Plantar Fasciitis! What the hell is this? More importantly, why is this my problem? After I visited my doctor and did my research, I was pissed! Seriously. Another chronic health problem! Aging just sucks! Aging when you love shoes and now have a condition that makes wearing almost any shoe painful just bites! Eloquent for a PhD, right?
The truth of the matter is that it didn’t take me long to realize the source of my problem: 1) I’m a child of the 80s and was jogging on hard cement before we realized the long term damage, and 2) I had been overstretching my arches while pushing the girls in the stroller during our Disneyworld jaunts. I don’t regret either—both very pleasurable at the time—but now I had to learn to deal with the problem at hand.
There are many options for this chronic problem, one of which is surgery, but this option is seen as the last resort. Up until this point I haven’t taken the time to peruse the Internet, but do know from my numerous other surgeries for endometriosis that surgical options never resolve a problem without triggering other issues. So, unless or until, surgery is a necessity, I am inclined towards the other viable options.
The bottom line is that I want to keep my active lifestyle despite my foot problems. I found several things that really helped me to achieve this goal:
- The best way to begin my mornings is to stretch my calf before taking those first steps. When the muscles in your calf are tight, they pull on the heel bone, making your plantar fascia very taut and prone to injury. To help loosen those muscles, I take a towel and loop it around the ball of my foot. Keeping my leg straight, I gently pull towards my body until I feel a stretch in the lower part of my leg. I hold that for 30 seconds and repeat up to 5 times before taking my first step out of bed.
- During the day, I place a tennis ball on the ground and gently roll it under my foot for a few minutes. It helps loosen up my plantar fascia, making it much less likely to become irritated. I did have to put enough pressure on the ball to get a deep massage. And, I did feel some soreness initially, but with time,I found it to be soothing.
- At the end of the day I use a frozen water bottle and roll it under my foot for 10 minutes. This is very effective in keeping inflammation in check.
These options do not resolve my problem! They do, however, help a lot in coping with the bigger picture. I am able to function to the point where I can keep up with the girls.
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