep stepping on it. I do it only occasionally now.

So now it's basically water aerobics. The deep end is good because your feet never touch the bottom of the pool. When I'm in the shallow end doing the aerobics I wear water shoes because I don't like my feet hitting the tile floor. :swim:

Any questions please feel free to private message me.