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Plantar fasciitis and exercising

(21 Posts)
KittyB52 Wed 14-Sep-16 10:17:28

A few months ago, I started walking regularly to lose weight get sone exercise. I was averaging 3-4 miles a day at a decent pace. I've now developed plantar fasciitis (I have very flat feet and extremely tight leg muscles) and my physio has advised me not to walk long distances. I've been given other options for exercise but they just don't suit me like walking does. Cycling at the gym hurts my knees and I hate swimming (get panicky about breathing - I'm asthmatic). I think not going on my walks is also adversely affecting my mood.

Is there anything I can do to speed up healing? My feet are uncomfortable just day to day (I need new shoes for work, which is a whole other set of challenges - need supportive, smart non-leather shoes) so I already feel like I am 'walking on the bones of my feet'.

How long is it likely that the walk ban will be in place? sad

devilinmyshoes Wed 14-Sep-16 10:37:23

Have this on and off but from v high arches instead. I've got this really nice squidgy foot roller thing, it can be frozen (but loses its squidge until it thaws a bit) or heated. Or you can use a frozen water bottle, just roll it under the arch.

I can't not walk, I walk dogs for a living, but physio advised me to wear stability type running shoes as much as humanly possible as I have a tendency to roll my foot out onto its outer edge (supinate) after a while when walking. But rest is what really helps when possible.

devilinmyshoes Wed 14-Sep-16 10:40:27

This is it but my friend got it for £1 from TK Maxx

I rate the rowing machine for exercise when running or cycling is off the menu, with quite low damper setting (like 4-6) so it doesn't hurt my back. Is that an option?

Rumtopf Wed 14-Sep-16 10:46:30

Go and see a physio. They will give you exercises to help specifically for you.
The trick with the the frozen water bottle really helps, as does some supportive inserts for your shoes. Don't wear completely flat shoes like ballet pumps, flip flops or converse type trainers.
An exercise I found that helped was to stand on the bottom stair on tip toes and slowly drop my heels and go up and down a few times. Build up the amount.
I can't avoid walking - dogs, so if it's playing up I massage ibuprofen or voltarol gel into it, warm it up a bit first and then walk. Stretch it out again afterwards otherwise it cramps up again.

KittyB52 Wed 14-Sep-16 10:48:42

I have been doing the frozen water bottle which does help at the end of the day. I am guessing a good sports shop would be able to advise on good footwear for walking? I have a very sedentary job, so I sit pretty much all day as it is.

I have been using a rowing machine at the gym but as luck would have it, I have a sprain in my neck so no weights/upper body exercise until that's recovered. sad

I feel very, very old this week - like I'm falling apart.

ElphabaTheGreen Wed 14-Sep-16 10:56:17

Definitely supportive shoes from somewhere like a running shop. Did the physio suggest insoles at all? How about going to see a chiropodist privately as they might be able to do custom insoles for you?

Achilles stretches are the most important thing to be doing - so on a step and dropping one heel at a time like a PP suggested. Do them in a warm bath as well. Hard to describe but: kneel on one knee in the bath with your bum on your heel. Place the other foot flat in front of you so that that knee is up against your chest. Lean forward into that knee until you feel a pull on your calf and hold it for 20-30 seconds. Repeat other side.

80sWaistcoat Wed 14-Sep-16 10:56:57

I have so much sympathy for you - up to May this year I was doing circuits, walking and classes. PF has stopped all of that. I'm doing the exercises and it is getting better - slowly. And wearing the supportive shoes.

Blue4ever Wed 14-Sep-16 11:01:19

The sweat shop is a good place for running shoes, they also do customised inserts (they used to anyway). I have found that Fitflops are excellent for plantar fasciitis, but not the sandals with no back straps -the shoes, lace ups and boots are very good. Also follow the exercises very well every day. You need to leave it to heal and it can take time. I found yoga and Pilates to be excellent when I had issues with my foot, and any low impact routine, there are loads on YouTube. Swimming made my foot hurt, I know it's strange but it did! And don't walk barefoot even indoors. You can also get insoles to support the arch.

devilinmyshoes Wed 14-Sep-16 11:01:34

Oh also the thing where you pick up tea towels or whatever from the floor, scrunching them up with your toes. Have a whole sheet of exercises somewhere!

KittyB52 Wed 14-Sep-16 11:08:57

I bought insoles from Boots before I started going to physio - they do help, but I can only use them with trainers or boots, neither of which are suitable for work. I might get some fit flops to wear at home, as my slippers are currently a pair of walking sandals.

I did do a great yoga class (time changed and I couldn't make it) where I discovered that apparently, people can move their toes about. Mine stayed stubbornly inanimate and having to put my fingers between my toes to wiggle my foot about knocked me sick. The thought of trying to pick stuff up with my toes is making me queasy. I'm sure this is all linked. grin

Maybe Pilates will help.

Thank you all for your advice so far.

RJnomore1 Wed 14-Sep-16 11:12:39

Calf stretches on the stairs.

It truly depends on your pain threshold. My dh is a runner and suffers with this. He went to his GP who is a runner, who gave all the standard advice- roll with ice, stretch and strengthen calves, rest etc then quietly said at the end that what worked for him was to run for 49 minutes solid through it but obviously that wasn't medical advice. It's worked for dh - but he's a martial artist/distance runner and pain threshold through the roof.

That was about three weeks ago and he's out running now for about the last hour.

devilinmyshoes Wed 14-Sep-16 11:18:29

I don't think running is helping mine, it's only started troubling me again in the past few weeks since I started doing longer distances on the road but it's manageable and I'm doing the minimum volume of time on my feet that I can get away with.

I never had it at all until a couple of major calf strains now it's never far away!

ShotsFired Wed 14-Sep-16 11:18:55

As well as the advice re stretches, try a sports masseuse to really get to work on your calf muscles. They may even go all the way up and get their elbows in your bum cheeks to loosen things off!

RJnomore1 Wed 14-Sep-16 11:19:01

Yep it's definitely linked to calves.

mommybunny Wed 14-Sep-16 15:07:22

I had a bout a couple of months ago. I would wake up every morning with a tightness in both feet that would usually go away, but one Saturday morning while I was doing a park run my left foot was in so much pain that by the end of the run I was in tears. I came home and promptly put my FitFlops on (they were the only shoes I could bear to wear and walk) and I took a week off running and wore my FitFlops EVERYWHERE. By the end of the week the pain was gone. I now wear them at home as much as I can, and while I still wake up tight in the mornings I haven't had any PF. I've just completed a half marathon with no PF whatsoever (the bunions are a different story ...).

I really cannot recommend the FitFlops enough. I know they are controversial in the podiatrist community, but for me they were magic.

KittyB52 Wed 14-Sep-16 20:16:31

After speaking to my colleagues this afternoon, I called a local running shop to ask if they did gait analysis (I resisted the urge to ask 'Could it just need more oil?' - a joke which has amused us far too much this afternoon grin) and went there after work. The guy in the shop said he didn't need me to walk on the treadmill as he could see I was very flatfooted. He recommended some trainers that were over £100 but they were sooo comfy, even in slightly the wrong size. So I am going back at the weekend to try another few styles and sizes.

I asked about Fitflops and he said they were OK, but that Oofos were better. I like the look of the felt slippers, but I prefer to have backs on my shoes. I've just looked up Oofos and they are fugly, but the sandal style might do for around the house (no way on earth I will be able to wear anything with a toe post shudders).

I am back to icing my feet (not a Bake Off reference) and have got a foam roller for my calves. Such glamour! grin

Thank you all for your advice.

GoldFishFingerz Thu 15-Sep-16 20:22:29

Arch supports from Amazon really helped me.

Trainers with arch supports when walking also

Are your calfs tight too? Roller could help if linked to PF.


Birkenstocks for round the house

sparechange Thu 15-Sep-16 20:27:46

Have you tried using a golf ball to massage the soles of your feet?
Put it on the floor and press down on it. I draw the alphabet with the ball to alleviate boredom..!

It is also connected with your calf muscles, so stretching them (and maybe getting a sports massage?) would help a lot

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Thu 15-Sep-16 20:28:33

Another vote for stretching your calves. With the foam roller make sure you are using your whole weight on it, it will hurt! Also make sure your hamstrings are well stretched as they can have a knock on effect.

Also exercise your feet. Flat feet and PF suggests you have very weak arches and you need to build these up. Google foot strengthening exercises online.

I'd also be wary of relying on supportive shoes and insoles in the long term. Splinting your feet will not help them become stronger.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Thu 15-Sep-16 20:30:37

Also, make sure it's a sports physio you see - they tend to be more understanding of peoples reluctance to give up their sport and to work around that.

AnnettePrice Mon 10-Oct-16 13:06:21

Try this foot exercise to build up your arch strength, cheaper than specialist insoles (1/2 way down page)

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