Thursday, July 05, 2012

Plantar Fasciitis

This is not a very interesting topic, but I know a lot of people suffer from plantar fasciitis so I wanted to share my experience. I started getting symptoms close to 10 years ago and I just ignored it because I was at my biggest weight and I was working on my feet in retail, so of course my feet were killing me and I didn't think much more about it.

The pain got bad enough that I consulted Dr Google and pretty much knew right away that I had plantar fasciitis, especially when I read this:

Overweight individuals are more at risk of developing the condition due to the excess weight impacting on the foot.

Oh great, another fat person problem to be embarrassed about.

So I suffered with this for 10 years because I was too embarrassed to see a podiatrist because I was scared they would just tell me to lose weight. I actually thought the problem would go away when I lost weight, but it got worse because of my increased activity. Earlier this year the pain became so bad I could barely walk and I was limping so much I threw my hip out. So I knew it was time to bite the bullet and finally see a podiatrist.

The guy I saw was great (and a bit cute) and he said I would need custom made orthotics because the damage was so bad (which is what happens when you ignore a problem for 10 years). He set about taking a plaster cast of my feet and made me orthotics for both of my feet. I wore these for about 3 months and the pain did ease up, but it didn't fix it completely. I still couldn't walk any distance, even shopping or a day at an art gallery was too much for me, let alone any sort of exercise. He then tried increasing the height of the orthotics and gave me exercises to do at home to try and loosen the calf muscles, but nothing helped. At this point I was $1000 out of pocket and still in pain so I was at the end of my rope.

Those who have had plantar fasciitis might know what comes next... the dreaded cortisone injection. Now I am not afraid of needles at all, I regularly donated blood before I got anaemia and I don't flinch at all when getting needles in my stomach for lap band adjustments. But I knew it would be a problem when my podiatrist told me it was going to be unpleasant and gave me a look of massive sympathy as he gave me a referral for my doctor.

Oh good god this needle was horrific. To be fair, the pain wasn't too bad, it was just the grossness of feeling a needle go up inside your heel. I honestly nearly passed out when the doctor gave me the needle. The good news is that after about a week the cortisone injection started to work and I am 100% pain-free for the first time in years.

It really has changed my life and I am back at the gym again and making plans to do things on weekends that involve being on my feet. So if you are silently suffering with plantar fasciitis I urge you to see your doctor or podiatrist and just get it sorted... and maybe try and avoid the expensive orthotics and go straight for the cortisone injection!



  1. Yeeooouch! Years ago, I needed a cortisone shot to the're right - the pain's not so bad, but the idea of it? Eww!!
    Glad to hear that you're on the mend. I've seen colleagues struggle through plantar fasciitis and know how debilitating it can be. It must feel great to be pain free :)

  2. Oh wow, my Mum suffers from plantar fasciitis - she hasn't had the injection, though she's started seeing an alternative doctor (Chinese Herbal Remedy) and she's not quite pain free, but the pain has significantly reduced and she's much more mobile than she used to be.

    I might run this by her :) Thank you so much for sharing - I wish you'd gotten it done sooner! xx

  3. My Dad has had that done. Do you have to get it at regular intervals or just a once off? It must be such a relief!

  4. Ive just read the book Born to Run. For years Ive been telling myself Im not built to be a runner. This book as changed my opinion. It also talks quite a bit about plantar fasciitis. The theory it proposes is that the reason so many people get it now (it used to be very uncommon) is that all our runnign shoes are so structured that they make our feet weak. The orthotics do the same thing. It proposes you need to build up the frame and natural muscles of the feet again by running barefoot. Ive never had the problem but it sounds very painful. The book is definitely worth a read though. I just ran for 10.45 minutes without stopping and loved it!! Small steps but great.

  5. Word to the wise. Keep wearing your orthotics and never ever go barefoot, even if it's just a few feet in the house. I suffered for years too and now, I'm pain free, but I learned the hard way that it will come back if you don't stay on top of things. Glad to hear you're feeling great!


Awww thanks so much for the comment!